A picture is worth a thousand words

New social media platforms are focusing on visual content and quickly growing in popularity.

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Online sharing

Social media is a trend we can no longer afford to ignore, and while the main networks remain as popular as ever there are some newer platforms that are trying to take over.

Instagram, set up to ‘Capture and Share the World’s Moments’ launched in 2010 with quick success, growing to a million users in less than three months. The numbers keep growing, with currently over 200 million monthly active users and 60 million average photos per day.

Pinterest helps users “find and save all the things that inspire you” and has grown to become the 4th highest social networking company in the USA behind LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This virtual pin board has also helped companies tap into the buying cycle, with users referred from the site being 10% more likely to purchase online, according to a poll by Shopify in NYmag online.

Let me take a selfie

As you can see photo sharing is here to stay. With most mobile phones now having a camera, nearly everyone has become a photographer and with the ease of sharing via social networks, many do just that.

Selfies have become something of a phenomenon on visual social networks and with the overwhelming amount of them now crowding the web, it’s no surprise that selfie was not only added to the Oxford Dictionary online in 2013 but was also named its word of the year.

Engagement

So how does this affect brands online? In a recent article it was shown that visual content is becoming increasingly important, with “posts with visuals receiving 94% more page visits and engagement than those without”.

An image is easily shareable compared to a longer piece of text, and with so much content online now, visuals are a refreshing way to cut through clutter in order to get to the content you want in an easily digestible manner. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.

What’s next

Visual content is not just limited to social media posts. Infographics are a great way to condense large amounts of information into something more manageable for the audience in print and online and photographs of key team members or key products help to create a level of transparency to your audience.

So, although you need to think about how you are saying things in your corporate communications, you need to make sure you have graphics that speak for themselves.