Have you looked at what other content creators are doing?
Watching what works for others in your industry can help you create content that increases engagement with your own audience.
In this article I’ll share how to search Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for visual content to inspire your own visuals.
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#1: Generate Ideas From Pinterest
When seeking visual inspiration, Pinterest should be your first stop. You’ll find lots of creative ideas uploaded and shared by others that you’ll want to repin. You may also get ideas for pictures to take and pins to create, as well as inspiration for your blog.
Remember, when you share pins from other boards, make sure to credit the source. It is NOT okay to download the images you find on Pinterest and use them as your own.
Start by doing a keyword search for pins in your area of expertise. In addition to your main keywords, come up with some word combinations based on your business niche. For example, a restaurant might search the words “tasty food” to see what comes up. This search will bring up thousands of different pins.
Notice you can look at All Pins or filter by Your Pins, Boards and Pinners with those keywords.
Once you land on a fruitful search, go through the pins and see which ones would be of interest to your followers.
Sticking with the restaurant theme, if you run social for a local restaurant that does great lunch specials, share pins with tips on how customers can recreate recipes when they are unable to get to your location.
This approach will make you stand out from your competitors who are merely trying to sell.
Before you decide to share a pin, look at how much engagement it’s already received. Check out how many times the image has been repinned or liked, and read through the comments on those pins. This will help you identify the type of visual content your audience will appreciate.
When you share or create useful content, fans and followers appreciate it. It ups your credibility, which leads to customer loyalty. You’ll then be thought of first when those loyal customers need what your business has to offer.
#2: Search Hashtags on Instagram
Instagram has more than 200 million active users, and is an excellent platform to tell your business’s story though visual updates.
If you want to attract more customers with your visual content, find out what your ideal audience and successful competitors like to share on Instagram. Search relevant hashtags, and then use your discoveries to spark ideas for your business.
For example, if you run social for a local gym, search the hashtag #GYM.
Once you do your search, especially for a broad topic, you may be overwhelmed. It’ll give you some insight into what users share, and spark ideas for more specific searches to conduct. Try a few different searches until you discover some outstanding accounts.
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My search for #GYM turned up millions of images, so I decided to hashtag search for #yoga, since that’s one of the gym’s specialties. I still got millions of results, but this time some accounts stood out.
Rachel Brathen (aka Yoga Girl on Instagram) posts fun-loving and inspirational visual content. She shares tips, as well as her life story, through her Instagram account. You learn a lot from accounts that are doing interesting things.
Research the most popular Instagram hashtags in your industry. Find active users relevant to your industry, as well as business owners like you, who are crushing it with their visual storytelling. Then use their images to inspire things you can do for your company.
#3: Explore Popular Visuals on Facebook
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the abundance of visual content that’s online. Luckily, there are many social media tools available to help, like the Facebook tool Post Planner.
The app searches Facebook pages in your industry and sorts out their most popular visual content. Before you use Post Planner, perform a graph search on Facebook for businesses similar to yours in different parts of the world.
Once you have a long list, sign up for the Post Planner app, go to the Viral Photos feature and add the pages. (In Post Planner, there’s a limit on what you can search for free.) You’ll see lots of relevant images with proven engagement.
This image from Roy’s restaurant in San Diego is bright, fresh and appealing. Plus, customers responded positively to it with engagement.
Use images that other pages’ fans have already enjoyed to create your own content that engages, educates and inspires. If they’re relevant, share the photos you find. Or create a version of the image that’s appropriate to share to promote your business.
#4: Look to Facebook Interest Lists
It’s just as key to curate visual content as it is to create it. When you share images from industry influencers, you become more valuable to your audience. The best way to keep all of that rich content together is to create Facebook lists.
Go to the left side of your Facebook page, scroll down and click on Interests. Then click Add Interests. Follow lists that already exist or create a new list with as many pages and friends as you’d like. (Notice quite a few lists already exist.)
Each list you create will have a stream of its own, which only shows content from the pages you added. This will help you focus when you’re trying to find content to share.
When something snappy stands out, share it or save the link for later inspiration.
Remember, before you share anything, investigate the engagement that the post, update or graphic received. If you need to, tweak something so it fits your branding.
Over to You
Images get massive response on social media. If you haven’t already done so, incorporate a visual plan into your social media marketing.
Before you create your own visuals, do your research and get inspired. Check out what works for other businesses in your industry, and see what your customers will respond to. Then get creative and have fun!
Follow these tips to curate, create and share visual content your audience will love.
What do you think? How do you curate and create visual content for your social media updates? What are your favorite websites and tools? Please share your experiences and recommendations in the comments.