How to Pick the Right Social Platform to Grow Your Sales

Your salespeople are online, and so are their prospects and customers. They make up the millions of people who are on social media on a daily basis. How can your sales team reach out to people in their pipeline?

This infographic breaks down 12 different popular social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as well as sites you may not be as familiar with, like Meerkat and Vimeo. For example, Facebook is ideal for building a community around your brand, and the majority of its users are college graduates or people who have some college education. And a site some salespeople may neglect is YouTube. It has over 1 billion users, and the site—even just the mobile site—reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network.

YouTube and Facebook each offer unique ways to connect with prospects and customers online, and with stats on those two sites, as well as information on ten more sites, your salespeople can reach out more effectively.

Check out the infographic below to learn more on how social media can help drive sales.

https://www.salesforce.com/ca/blog/2016/02/social-platform-to-grow-sales.html

Instagram For Business

InstagramForBusinessInstagram marketing leverages a popular visual platform to build customer engagement and brand recognition on a massive scale. Instagram is swiftly becoming a respected branding tool, if used the right way, will result in increased customer loyalty and retention for savvy businesses. Why? Because visual content elicits emotions, it tells a story and it connects with people in a way that no other medium can.

Instagram reported a huge growth in their user base from 200 Mil to 300 Mil over a period of 9 months

Instagram reported a huge growth in their user base from 200 Million to 300 million over a period of 9 months, this now puts them ahead of Twitter in the number of active users. To date, there are over 2,500 brands that have adopted Instagram to market their product and services. Brands on Instagram get more engagement per follower than Facebook or Twitter, according to Forrester.   

Forrester Instagram Stats on Brands

Source: Forrester

 To help you think about how you could use Instagram for your content and visual marketing needs, I am sharing five Instagram case studies of businesses that have increased their brand awareness and revenue by using immense creativity to capture more audience’s attention.

Instagram marketing for Business: 5 Stunning Case Studies Illustrate The Social Platforms Branding Power

 Levi’s

Levi's instagram marketing case study

Levi’s is an iconic San Francisco denim clothing brand. Its jeans are the most known and emulated clothing in world. Levis has 359,729 followers on Instagram. Levis wanted to be at the forefront of customers’ minds and increase its brand awareness among audiences.

Levis ran a 9 day campaign in November; they showcased four photos of their customers who were dressed with unique denim fabric and shared photos of memorable times in beautiful outdoor spaces. These photos ads were aimed at 18-34 aged audiences in U.S.

Results were awesome, as Levi’s posts reached 7.4 million viewers who visit Instagram on a regular basis to get motivated by well-crafted images, and they saw a 24% lift in ad recall.

Director of digital Levis Julie Channing said, “Not only were we able to reach a large audience with our ads on Instagram, but the metrics clearly show we engaged with them in a memorable and authentic way. We’re pleased with these results.”

Chobani

chobani case study on Instagram marketing

Chobani is founded by Hamdi Ulukaya in 2005, New York. They are unique in creating their appetizing and nutritive yogurt that is prepared with natural ingredients. The goal of Chobani was to change the outlook of people towards yogurt being great for any meal rather than only for breakfast.

Chobani ran a four week campaign in which they targeted females aged 18-49 in U.S. They posted images of quick breakfasts, a savory snack and indulgent dessert images that can be made with yogurt.

Chobani reached 4 million users in U.S., 22% lift in recall, 7% lift in people who used Chobani anytime in a day.

Jessica Lauria, Director of Brand Communications Chobani said “Instagram is a great platform for Chobani. It allows us to show how people actually use our product and inspires new ways to savor. This campaign showcased delicious creations and different times of day, extending our existing presence of real, beautiful imagery to new audiences and effectively changing people’s perceptions about enjoying Chobani throughout the day.”

Ben and Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s is an American ice-cream company founBen and Jerry's Instagram marketing case studyded in 1978. Ben & Jerry’s wanted to drive brand awareness for the creative and fun-loving brand and its new flavor launch: “Scotchy Scotch Scotch”.

