Social media platforms and visual content are now so intrinsically linked that if you are not optimising your Facebook posts then chances are your small business isn’t going to be getting the degree of engagement it could.
This article takes a look at how, with a good mix of visual content and some clever tools, you can create a more successful Facebook presence.
The rise of the visual
With 1.4 billion users Facebook maintains its position as the market leading social network. Therefore as a small businesses owner Facebook is still going to be a key platform from which to market your business. However in order to fully engage an audience you need to make sure you are using the best tactics.
Visuals have the huge benefit of conveying an idea almost immediately, helping break through the masses of online content people have to wade through on a daily basis. I believe this contributes to the phenomenal growth in visual content over the last few years. Research has shows that the use of visual content in social media increased by 70% in 2014.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the key to growing your Facebook audience is to engage them. Visual content makes a considerable impact on increasing engagement.
Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.
How to create a top-notch visual presence on Facebook
An impressive 2,460,000 pieces of content are shared every minute on Facebook. So, what will help your business stand out amongst this vast ocean of content? Using visuals to support your activity, here are 5 key tips that I recommend to help your small business create enriched posts.
1. Inspiring photos and images
According to research, images and photos are the most important tactic you can use to optimise your social media posts. But just adding any old run of the mill stock image isn’t really going to cut it. You need to source photos and images that are interesting and relevant to your audience and the subject in hand. It is worth spending some time getting the right image for your post.
Try to be creative when you are sourcing visuals and avoid using bland stock photos that everyone has seen before (you know the ones I mean – smiling business people in suits shaking hands) and try for something more interesting to support the content you are posting. Look for bright, eye-catching images that will still stand out even when they’re viewed at a smaller size.
There are number of online sites where you can source some great, reasonably priced images. Try Dreamstime, iStockphoto and Shutterstock. Alternatively sites like freedigitalphotos.net provide free images as long as you include an attribution wherever you use the image. You are also allowed to use images that are in the public domain and cleared for commercial use for free and without an attribution. Pixabay has a good selection of just such images.
If you can commission your own photos then all the better. Particularly if you are showcasing your own products and services. ‘Lifestyle’ images of your products in use can have a stronger impact than just standard product shots. Try taking some ‘behind the scenes’ photos of your business. These are great way of giving your audience the opportunity to see the personality and ideas behind what makes your business unique.
2. Be creative with content
There are some really effective ways to be creative with your text-based content. And all the more importantly you don’t need a big budget or to be proficient in Photoshop to implement them. There are some excellent create image creation tools available. A number of which offer some great free options. For example, try Recite.com if you want to visualise a quote or interesting fact. It’s free and simple to use. Here is one I created in just a few moments.
Other great tools I’ve come across include PicMonkey and Canva which lets you add text to images. Skitch is also well worth a look as it enables you to draw over images using annotation, shapes and sketches – a great way to emphasise a particular point.
3. Include Infographics
Infographics are a fantastic way to convey numerical information like statistics and research. It makes text-based content far more digestible and visually appealing to an audience. Don’t just take my word for it, research shows that:
- Consumers are 30 times more likely to read an info graphic than a text-based piece of content
- Infographics are liked and shorted three times more than other content
Creating great infographics doesn’t automatically require special knowledge or a huge budget. There are some good point and click online tools available with an assortment of ready-made templates that make it simple for you to DIY. Check out Piktochart and Easel.ly.
4. Upload videos directly to Facebook
Video enhances your visual offerings on Facebook. Video continues to grow in popularity right across the globe with 8333 videos shared every minute. This is reflected in the impressive rise in video content on Facebook specifically. Since June 2014 Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day.
There are some great ways you can use video to your advantage. Try posting video tutorials, behind the scenes peeks of your business, how to guides, showcase your product or service in real life situations and scenarios or show how a product is crafted.
Try iMovie or Movie Maker for DIY video editing software or WeVideo and Animoto for online creation platforms.
These are just a few tips on how to incorporate visual content into Facebook. However it is worth looking at how you can improve your visual content across all your social media platforms. Visual content is a key trend for 2015 and I suspect it will remain that way for a good while yet.
I’d really love to hear how you’ve implemented more visual content into your posts and what’s proved successful and not so successful. So please do leave a comment below or tweet me @ShopIntegrator.