GUEST POST by Mike Falkow, Creative Director of Meritus Media
Social media has become the elephant in the room when it comes to business nowadays. Either you’re using it effectively, or you may as well not be using it at all. Many young folk assume that they because they know how to use it for personal interaction with friends they can do it effectively for a brand and build a community of engaged and loyal customers. That’s a different kettle of fish entirely.
Social media today is about visual storytelling and each platform has developed its own shorthand, a unique language if you will. And it’s essential to master these and become multilingual if you are to succeed in this digital business landscape today.
Let’s examine each of the major platforms and how to speak the language.
Twitter still runs on the basic assumption that 140 characters is enough to broadcast your message and the new rules make it a little easier. Most of the 140 can now be used for your message,not the images and @handles. This is an excellent means of quickly announcing headlines, product news, links to articles, and funny anecdotes or jokes for comedians etc.
With the rising popularity of visual content, you can also add images to your message to increase engagement exponentially. Using hashtags also increases your visibility remarkably. For instance, if the word “business” is trending, then using “#business” in your post will substantially increase chances of engagement.
Here’s an example:
The newsfeed (Timeline) on Facebook, as with so many other platforms, has become a battle for eyeballs. Gaining someone’s attention in a sea of noise isn’t easy. Visual content is the key here. It all comes down to the use of great, original images.
See the example below. This image was created to highlight some key points. The label of the wine, the high Wine Enthusiast rating, and the price, with a link on how to order it.
This platform is more about a visual journal of sorts. Real images to reflect what you are experiencing. And unless you are a bikini model posting photos of yourself posing on a tropical beach somewhere, you will have to be creative in how you present your message.
Let’s take a closer look of how to apply this. Rogue Magazine recently launched their Spring Issue and their Instagram account is populated with exclusive images from their articles, a behind-the-scenes video from one of their cover shoots, and a photo of the new issue on newsstands.
Infographics are your key language elements here. Take an image and create a visually engaging infographic by adding important data points, or create a diagram to highlight elements of interest. Then in your caption, add a link to an article or webpage to which you are driving traffic.
So just like learning to speak a new language in a foreign country, to get our message across and tell your story effectively, you have to do it in social media too.
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