Ben & Jerry’s , one of the first brands to join Instagram in 2011, ran an eight day campaign that included four photos of ice-cream in a cartoon, bucket and cone to tell its visual story. Photo ads were targeted to users among 18-35 age in the U.S. It managed the frequency of ads so that users were able to see Ben & Jerry’s ad only three times on average.

Ben & Jerry’s reached 9.8 million people in the U.S., saw 33% lift in ad recall and 17% more people became aware of its new flavor launch.

Mike Hayes, Digital Marketing Manager of Ben & Jerry’s said, “Since its launch, Instagram has provided us with an amazing platform to connect with our fans and tell our story visually. Ads on Instagram let us reach and engage with more fans about our flavors, fun and values.0

You Fresh Naturals

 You Fresh Naturals Instagram marketing case study You Fresh natural is a nut gourmet butter company that focuses on natural, gluten-free, and vegan products. It has 83,530 followers on Instagram. The goal of You fresh Natural was to create healthy treats for all kinds of palettes. It also wanted to increase brand awareness and conversion sales.

Jay, CEO of You Fresh Naturals, knew that an Instagram account was needed to achieve its goal. The company used hashtags, creative campaigns, Tagging Friends and Affiliate Selling with its Instagram friends.

The company earned $34,000 in one month, out of which $10,000 were earned only by affiliate selling. It made $7,827 in one week, found 1,980 new customers and made $1,290 per sale with Instagram.

CEO Jay Lawrence said, “Instagram is modern. The scroll function means it’s in your face. With Instagram, I’ll literarily get 20 comments in two minutes. It’s the best platform I’ve ever used to attract customers to my products. I knew Instagram comment selling would work. People love the impulsive side. If I put a post of an order for two jars, I would get a hundred comments in 40 minutes.”

Ikea
ikea instagram marketing case study

One of the pioneers in the selling and designing of ready to assemble furniture and home accessories, Ikea was started 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden. Ikea has its presence in more than 40 countries, and it owns more than 340 stores

Ikea wanted to target a huge customer base of people who are young and constantly on the move. In order to promote their new 2014 PS collections, Ikea teamed up with the Moscow based agency Instinct to create a unique campaign on Instagram. It created an account within Instagram to showcase its new 2014 PS collection. The Instagram account, ikea_ps_2014, functions just like a regular website. It has 12 image tabs displaying the different product categories, like a virtual catalog.

It included a call to action in its timeline to generate a pro-active feeling in its client base. The initial numbers are encouraging, with the account having gathered more than 12,000 followers since the promotion started in June.

As you can see from the examples above, each company had a goal in mind and a strategy for achieving it with Instagram. Make sure you clearly identify your goal and then develop the right visual marketing strategy to promote it.

http://www.jolynnoblak.com/instagram-for-business-5-stunning-case-studies-illustrate-the-social-platforms-branding-power/

 

5 Instagram Case Studies and What You Can Learn

InstagramCaseStudiesIt’s no longer a surprise that Instagram has grown to over 400 million active monthly users. What is surprising is the fact that only 23% of brands use it.

Why would anyone want to use Instagram to sell products or services? I mean it’s just a place to post selfies, food pics, your OOTD, and baby pics… Right?

Wrong!

It has become one of the top engaging social media platforms for businesses.

Instagram gives businesses the opportunity to share their stories with a vast audience in an inspired, original and creative environment. But are Instagram ads a wise investment?

Initially the ads were only available to large companies. However, recently the ability to run ads on Instagram has been opened up to everyone. So let’s take a look at 5 of Instagram’s pilot case studies.

1. Bloom & Wild

Bloom & Wild used the Power Editor feature to create their Instagram ads. First, they took their existing email list and created a lookalike audience from it.

Next, they tested their ad images by running a few low dollar campaigns posting like they normally would. However now they would compare the engagement between the photos and whichever photo received the most attention would be used for their main ad campaign.

They found that videos performed best for them and had the highest conversion rate.

After selecting their winning ad they scaled up the ad spend and added a strong call to action on their ads.

The Results “With the use of Instagram ads, Bloom & Wild increased their bouquet orders by 62%, and saw many new customers commenting on their account and buying bouquets from their shop.”

