Popularity of Visual Content

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Visuals are extremely engaging content. There are social media platforms dedicated just to them and some of those platforms allow for both photos and videos.  The main channels centered on visuals are YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine.

If your brand has any type of video content, it is imperative that you utilize YouTube. According to How To Make YouTube Part Of Your Social Media Marketing, YouTube is second most popular search engine and it only serves up videos. The reason to be on YouTube is because it allows you to be found when users are doing a search. It also will pull your videos up into the related video area. YouTube can be accessed from almost all mobile devices. The one point that stuck with my from this article was to not hide your videos on your website. I’m guilty of this. I get greedy for website traffic and forget that YouTube is just another way to distribute video content and serve it up to those users who are searching for something on that platform.

I have a hard time agreeing with the article Research: YouTube beats Facebook with consumers. They said users reported use of YouTube ahead of all other social sites. I find this hard to believe because I’m not a big user of YouTube. What I can agree with them on is that brands are planning to increase their video budgets. I know at my job we’ve put a big emphasis on video content and are making it a priority. That means increasing the budget and possibly taking away from other things we’ve done in the past. Video content is too popular to ignore it at this point and it has to be a priority if you want users to find you in certain places on the web.

While I may not spend much time on YouTube, I spend way too much time on Pinterest. I can believe it when the article Why You Should Not Ignore Pinterest in Your Social Media Strategy says that users spend more time on Pinterest than on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. I love PInterest because it allows me to look through fun categories of content and store the ideas I like in a very organized way. The reason it has so much success for inbound traffic generation is because the content isn’t stored on Pinterest. The link to the content is represented by a photo and to consume the content you are taken back to where it was posted originally. No matter how many times a “pin” is shared, the link back to your website will remain.

The article Move Over, Facebook: Why Your Business Needs to Be on Pinterest says that businesses need to take a look at Pinterest. I’m not sure all businesses fit with Pinterest. The important thing is to find out if Pinterest is a place where your consumers spend time and if it isn’t then don’t waste your time. I work for a company that doesn’t sell anything. We promote our events and athletes and I have a hard time finding uses for our content on Pinterest.

Pinterest requires a special strategy. Your content needs to fit into the popular categories on the platform and with food and drink, DIY crafts and home décor being the most popular ones. A good way to incorporate Pinterest into your website would be to add “pin it” buttons on content. This allows users to easily share your content on Pinterest.

Vine and Instagram are two of the latest social platforms to become popular. When Instagram launched their video function, I think it put an end to Vine’s popularity. I only dabbled a little in videos on Vine but decided I didn’t need two apps where I could post short videos. Instagram won out. I’m sure there are people that agree and disagree with that same choice.

Do you find yourself using YouTube as a search engine?

When it comes down to posting short videos, do you prefer Vine or Instagram?

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To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?

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I’ve been on Twitter since 2009 but these days you’d probably just consider me a lurker. When I first joined I tweeted a lot but it was about silly things I did during the day. At the point I realized no one cared what I was saying, I just became a listener on this platform. For years that’s all I’ve been. I will push out an occasional tweet or retweet but most of my time is spent reading tweets from the more than 600 accounts that I follow.

I’m learning that it’s important to have a personal brand. I’m getting my Masters in Social media, yet I’m not utilizing social in a way that I should be personally. Things are about to change for me. Just like any business I need to set a goal, figure out my voice and do some research.  With Twitter businesses need a goal. It will help figure out what type of voice, engagement and content it’ll need to succeed.

When it comes to developing my personal brand, I have to remember it’s not about the number of followers but the amount of engagement from my tweets. To get followers to engage, I need engaging content. To be successful, I need to know what my followers are looking for in terms of content. If I figure out how they are engaging on Twitter, I can create content that works for them.

The point of Twitter is not to sell your product. I find this very hard at my job when I constantly want to tweet links to our web content to drive up our traffic. My tactic needs to be about starting conversations that can then include links to photo or video content our followers will find engaging.

As you ease into Twitter, it’s important to do thorough research. Look for influencers in your industry and for people that will be good for you to follow. It’s important to read through the conversations taking place on Twitter before diving in. This will allow you formulate how you can add to the conversation and to present yourself as an expert in that industry.

A very important lesson for everyone on social media is to have conversations. An easy way to do that is to respond to your followers. Our readings said that you should respond to everyone, but I’m not sure that is possible for all brands. For my personal brand that is an easy goal to achieve but it might not be for a large corporation that receives thousands of tweets a day.

Our readings this week were full of great tips and tricks. It’s important to keep tweets short. It’s easier to retweet something when it doesn’t hit the 140 character limit initially. Hashtags are very important and no more than two should be used in a tweet. It’s easy to follow conversations when hashtags are used and it’s the best way to track analytics on your tweets. Images, videos and calls to action are a must when you tweet. All three will bring more engagement, which is the goal. Finally, it’s important to be authentic and portray a human voice. Your followers want to connect and who is the one behind the tweet.

Prior to this class how involved were you with Twitter?

If you tweet from a business account, do you engage with every tweet you get? If not, will you start?

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