There is lot of talk about selling your products or services through social media. But selling on social media with the power of compelling visuals doesn’t get that much attention.
If you have tried hard-selling your business on social media, you know by now that doesn’t work at all. People browsing through their social media feeds aren’t actively looking to buy something. They are just socializing with their connections.
And if you’re constantly trying to sell your product or service in the middle of that, you’ll end up becoming nothing more than an interruption. So instead of creating a favorable impression, you’ll only alienate people.
It’s only when you build genuine relationships and establish yourself as a trustworthy authority on social media that you can expect a good amount of traffic and sales. And the best way to build solid relationships is to create and share valuable content.
Doing visual marketing the right way can give your business the essential boost. But doing it wrong can have the opposite effect.
So here are 8 proven tips to make the most of visual content on social media in a way that doesn’t alienating your followers. These tips will help you avoid the common mistakes many people make when creating and sharing visual content, whether infographics, image quotes or banner ads.
Create Pinterest Boards With Emotional Value
A lot of people like to think of themselves as purely rational. But many of our decisions are deeply rooted in how something makes us feel. Whether positive or negative, emotions are contagious and can have a strong impact on behavior.
If you really understand your customers, you’ll know what will make them feel emotions like happiness, pleasure, energy etc. Or at the very least you’d know something about what causes emotional pain and makes them feel embarrassed, sad or fearful.
Ideally, your product or service should be about taking away one or more of your customers’ pains or providing a beneficial outcome.
The same concept should reflect in the Pinterest boards you create. Your boards should be on topics related to the problems you are solving, not about your product or its features.
For example, if you are in life coaching business and help people become successful, the Pinterest boards you create will be based on topics like motivation, exotic cuisines, beautiful homes, travel etc. This is because all these are widely regarded as symbols of a successful lifestyle.
Make Use Of Rich Pins
Many businesses have reported that the visitors who arrive on their website from Pinterest spend more money than those coming from other social media websites.
In fact, well-known makeup brand Sephora once said that their Pinterest followers spend up to 15 times more than Facebook fans.
If your core business is selling one or more products, then you must take advantage of product pins within Pinterest.
Product pins are pins that allow you to provide extra information with the product photo, such as price. And not just that, Pinterest can even notify your customers in case you drop your price as part of a sale or promotion.
Stay True To Your Brand
Red Bull is one of the brands that really understand the power of visuals. The business knows very well how to leverage images for maximum impact.
Take a good look at their Facebook page, and you’ll notice that every single post, whether an image or video, emphasizes what the brand is about: Giving You Wings.
For example, while going through their page, I see image of an adventurous skier taking off a mountain.
On scrolling down a bit, there is a video in which a racecar swooshes around a curve. Each visual they post consistently conveys the vibe associated with their brand.
Your business should be doing the same. Not the exact visuals, but conveying and sticking to a single story associated with your brand. Not sticking to your core message and telling a different theme each time can alienate and confuse your target audience.
Share Promo/Coupon Codes
Worried that discount coupons will devalue your brand? Not really. It’s not necessary for a coupon to offer a heavy discount. The idea is to get creative with your offer.
Coupon codes can act as effective triggers in order to acquire new customers and getting repeat purchase from existing customers.
A great example of a coupon campaign is Luhse Tea, an online store selling loose leaf tea. The store specializes in delicious tea aromas like Marrakesh Fresh Mint and White Butterscotch.
Their holiday discount campaign used the power of meaningful hashtags as well as the holiday spirit. On top of that, using an image of a long, busy line was clever considering how people are at this day of the year, the Black Friday.
When it comes to a holiday theme, their image illustrates the vibe of Thanksgiving perfectly. The same post was cross-promoted on Instagram and Twitter as well.
Use The Right Tools
Graphic design applications like tyle have advanced non-designers leaps and bounds ahead in terms of creating stunning graphics on their own.
High quality infographics, presentations and more used to be within the reach of only big brands. But now the game has changed. Even solo entrepreneurs and small business are now able to enhance their brand with high quality visuals, just like the big companies.
While it used to be that only big brands with big budgets could afford to create such graphics, now even solopreneurs with NO budget can compete.
Even if you’re a person with generally a good sense of good design, it may still take weeks to learn complex tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. This means a long period of wait before you actually be able to create eye catching graphics.
So imagine how much time it could take you to reach a level where you can create professional looking graphics if you’re not design savvy at all.
In such cases, using simple drag-n-drop design tools with ready-to-use templates can really make a difference to your business.
Don’t Use Cheesy Stock Photos
Free stock photos are a must for your graphic design needs, especially when you’re working with a limited budget.
However, with the kind of free stuff available online, you’ll need to sift through a lot of poor photos before you find the ones you can use.
It’s a bad idea to get lazy and settle for mediocre stock photos. They’ll make your brand look cheap and outdated.
Before picking a photo, ask yourself if you’d be proud to make that picture a part of your brand. What will you audience think when they look at that image?
Only use high quality stock photo websites when looking for a stock photo for your project.
Let me save you some time and frustration by sharing some of the best websites to find free stock images.
- Pixabay – About 350,000 free images to pick from.
- Picjumbo – Free stock images for personal as well as commercial usage.
- Picography – Beautiful, high-quality images.
- Unsplash – High-resolution free images every week.
- Gratisography – Free photos with no copyright restrictions.
- StockSnap.io – Hundreds of images added every week.
- Pexels – Lots of photos with new ones added every day.
Don’t Tell. Show With Infographics
Content marketing is one of the best ways to reach out to and influence your target audience. And it’s power is amplified even further with visual content.
Sharing valuable visual content is better than trying to continually persuade prospects to buy your product or service.
One such type of content is an infographic. Infographics work great in providing information to your audience in an engaging manner.
For example, why just tell prospects about the features of your product can you can show them with an infographic.
Visuals have a way of driving your message home in a way that text just can’t. An image illustrating the main features of your product will not only grab your followers’ attention, but will actually keep them interested long enough to learn about your product.
Image Source: Pinterest
Though you won’t see a positive ROI from infographics unless you have been making and sharing them consistently for some time.
Until that, infographics are very effective to get more traffic, inbound links and more exposure for your business online.
Utilize Visual Contests
There are a number of ways you can use visual content as the driver of your social media contest. You’re limited only by your creativity.
Image Source: Kohl’s on Facebook
Here are some examples based on which you can run contests that use image.
- You can share an image and ask your prospects to think of a caption for the photo. The best caption wins.
- Ask your followers to post photos in which they are using or enjoying the outcome of your product or service. The best image wins.
- Share an incomplete sentence with your audience and ask them to fill in the blank portion.
These are all great ways to create buzz around and sell your product without being overly promotional.
If you have been following social media marketing trends for any amount of time, you know that use of visual content has skyrocketed over the years. In fact, compelling visual content is now one of the top strategies if you want to drive more engagement, traffic and sales.
As compared to plain text, images grab attention, encourage commenting and sharing, and overall make your content more relatable and engaging. Other than that, using the right visual content also boosts click-throughs, increasing your traffic and lead generation.
However, I still often notice so many businesses not taking advantage of this huge opportunity. Even the ones who are trying to incorporate visual content into their marketing mix are making mistakes that cost them traffic and sales.
Part of the reason for these mistakes is lack of knowledge about using images to build relationships and sell your products or services with social media.
Hopefully, this post will help you use visual content as an integral part of your social media efforts.