This is a great example of how a small business can be successful on Instagram. They didn’t have the money that a large corporation would. They simply created a small, but engaged following on Instagram.

2. Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees is a great example of small dollar physical products benefiting from Instagram Ads.

To promote their new collection, known as the lip crayon line, Burt’s Bees looked to Instagram Ads. Their goal was to expand awareness and increase ad recall within the beauty community.

They knew they could find a booming beauty environment on Instagram and looked to seize the growing attention of their market by showing off their products in a original, natural way.

First, they targeted females between 18 & 24 in the United States. Then they delivered ads to them that showcased their product and corresponded with their theme of “Delight Your Lips.”

The Results Burt’s saw a 5pt lift in product awareness and a 16pt lift in ad recall. I guess on “selfie central” it’s pretty important to know what you have on your lips.

3. Mercedes-Benz

Pretty much anyone who can drive has heard of Mercedes-Benz. So what was their goal when running Instagram ads? The well known car company was launching the GLA, which was their first compact SUV. They wanted to gain exposure in the new category.

First, they decided they would create engaging ads on both Instagram and Facebook for their followers and those that would see the ads. Then they reached out to photographers and asked them the question, “What would you pack in your GLA?” the photographers would take a picture of what they would bring, but the items would be laid on custom GLA cargo mat to show how versatile the vehicle was for a weekend trip.

Here are some of the photos they posted as ads:

The Results The automobile company saw a 14pt lift in Mercedes-Benz Instagram ads, a 54% increase in website visits from Instagram and Facebook branding ads, a 580% increase in website visits when Facebook and Instagram ads were combined with Facebook direct response ads.

4. PHILADELPHIA

Another example of a large brand utilizing the platform is Philadelphia (cheese). What type of boosts could a cheese company see? Philadelphia was one of the first companies or brands in Australia to use the Instagram advertising.

Philadelphia used very creative pictures to capture the hearts of foodies everywhere. Who can resist a food photo on Instagram? Check out one of their ad photos below.

Their goals were to target the 25-40 year old females that were prone to throw a casual get together party. The pictures helped show what you could do with the Philadelphia cream cheese to help those party planners. Looks like cream cheese is used for more than just bagels!

The Results Philadelphia saw an 8pt lift in message association, an 8pt lift in purchase intent and most notably they saw a 41% sales uplift.

5. LEVI’S

Lastly we have this classic American retailer. Levi’s focus has been the idea of living in the moment, and they express that in their photos. It helps that they have become the most recognized jeans in the world, but you would think because of that they wouldn’t see a benefit from the Instagram ads, wrong!

Levi was one of the first advertisers on Instagram. In the first 9 days their ads featured people wearing the iconic clothing while sharing a beautiful moment outdoors

They focused the ads on people within the age group of 18-34 in the U.S. They emphasized for their marketing campaign that users would see the image twice on average, and the picture would be put in the user’s feed only once.

The Results For their ad campaign Levi’s reached 7.4 million people in the U.S and they saw a 24pt lift in ad recall. That’s a huge reach targeting millennials.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2015/11/instagram-case-studies-learn/

The Future of Social Media: 8 Trends That Will Take Charge in 2016

social-media-439155_1280

What does 2016 have in store for your social media marketing strategy? Want to know the trends that you may need to integrate into your plans this year?

Social media platforms are fast changing and ever evolving places. Keeping up with those changes not only helps you stay better educated, but it also ensures your business stays at the forefront of your customers minds.

What changes will happen in 2016 though? CJG Digital Marketing share their predictions in the infographic below.

The Future of Social Media 8 Trends That Will Take Charge in 2016http://blog.red-website-design.co.uk/2016/01/11/the-future-of-social-media-8-trends-that-will-take-charge-in-2016/

11 Ways to Use Images on Social Media

One of the interesting developments in social media over the past few years is the rise of visual aspects of social sharing.

Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine are three examples of visual-based content sharing. Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and even LinkedIn have all expanded their image-based features in recent times. Clearly, the bar has been raised for visual content. It’s important to make sure you have a plan for visual content and best practices for sharing it. And you don’t have to be a professional designer or photographer. Here are 10 easy ways to impress prospects, customers, fans, and followers with images: 1. Make Sure Every Blog Post has an Image  Adding one image to a blog post makes your blog much more visually exciting. If you don’t have internal images to use, buy stock images from places like Shutterstock or iStock (so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement issues). 2. Add Twitter Card Capability to your Blog  A little work by your tech team can add Twitter cards to your site, so that when someone shares content it will also include a thumbnail image and content excerpt. This automatically adds a visual element to every tweet done from your blog. 3. Use Warm Colors in Images  Our own tests show that warm colors (yellow, orange, red, bright green, aqua blue) attract more attention than drab colors like gray, steel blue, or brown. It all has to do with the psychology of color. 4. Use Minimalist or Uncluttered Images  Images with a lot of detail are hard to see when scaled down to a small thumbnail on Facebook. A highly detailed image can become unrecognizable at smaller sizes, so make sure the subject of an image is large and uncluttered. 5. Use Horizontal Images  Vertical images may get cut off when shared on social sites. It’s best to use horizontal images whenever possible. A 4:3 ratio is good, (e.g., 800 x 600 pixels). 6. Keep Infographics Short  Infographics can be interesting content, but when creating infographics, keep them short and horizontal, too, if possible. Most infographics are really long, and when shared on social media become unrecognizable as thumbnails. Plus long vertical infographics don’t fit well in Pinterest and other visual-sharing sites. 7. Use Funny Images on Occasion  Funny images such as cartoons, Someecards or meme images of icons like Grumpy Cat from sites like memegenerator.net add a light and humorous touch to your social sharing. Most businesses will want to avoid off-color humor, snarky humor, or anything that makes fun of certain classes of people. Stick to “business humor,” as most of the time it is safer. 8. Use Selfies (with restraint)  Selfies are fun, and the occasional selfie of the business owner or other staff or the company mascot pet can humanize your business. Use them sparingly, however, as studies show that most people follow brands on social sites for discounts, special offers, and relevant information they can use. 9. Test your Own Social-Sharing Buttons  Most blogs have buttons to share on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. But have you tried them out recently to see what your shares look like? Sometimes you have to tweak those buttons to pull the correct images and display them properly. 10. Find some professional graphics talent  If you are not very good with Photoshop or another graphics program, and don’t have anyone in house, find a freelancer who accepts quick, small projects. Fiverr is perfect for this. Then have graphics created professionally on occasion to use on social media. 11. Create knockout presentations and share them  PowerPoint presentations can be shared on sites like SlideShare or even transformed into YouTube videos. So next time you give a talk or present to a client, repurpose that presentation and turn it into additional shareable content.

http://www.inc.com/partners/comcast/11-ways-to-use-images-on-social-media.html

The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites

best-times-social-media-posts.jpeg

Social media is one of the best ways to amplify the great content you’re creating. But it isn’t enough to just post content to social whenever you feel like it. Some times are better than others.

So … When’s the best time to post content to social media?

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer. Different businesses may find different days and times work best for them. In fact, timing often depends on the platform you’re using, how your target audience interacts with that platform, the region(s) you’re targeting, the content of your post (e.g. funny or serious), and your goals (e.g. clicks versus shares).

That being said, there is ample data out there on optimal times to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. In the infographic below, we’ve pulled together data and research collected by the folks at CoSchedule from a variety of sources, including QuickSprout, SurePayroll, The Huffington Post, Buffer, TrackMaven, Fast Company, and KISSmetrics.

Think of this data as a general guideline, and use it to help you find the optimal posting times for your business.

Social_Times_IG_JN-01.png


http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-times-post-pin-tweet-social-media-infographic

How to Use Instagram Photos to Boost Your Email Engagement


Marketers love email marketing. And marketers love Instagram. But very rarely do they bring these two loves together: Curalate found that only 14% of marketers are using social media images in their email marketing efforts, and marketers leverage Instagram content less than 3% of the time. 


One online retailer recently experimented with using Instagram images to drive impressions and purchases from its email marketing campaigns, and the combination led to a 7X increase in engagement on the site.

Read more about how Instagram images are currently being used in marketing to discover the opportunities of using visuals in your email marketing campaigns.

