If you want to effectively deliver your message today… you need to understand the importance of Visuals in Social Communications!
“Did you know humans process images 60,000 times faster than text? Or that people remember only 20% of what they read alone, compared to 80% which they see!”(Clementi)
Well don’t feel bad because this was news to me too and then I started to do a little more research into the matter to see just exactly what was going on.
As it turns out, we as human beings are visually wired for survival. The need to see what is happening around us served to keep us fed and to keep us alive and any one working in Social Media today knows that things really haven’t changed all that much when it comes to giving your audience what they want.
We all remember writing those epic blog posts of a thousand words or sometimes more, to then be abbreviated by our Facebook posts and shortened once more to our Tweets, now at 140 characters and still people just don’t respond nearly as well as they do to Rich Media. So let’s take a look at the importance of visuals in social communication.
- Facebook, photos are ‘Liked’ more than twice as often as text updates, and some 700 videos are shared on Twitter each and every minute.
- 700 Youtube videos are uploaded and shared every minute.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.
- 37% increase in engagement is experienced when Facebook posts include photographs.
- Pinterest generates the 4th largest amount of web traffic worldwide.
- Engagement on Instagram is 10 times greater than on other social media platforms. (Clementi)
That fact is, “a picture is worth more than a 1000 words“. People respond, connect and retain far better when given the choice between text and visual. I would much rather watch a visually compelling documentary than have to read about the topic – for the longest time I thought I was just lazy, turns out – I’m supposed to process information better this way. What a relief. I do spend more time imagining myself with a Brand’s product and how I would use it when I see a picture or video of it. Visualizing leads me to imagining, which turns into feeling or developing an emotion towards everything that image or video had initiated.
Truth be told, I do enjoy that same process when reading a good book but we are talking about Social Media Marketing in this case and so we need to understand that delivering our message as Marketers to our audience needs to be delivered in the quickest and most effective manner that our audience is going to positively respond to. As our devices advance, our interactions with them seem to cause us to act more instinctively as opposed to cognitively. The science behind Social Media Marketing is advancing at a rapid pace and the predictability of the consumer is increasingly becoming more and more refined. Visual Communication and Rich Media taps all of us at our most instinctive core and so if you want to really move your audience, my advice to you is, “Get Visual!”
1. Clementi, Justine. “The Importance of Visual Communication.” Red PR Public Relations The Importance of Visual Communication Comments. Redpr.com.au, 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
2. Moritz, Donna Moritz. The Shift to Visual Social Media – 6 Tips for Business [Infographic]. Digital image. Socially Sorted. Http://sociallysorted.com.au, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
Summary of 3 Videos From HootSuite University Lectures Series:
The three videos I chose to watch from the Hootsuite University Lecture series were:
- “Be Local Everywhere – Grow Your Online Community Globally” with Dave Olson.
- “5 Decisions that Drive Customer Loyalty” with Jeanne Bliss
- “Where Context Meets Content” with Gary Vaynerchuk
Be Local Everywhere – is a great place to start when you are trying to learn and understand the importance of connecting with your potential audience on a Global scale. Here are some excellent tips to follow as you attempt to make those connections.
- Always start with listening – you want to find as many mentions of you or your company as possible – including all misspellings or other possible references
- Look for who the influencers or animators of those conversations are and connect with them by identifying who you are in relation to the conversation
- Before you ask for anything it is important to start by giving something that is helpful or is something of value that contributes to the conversation
- Always be respectful
- Geo target your audience to ensure that you are going to be relevant to them
- Be aware of the Time Zones, Cultural Differences and any other Social Differences that could affect how you and your message is perceived
Our customers are no longer anonymous today. If you take the time, you can find out everything you need to know to about your customer in order to better serve them which ultimately will better serve you and your business.
5 Decisions That Drive Customer Loyalty – teaches us or should I say “reminds us” of what it truly means to be authentic. When 22% of buyers today are influenced by traditional advertising and 78% from Social Media, this boils down to “How They Felt”. Following these 5 tips will help you and your Business deliver your message authentically and build life time customer relationships by connecting with the emotionally.
- Believe – in your customer first and they will believe in you. Start your relationship with trusting the fact that your customer is on your side as opposed to you convincing them why they should believe you.
- Clarity – we are all in business to make money but why are we in the businesses that we are in. There is a higher purpose or reason behind why we choose our particular business and when you can clearly convey this sentiment to your customer you can truly make an authentic connection.
- Real – By being real or genuine and dropping your attempts to be slick or everything to everyone you will yield your true customers. You are not going to have everyone as a customer… ever. It is better to identify who your real customers are and serve them better.
- Be there – You have to be committed to your responsibility of servicing your customers. On Social Media platforms today, it is imperative to be timely with customers trying to connect with you. You aren’t always going to be able to solve their problem on the spot but the quicker you can acknowledge their attempt to connect with you shows them that you are there and are listening.
- Saying your sorry – Truly apologize when there has been a problem. Do so with humility and remorse. People can tell when you are not sincere. Solve the problem and thank your customer for pointing out this issue.
A couple of other interesting take a ways from this lecture were to hire “memory makers” and not necessarily the most skilled or highest educated employees. People truly connect with other people and not systems or procedures. Put yourself through your company’s process first so you know exactly what your customer is seeing first hand. And finally, get rid of all the things that just don’t work anymore or that don’t make sense.
