How to Encourage Fans to Create and Share Visual Content

social media how to Are you leveraging your community to bring attention to your brand?

Have you asked your customers and fans to contribute pictures and images to your social platforms?

If you’re not involving your community in creating and sharing visual content, you’re missing out on massive organic reach and engagement.

In this article I’ll show you how brands are empowering their fans to create and share visual content about them in really cool ways.

Why Ask Fans to Create Visual Content?

If you want organic sharing and big traffic, you need stunning and remarkable images that stand out in social feeds. But that doesn’t mean you have to rely on brand-generated visual content.

There’s been a shift in who creates visual content (and how). Mobile platforms have made it easier for consumers to create and share images on the go.

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5 Ways to Use Pictures to Tell Visual Stories With Social Media

social media how toAre you sharing your stories with your fans?

Do you use pictures in your social marketing?

People want pictures in their social channels.

When done right, these pictures become visual stories.

In this article, I’ll show you how five brands are using pictures to share their stories and why that’s important.

Great Marketers Are Great Storytellers

As a marketer, you know the importance of stories, but do you know how to tell a story with few or no words at all?

“We’ve now entered a phase in which visual communication is supplanting the written word,” says Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate and former SVP of Netscape.” Some are now calling it the dawn of the Imagesphere.”

Our brains process pictures 60,000 times faster than text. When your brand shares a picture, your fans decide in a split second whether they want to see more.

People upload about 250 million photographs to Facebook every day, and Twitter has become more visual, showing photos and videos right in your feed.

The growth of other image-rich sites like Pinterest has been stratospheric, and apps such as Instagram, Vine and even Snapchat aren’t just for teenagers–savvy marketers are using them too.

These channels help you tell stories that create engagement, build communities and ultimately help nurture brand loyalty and long-term relationships with customers.

Below I’ll show you how five brands are using visual stories to engage their audiences.

#1: Give Life to Your Products

Stories don’t have to be history and they don’t have to be long. In fact, quick-moving social platforms encourage using fewer words. Twitter has always limited you to 140 characters, but now you can add a picture or video to your update to reinforce your message.

Whole Foods Market used this picture on Twitter to emphasize how their products fit into customers’ lifestyles:

whole foods breakfast sandwich

Whole Foods Market connects with followers by sharing pictures of their products.

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5 Ways to Make Shareable Images That Drive Traffic

social media how to Are you sharing compelling images across social networks?

Do you want more engagement and traffic from your efforts?

If you’re not regularly sharing images that resonate with your audience, you’re missing out on a ton of engagement.

In this article you’ll discover the essential elements of shareable images that increase engagement and drive traffic to your website.

Why Use Images to Drive Social Engagement?

People are drawn to visual content and take action based on its subtle cues faster than any other medium–faster than text, audio or video.

The power of pictures isn’t restricted to image-centric platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Visuals are attracting attention and driving engagement across all social networks. Even LinkedIn and Twitter are getting in on the action and showcasing images.

All of the major social networks are highlighting visual content. Brands that can leverage the power of original, optimized images are getting noticed.

If you’re worried you need a graphic designer or special skills, don’t be. In this article I’ll introduce you to the tools you need and the five essential elements of shareable, traffic-driving images that you can include in your marketing plan today.

#1: Give Your Audience What They Need

If you want to encourage engagement and shares, your images have to appeal directly to your target audience.

Create images and infographics that either solve a problem or inspire your community to take action. Images that give short, instantly actionable advice are highly shareable. Quick tips, how-to’s, quotes and fun facts are all very popular.

Social media expert Kim Garst matches audience expectations with useful tips by regularly posting images with social media advice and tagging them with #biztip.

Her community shares these problem-solving tips like wildfire, which results in an exceptionally high organic engagement rate on Facebook.

kim garst tip

Creating an image with a useful tip makes for an instantly shareable piece of content.

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How to Get Customers to Post Instagram Pictures

social media how toDo you want to use Instagram to add value to your brand?

Are you looking for innovative ways to get your customers (and employees) to post Instagram pictures?

Then keep reading because I’m going to show you four ways to bring your “A game” to Instagram and wow your fans.

Why Customer Instagram Pictures?

Instagram was the fastest-rising social media channel for brands in 2013.

You probably already know it’s an effective platform for branding and marketing your products and growing your community.

But what you may not know is that Instagram is a powerful tool to collect customer-created content you can reuse to your advantage.

#1: Enhance Your Online (and Offline) Store With Customer Photos

Visuals greatly impact the behavior of shoppers. Most brands just snap a photo of the product and share it across all social channels, which may work sometimes. But you can take it a step further by crowdsourcing photos on Instagram.

When customers see photos of other “regular” people using a product, they’re more likely to buy. Why? This kind of social proof is a powerful motivator. Visitors gain trust by seeing others use the products they are about to buy.

Let’s take the clothing industry, for example. The biggest mistake clothing brands make on Instagram is showing bland product photos—clothing worn by hired models, usually with a white background.

nastygal instagram content

Nasty Gal’s The Click gallery powered by olapic features selfies of fans wearing the brand’s clothes.

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