 

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-email-marketing-engagement

The Rise of Social Commerce


HELLO (1)


Social networks have come a long way from the simple days of connecting and communicating with friends. Over the past few years we have watched the likes of Twitter and Facebook develop into content promotion platforms as marketers, advertisers and brands push to drive users to conversions through engaging and clever content.

This has always been a process that involved the user clicking through to an external site to complete the action, but that has always left marketers asking themselves one of the most frustrating questions: how do we truly measure ROI on social? Well this seemingly unanswerable question may be about to be answered as social networks have begun to fully immerse themselves in social media, all with the help of a simple ‘buy’ button and here we have the rise of social commerce.


What is “social commerce”?


The term ‘social commerce’ is one that we’re increasingly seeing as social networks take on the role of selling for your favourite brands. Acting in the same style as an ecommerce site, social channels take on the role of placing orders and processing payments, cutting out the need for users to click through to an external site to complete the transaction.

Barely a week goes by without an update from one of the social giants in an arms race to reach social commerce success, so we’ve rounded up the latest.

Facebook


Facebook broke social media records and caused quite a stir this year by generating higher referral traffic for content publishers than Google for the first time. It’s no secret that Facebook is becoming quite the social media powerhouse with competitive ad rates and deals with the world’s biggest media publishers, but now it is about to introduce shoppable pages thanks to collaboration with Shopify. The term ‘Facebook Commerce’ has even begun to pop up. Watch this space as your Facebook feed begins to emerge with product pages from all your favourite brands. But does the word ‘intrusive’ spring to mind? There are already rumblings of discontent.

Twitter


It’s not been the best year for Twitter, with a drop in share price and the failure to gain the mass increases in users its competitors have enjoyed. This is not exactly encouraging to brands looking to invest in the social channel as part of their marketing strategy. Whilst Twitter is working and trialling a ‘buy’ button, it has also rolled out ‘product collections’ with description, price and the option to buy, book or visit the site for more information.

This is currently being trialled on a small number of accounts. These lack on-site checkout but do show what other users are tweeting about them and therefore help provide reviews for users. However, this format seems slightly out of place on Twitter, a place where users come to keep up to date with what is going on around the world or share what they ate for dinner – not buy a pair of trainers.

KD 8   Twitter
Add caption

Pinterest


Back in 2012, Bizrate announced that 70% of users out of their respondent online shopper survey used Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy, while only 17% used Facebook to seek inspiration. Since then, 

Pinterest V Facebook

Pinterest has introduced pins. The network has the advantage of being a visually strong network where users come to seek ideas for anything from cooking to fashion to home décor. Providing the option to purchase what they have been looking at gives Pinterest the edge other social networks don’t have when it comes to social commerce. It isn’t a case of products being pushed at them, it’s a case of users having the ability to buy what they’ve already been seeking, thus making it feel much less intrusive, and probably even useful (at least until brands start spamming the service). Could this be a more successful story than Facebook and Twitter?

Instagram


Instagram is the dark horse in the social commerce race. With no option to post links with images, the only form of ecommerce functionality was brands resorting to ‘like to buy’ style sites outside of Instagram. This made Instagram seem an unlikely form for revenue generation for brands. However with the introduction of a call to action button in ads, Instagram has upped the stakes in social commerce success. In September 2015 Instagram hit 400 million users, surpassing Twitter’s 300 million user base, and is predicted to power ad revenues to $1.48 billion in 2016 and $2.81 billion by 2017. With the option to ‘shop now’, ‘install now’, ’sign up’ and ‘learn more’, Instagram is one to watch, particularly as all users have no choice but to experience these ads on their feed. Currently there is no in-app checkout like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are aiming to achieve.

Would you buy from social media? We found out


Social networks’ primary function is to provide a method of communication, but does this mean users will want to purchase during social hours? The likes of Facebook are constantly transforming ways in which adverts can reach its users; there is even talk of adverts in messenger from brand to consumer. But this could become too invasive for users.