Where Context meets Content – This video lecture echoes human kinds history of communicating through storytelling and how it translates into today’s role in Social Media. We are witnessing the end of Traditional Media’s strangle hold it had on all of us in one-way conversations from advertisers to consumers. Today’s marketplace revolves around a two-way conversation between advertiser and consumer and Gary’s analogy of “the deer having shotguns” sums this point up the best. What is important to understand now is that each and every different Social Media Platform calls for a unique approach to the kinds of actions we take there. What you do and say on Facebook would not be what you would do on Linkedin for example.
Understanding how your customers use each of these platforms and adopting an appropriate delivery for your message to them on each platform is vital. The truth is that Social Media is still a relatively new medium of communication (about 10 years) but communication from one person to another has not changed. Word of mouth marketing has historically been the best way grow your business over the centuries. It is as true today with the only difference being that your reach which may have only been a neighbourhood or city just a few short years ago has now become the entire planet if you so choose.
I hope you have found these short summaries useful and are now ready to take on a new approach to interacting with your audience and communities on all the various Social Media Platforms that best suit you. Practicing these simple techniques will undoubtedly set you apart from your competition and become easier to do as you grow your Social Media Presence.
If there is something I have missed that you would like to add, please feel free to comment below.
Jeanne Bliss. 5 Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty . Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. May 2012. 28/10/2013
Gary Vaynerchuk. Where Context Meets Content. Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. November 2012. 28/10/2013
Dave Olson. Be Local Everywhere: Growing Your Online Community. Hootsuite University Lecture Videos. Web. July 2012. 28/10/2013
If you don’t think understanding Network Influence is important, you may want to keep reading… It is how “we”, as human beings, have learned to survive.
Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Well it should because it is as true now as it has ever been. For thousands of years human beings have inherently understood the importance of being linked to one another in a social capacity for the simplest of reasons… SURVIVAL!
Where did you find water? How did you make that fire? Do you know know where I can get food? Where is the enemy?
In order to answers these life and death questions, we as human beings and more importantly, social creatures, have depended on our ability to develop social networks, stay connected and help each other not only survive but thrive, establish position and create the world we have today. The risk of not being connected to a social network put you on the short list for a character appearance with Darwin in his clever little book on Evolution.
Click forward a few thousand years and Network Influence is as important today as it has ever been. Considerably more fine tuned and definitely further reaching. The telegraph, phone and fax machine gave us a further reach to expanding our networks and therefor giving us a greater ability to influence one another. Factor in Network effect and Metcalfe’s Law illustrates the value of a network based on the ability to link the number of nodes/unique connections to establish it’s value. This ability to connect grew by leaps and bounds but had its limitations. (Metclafe)
Thanks to Berners-Lee and his clever little invention of the World Wide Web, we now have group forming networks made possible by Social Media Platforms, allowing for sub-groups to develop alongside of our immediate social networks. This brings us to Reed’s Law which explodes Metcalfe’s Law exponentially. Our connect-ability has never been easier.
The matters in which we knowingly or unknowingly influence our connections is staggering. Our social circles are affected by all that we do and by all who we are connected to. We live in a time where it is possible to actually see just how far reaching the Butterfly Effect is.
“Metcalfe’s Law.” Metcalfe’s Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2013.
What is the effect on Business, Government and Not-For-Profits in the Age of Social Networking Platforms?
Not-for-Profits take the lead… “Well, they do have the easiest hand to play.”
Now that Not-for-Profits have a very cost effective way to enroll and engage with an even larger number of potential donors, their understanding of how to use social media to its fullest has given them the opportunity to play to all of our most basic emotions and capitalize on our altruistic behaviour. Simple public displays of appreciation on our favourite Social Media Platforms by Charities, to its Donors, for their efforts, feeds the Charity’s bottom line and our egos.
Pretty fair trade, don’t you think?
Charities beware, step out of line with your reporting or let Joe Public find out how much of what you raise actually gets paid to your cause and it might just be the last dollar you take.
Businesses jumping on the Social Media Band Wagon… “More may not be better.”
Yes, yes, we get it. It’s new and you think you need to be there because maybe, just maybe, you might have a potential customer there. NO! This is neither a “strategy” nor a “tactic” to follow for any business looking to try their hand at Social Media. Surely you know who your customers are, so please do some research to see what Social Media Platforms they use are and be present there. Be helpful there. Know that this is no longer a one way street, your customer, believe it or not, is now your partner and you would be wise to listen to what your partners are trying to tell you. Although you may believe that your product or service should be used by everyone, not everyone is going to be your customer. So why don’t you treat your customers that you do have, like they are the ones writing your paycheck and keeping the lights on… Oh wait, they are.
Treat your customers like the human beings they are and maybe they will see a face of a friend behind that expense corporate logo of yours… and who knows, if you’re lucky, they might tell a friend or two on that Social Network thingy, site, stuff your kids are always talking to you about.
Governments… “Not as clever as Not-for-Profits, not as Clueless as most Businesses.”
Democratization and transparency of real-time information in the hands of everyone has put Governments Worldwide on notice as they adopt and implement the use of Social Media. It is actually fascinating. Their public embrace of this new medium fuels the “wag the dog machine” at the same time lets the world see things from many different vantage points with the illusion of no filters or staging. “Reaching a tentative partnership” is putting it lightly. More like, “Oh wait, they might actually figure out they are the majority.”
As Governments try to not only catch up but get ahead of the Social Media curve, you, the average citizen, now has the responsibility of disseminating even more news, noise and nonsense than before.
Our World today is a very interesting place with all of this Social Media buzz. I hope we are all responsible with our actions on Social Media Platforms. Be helpful, inspire, educate, and treat each other like we all want to be treated. Let’s put an end to all of the behaviours that are objectionable to us. It can all start with a simple “Like”.