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26 Feb 2013

3 Ways You Can Use Visuals to Impact Social Media Customer Engagement

February 26, 2013Social Media

3-Ways-You-Can-Use-Visuals-to-Impact-Social-Media-Customer-Engagement

This is a special guest post by Erica Bell, a small business writer who focuses on topics such as customer service and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com

Designers and marketers are becoming more closely aligned as social media moves toward more visually driven platforms. Pinterest, Vine and Instagram are just some of the major players that have appeared and each encourages users to think and share visually. Visuals can better social media customer engagement, a top business objective in 2013. Your business will no longer tell, but instead will show customers the value your company provides. Here are three ways your business can use visuals to positively impact customer engagement on social networks.

Breakdown the Complex

Non-verbal images, drawings and photos are a universal language and your business can use visuals to breakdown complex ideas or studies. While someone may not have the time, patience, or aptitude to read through a complex case study, a visual chart or infographic can break something so complex down that more people can understand and use the information. In order for a business to have better customer engagement, they need to make sure they are providing their customers with value that is easily accessible. Images and visuals can help you do this as you communicate lots of information efficiently in a more eye-catching way than an outline. One visual that increases engagement and shares a lot of information is an infographic. Those in the marketing world have seen the shareability and engagement that come with infographic use.

Share Information with Ease

Visuals are easily understood and shared. Illustrations, videos and photos are easily shared. There’s no translation or summary of content needed as there would be with an article, whitepaper, or blog post. You can easily convey a concept or emotion, ensure customers understand it and entice them to share it. A 2012 study by ROI Research found that 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media. Your visuals can act as a snippet of written copy or images of inspiration for others. Visuals attract and engage customers more than plain text. If you’re looking to increase customer engagement on social networks, visuals draw in the reader while encouraging sharing. The ability to easily share information from one customer to another will impact your engagement.

Crowd Source Visual Content

Asking customers to create and share visuals for you is a great way to connect with them while promoting your brand visually. Photo or video competitions are one of the best ways to start. Whether it’s an Instagram Photo Contest or a Pinterest Inspiration Board competition, asking customers to showcase their visuals will build better customer engagement. Dane Atkinson, CEO of SumAll.com notes that “Engagement from Instagram users is as much as 10 times greater than other platforms.” Instagram is one of the most visual social networks and boasts one of the most engaged audiences. By crowd sourcing content, your business is indirectly asking people to engage with you on social networks.

Visual stimulation is key. Sure, a great product and stellar customer service contribute to engagement on social networks. However, if your business is looking to reach new audiences and customers, visuals can be the eye-catcher that draws those people in. Because visuals are often easily understood, easy to share and engage viewers without much effort, they will increase social network customer engagement. While not every visual network will be practical for every business, your business should have a presence on the networks where your audience is found and be sharing visuals for increased engagement.