However, even if social commerce is a hit, it doesn’t mean it will be the same rule for all social channels. As highlighted, Pinterest provides directly what users want to see. The blend of commerce will appear natural within the existing format, just with the addition of a buy button. Whereas with Facebook, the pushing of products on a network primarily used for socialising with friends could run the risk of coming across as intrusive.

Pinterest V Facebook

PushON ran a social survey questioning whether users would be happy to buy from social media, and there will be an in-depth post on the subject shortly. However, an early result suggested that 17% of respondents felt social media marketing is intrusive and social media should just be place for them to socialise with friends.

Trust in brands also plays a huge role in users’ confidence in social media. 50% of our respondents admitted they would feel more confident buying from a brand’s site than on social media. One respondent explained that they didn’t believe a social network could provide enough information around a product to encourage the purchasing decision that an ecommerce site could. This is an interesting point. High street apparel may succeed due to needing minimum information, but larger purchases such as technology, home furnishings and holidays require vast amounts of information and planning before the consumer makes the decision of purchase. Can the likes of Facebook or Twitter really help drive those big decisions or will it just be too much distance between brand and consumer?

One to Watch


These days so much goes into ecommerce success for retailers. From flowing and creative websites to well designed and produced supporting content around services or products teamed with a strong marketing campaign. By social networks stepping in as ecommerce platforms, is it drawing brands too far away from the purchase process for customers?

The same applies to customers. Will they trust social networks when shopping for brands, or is it a case of social networks immersing into an area consumers aren’t ready for? Social commerce will definitely be one to rise, but could it fall?

http://www.pushon.co.uk/blog/the-rise-of-social-commerce/
 

The Science Behind Brand Success on Instagram

Instagram_Success.jpeg
Instagram has been slow to open up the network to advertising. It was only in March that the company allowed select brands to include links to additional content in its ads. 

Now, the platform is moving into the ecommerce realm with its recently announced “Shop Now” buttons, more sophisticated targeting, and an API for automated advertising.
 
There is still a lot of opportunity for brands that wish to bootstrap it and build an audience without a paid budget. Kissmetrics created this infographic to highlight the best times to post, the most engaging filters and colors, and how to increase your following on the platform. 
 
The-Science-of-Brands-on-Instagram.png
 
 

Want People to Share Your Visual Content? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes

visual-content-mistakes-on-social-media.jpeg
In the perpetual race to stand out on social media, visual content is pulling in front and kicking up speed.
 
According to Socially Sorted, the image-focused Instagram is now surpassing Twitter in daily mobile traffic. And Facebook posts with images generate an estimated 53% more likes that solely text-based posts.

While many have noticed the trend and jumped on board, there are still many marketers out there spinning their wheels without traction. There is an invisible, constantly changing culture on social media platforms determined by popular demand, and if you aren’t abiding by the unwritten rules, you will find yourself left in the virtual dust.
 
Here are some of the leading causes of harm to social media relevancy when it comes to visual content — and how to fix them.
 

6 Visual Content Mistakes People Make on Social

 

Mistake #1: Your images don’t reflect your brand.

 
Think of your brand image as a combination of your businesses beliefs, services and your unique value-add to the world.
 
Now, ask yourself: Do your images reflect this?
 
Your fans followed you for a reason. Either they like your product or what you stand for. Or, in most cases, they like both. This means you technically already know what your fans like — and creating visual content that reflects that will help massively boost your chances of them sharing it.
 
The example below from Nike’s Instagram Account doesn’t display their iconic “swoosh” logo in the photo, but it does display the lifestyle that’s inherited with their apparel. This is a great example of how you can embody brand essence without obvious visual elements, such as a logo.
 
nike-instagram.png
 
Try using images that are related to what you can offer with your goods and services, rather than putting your logo on every piece of content you put out there.
 

Mistake #2: Your designs don’t stand out.

 
Among the millions of posts flooding through social media every day, do you think mediocre visual content will separate you from the crowd? If no one notices your content, they’re certainly not going to share your stuff.
 
