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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4 Social Media Tools to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

social media toolsAre you struggling with day-to-day social media marketing tasks?

Are you looking for tools to speed up your social tasks?

In this article, I’ll share four social media tools and tips to help community managers save time, show creativity and streamline community management for their companies.

Why Social Media Tools

Community managers for organizations of all sizes are tasked to cover everything from curating content to creating it. Customer support, marketing, Vine and webinars all fall into the mix.

The sheer volume of tasks can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. With just a few tools, individuals and teams can manage their responsibilities better, while presenting a successful social media presence.

Keep reading for four social media tools that will make your social media tasks much easier.

#1: Manage the Appearance of Links to Your Website With Facebook Debugger

We all know Facebook updates that include pictures and snippets of their content do unbelievably better than ones that publish bare links. We’re a visual bunch, us humans.

Has this ever happened to you? You updated a page on your website with new images. Then, when you tried to publish a link to the page on Facebook, you found yourself staring at the link text for way too long.

debug link

If Facebook has trouble finding an image to include with your link, the preview can take a long time to show up.

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3 Unusual Ways to Build Your Email List With Facebook Apps

social media how toDo you want more email subscribers?

How can you find a targeted audience and encourage them to join your list?

The answer is to leverage the people who already like you: your Facebook fans.

This article shows you three ways brands are using Facebook apps to grab their fans’ attentions and encourage them to subscribe to their list.

Why Use Facebook to Find Email Subscribers?

Email converts new customers more effectively than any other digital medium. The key is having the right people on your list—the ones who want to hear what you have to say and are most likely to buy from you. That’s where Facebook comes in.

Your Facebook fans are probably fans because they already like your products or services. That’s a great start to finding a narrowly targeted audience that’s likely to buy from you.

lead funnel

Engage with Facebook fans, capture their email addresses and market to that targeted audience to make sales and partnerships.

A simple lead funnel gives context to the process. By engaging with your Facebook fans, you build trust. From there, you can ask your fans to sign up for emails that share information they’re interested in. With strong email and marketing tactics, you end up with sales and long-term customers.

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How to Increase Your Social Media Following by Over 700%

social media case studiesAre you looking for creative ways to grow your social media following?

Are you dealing with limited resources?

Then you’ll want to study what Microsoft Dynamics did.

How is a giant like Microsoft the same as everybody else when it comes to social media marketing?

They have the same challenges as any company. They have to figure out:

  • Whom they’re talking to
  • What their needs are
  • Where and how to talk to them

And even though they’re Microsoft, they still have limited resources to do it all. So how does Microsoft do social media? They start by trial and error, and then see what works and what needs changing. Sound familiar?

Over the past two years, Microsoft Dynamics, a business group of Microsoft, pruned their social channels by half, but now reaches more customers.

I spoke with Kelly Rigotti, senior marketing communication manager of social media for Microsoft Dynamics, to learn how they did it.

microsoft vine video

Microsoft Dynamics uses Vine videos as visual elements in their Twitter stream.

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5 Social Media Trends for 2014: New Research

social media research Want to know where social marketers are focusing in 2014?

Looking for the latest social media trends to inform your marketing?

Based on new research, here are five areas you should start paying attention to right away.

Note: This article is based on Exact Target’s 2014 State of Marketing Report, which shows top marketing objectives, priorities and concerns for 2014.

#1: Social Listening Becoming Important

More brands are beginning to really listen to their customers.

According to the report, 60% of marketers were using social listening strategies in 2013 and 24% plan to do so in 2014. The sad news is that only 31% of marketers think their social listening is fully effective.

istock ear image 14926379

Consider the context of social conversations and respond strategically. Image source: iStockPhoto.com.

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5 Ways to Combine Twitter Scheduling With Real Time Activities

social media how toIs there an easy way to engage with people in real-time while balancing Twitter scheduling needs?

Do you know when to schedule your posts to best reach your followers?

Are you looking for ways to join in discussions with real-time posts?

In this article, you’ll discover how to use both scheduled and real-time social media posts in your social media strategy.

man-maintaining-balance-istock-image

Find a balance between real-time and scheduled social media updates. Image source: iStockPhoto.

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How to Respond to a Social Media Crisis

social media how toDoes your brand have a crisis response plan in place?

Do you know what tactics to use to defend your reputation online?

In this article, you’ll discover three examples of reputation crisis response and seven steps for defending your own reputation online.

Why Reputation Matters

global survey by Deloitte ranks reputation as executives’ top strategic risk. The study found most reputation management programs don’t support their business strategy well.

It’s important to understand the way online conversations roll out.

Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Anyone’s voice in social media can be heard.
  • Companies can have more difficulties than individuals in avoiding bad news.
  • Due to online social and web search, kindred spirits can easily become aware of others who share their criticisms.
  • Bad news travels faster and further than good news.

Keep these factors in mind as we explore three case studies of companies with major reputation management problems and how they handled them.

How Buffer Responded to Crisis

Buffer, the online social media scheduling site, was recently severely hacked.

Buffer became aware of the problem very rapidly and took immediate action to handle the problem. You can see a full account of their actions during the 24 hours immediately following the hack on their blog.

They were quick to inform their customers of the problem and explain what they were doing to fix it before most of their customers were even aware there’d been an attack. Here is just one of the messages they sent via Facebook.

buffer-facebook-crisis-notice

Buffer tells their community on Facebook about their crisis.

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Four Steps to Achieving Your Social Media Goals

social media how toAre you wondering how you’ll achieve your social media goals this year?

Do you feel as if you’re spending lots of time on social media with little direction and few results?

In this article, I’ll show you how to streamline your social media marketing to achieve your goals.

#1: Set Realistic Goals for Your Business

When you set goals for your business, set one realistic goal that’s measurable.

For example, if you own a local flower shop and you sell 20-25 flower arrangements per day, try starting off with a goal of selling 30 per day.

Adding an extra 5-10 sales a day is certainly more realistic than adding 30.

istock-goal-setting-image

Your strategy starts with goals. Image source: iStockPhoto.

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31 Must-Read Social Media Marketing Articles

social media reviewsAre you looking for rich and insightful blog posts to boost your social media marketing?

We asked our writers to share their favorite social media blog posts.

What follows is a gold mine of content you can apply to your marketing in 2014.

#1: Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing

andy-crestodina

Andy Crestodina

I love this post by Barry Feldman because it emphasizes content promotion (which is all-important) and includes a comprehensive list of specific actions.

It’s a great overview for beginners. But the pros may also find a few tactics they aren’t using.

enlarge-your-digital-footprint

Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing.

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