One way to dramatically improve the overall look and feel of your designs is to experiment with different color palettes. What are the feelings you want to evoke from your social media audience? Understanding the impact of color on your audience is key to appealing to their emotions, and encouraging them to share your content. Try and replicate that feeling with the colors you choose.
impact-of-color.png
Image Credit: WebPageFX
 
One of my favourite ways to experiment with color combinations is to extract different hues from images with a color picker tool, like the Eyedropper Chrome extensionTake a look at the two color palettes below:
 
color-palettes.png

From the left, the first is sun drenched and warm evokes a familiar or nostalgic feeling. The second is bright and modern, immediately evoking a happy or “vacation” feel to the image. Try finding images you like, and use the color picker tool to extract different hues and create a mood.
 
Another way to stop the mindless scroll when you browse social media? Edit and enhance the photos you post. Up the saturation, adjust the contrast, add a filter. These are techniques to help make your images look more professional and unique.
 
Here’s a great example of a jaw-dropping enhanced image from the @weddingideas_brides Instagram account.
 
wedding-idea-instagram.png

 
Remember: Your goal is to draw the audience in.
 

Mistake #3: Your images are low-quality.

 
If you’re using low-quality images, you won’t “wow” your followers — and, in turn, they might not share your posts. Your visual content is a direct reflection of the quality of your brand, and it will also reflect on your followers if they choose to share it on their accounts.
 
If you think you don’t have the budget or resources to hire a photographer or purchase professional stock photos, don’t freak out. Luckily, there’s a ton of high quality content out there that’s also totally free.
 
Along with choosing high quality images to promote your brand, consider this checklist:
  • Are your images a high enough resolution so they don’t appear pixelated on larger devices?
  • Can you read the text on the images clearly?
  • Do your photos and graphics appear as if they were professionally done?
Below is an example of a lower quality Facebook profile photo that wasn’t formatted to the correct size, creating an abundance of dead space around the image and hard-to-read text:
 
roto-rooter-facebook.png

 
While you may provide a great product or service, it’s important to ensure your online presence matches that same quality.
 
Now, consider the next image from Elite Daily’s Facebook Page and take a mental inventory of what draws you in:
 
elite-daily-facebook.png
 
Elite Daily consistently accompanies its blog posts with striking, high-quality images. Notice how the image in this Facebook post is also highly relevant to the topic. That’s another important factor in boosting the shareability of the post.
 

Mistake #4: You didn’t format your design for the right social platform.

 
If you don’t format your designs for the right platform, then your images will appear cropped and low quality — and that’s not going to impress your audience.
 
Always check the correct dimensions for your social media content designs before you even start designing.
 
Below, I’ve pulled out three designs optimized for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Notice the difference in shape between. This shows why correctly formatting images is essential to keep them looking their best.
 
correct-dimensions.png
 

Mistake #5: There’s too much text.

 
People love visual content on social media because it’s easy to digest. Too much text on your images has the opposite effect. A picture is worth a thousand words — and in an age where our attention spans last only 140 characters, it’ll serve well not to overwhelm your audience.
Be quick, concise, and let your visual content do the talking for you. 
 
Check out the image below from Peek’s Twitter account:
 
peek-tweet.png
 
The image is a simple picture taken from the window seat on a plane. No text; just the reader’s imagination of the possibility of travel. Consider keeping your pictures and graphics clear of overlaid text, or only using text where necessary.
 
Have a lot to say? Your best bet is to grab your reader’s attention with a compelling image, and then direct them to a blog post or website that offers more information.
 

Mistake #6: You’re not following the trends.

 
Trends, especially on social media, flourish because of popular appeal. If you don’t tap into popular social trends, then you’ll miss out on a huge opportunity to get your visual content shared.
 
Take the time to explore other brands’ social media pages that are generating a high level of success with their visual content. One way to do this is to search for your brand keywords in Pinterest and keep a note of content with a large amount of pins. By replicating posts with similar visual content, you’ll be instantly increasing the chances of getting your content shared.
 
pinterest-research.png
 
Of course, don’t forget to add your own personal touch or flair. That’s what makes your brand unique, after all. But in the case of social media, a little research can go a long way.
 

Over to You

 
If you’re already using visual content on your social media pages, you’re off to a great start. Even if you’re not a design pro, all it takes is a bit of research and the right tools to become a visual marketing pro.