Social media has made the world a small place. It has entrenched our lives and made us dependent on it. From a place that used to merely connect people, social media has transformed into a marketing platform, a shopping place and an information-sharing channel, where news spreads within minutes.
Businesses are increasingly relying on it to connect to their target market and sell their products. Low advertising costs have made it easier for small businesses to establish themselves within no time.
Leveraging social media, however, may not be as easy as it seems since the digital world keeps changes at a rapid pace. This can be seen from the fact that the digital world has shifted towards visual content, which has given rise to visual platforms such as Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram.
As of September 2017, there are around 500 million daily active users on Instagram. As far as Snapchat is concerned, users share around 9,000 photos per second. Owing to this shift, Facebook and Twitter have also redesigned their strategies to focus more on visual content.
Facebook recently introduced a new feature that allows users to convert text status into eye-catching photos with colourful backgrounds. The feature was launched after the platform experienced a 21% decline in “original content broadcasting” in mid-2015.
Visual content has been gaining traction in the digital world since it attracts more attention and hence leads to more engagement. Facebook posts with images increase engagement 2.3 times more than posts without images.
Images are “snackable” content that can convey information more effectively than text and hits the emotional chord. 74% of social media marketers rely on visual content more than blogs and videos.
This is because the clutter on social media and proliferation of technology such as smartphones and digital cameras exposes users to a number of stimuli each day. This has consequently desensitized this generation and it takes more than text to catch their attention.
Moreover, the people of the digital world have short attention spans and respond to the first impression. Hence, an attention- grabbing graphic image has a greater impact than just text. According to a research, people remember only 10% of information three days later when they hear it. In the case the information is paired with an appealing image, the retention level increases to 65%.
Images help brands increase recognition and recall. When images are shared consistently across platforms, people are better able to remember it. These images establish a link between your page and website.
Images have the inherent ability to start a viral campaign that can give your brand a boost at literally no cost. Appealing graphics stir users to share them on their own page. Tweets with images are re-tweeted 150% more than tweets without images.
Now that it is established that graphics facilitate your social media strategy, it does not mean that you can share any random image that you come across. The graphics you share must be relevant and should add some value for your consumers, only then your potential customers will have a better incentive to share.
Here are some tips to create graphics that can go viral in no time:
Infographics are images loaded with information. They allow you to share information in an understandable and a memorable way. Studies show that readers pay more attention to images that carry relevant information than simple text on a page.
Also, they are shared three times more than any content on social media. Infographics allow you to connect with your audience as you provide them with value. By sharing knowledge with your target market, you give them a reason to follow you and establish yourself as an expert in the field. If your consumers find that information to be useful enough, they would want to share it with their network.
While designing infographics, make sure you choose a topic that resonates with your audience. If you provide information that your audience does not care about, your infographic is likely to be ignored. Hence, do your homework beforehand; select topics that are trending and that can stir an emotional response. Designing your infographics around influencers is also a good strategy since these influencers will have an incentive to share it.
There is a whole science behind designing infographics that is going to click with your audience. Siegemedia team conducted an analysis of 1,000 most shared infographics. The team found that most popular infographics have on an average of 396 words and the most common colour used was blue. If seen industry-wise, the health industry benefits the most from infographics, followed by entertainment and business.
An infographic won’t go viral on its own no matter how perfect it is. You need to craft a strategy to promote it. Create tweets from the facts in your infographics and tweet facts two to three times a day. Also, you can directly message people who are likely to be interested in your infographic and they might share it.
2. Inspirational Quotes
Since it is all about adding value to customer experience, inspirational quotes is a great way to do that. In this fast-paced world, where we hardly get any time for ourselves, a dose of inspiration is what gets us going throughout the day.
Quotes have a high probability of being shared since most of the people can relate to them. Aaron Lee, a social media influencer, advocates sharing quotes on social media. He believes that quotes are universally appealing and hence get shared easily.
The best way to create a shareable post is to add an appealing image that is relevant to the quote. Also, make sure that the font is readable across all sorts of devices.
3. Engaging Questions
Posting engaging questions is yet another way to increase engagement. Aaron Lee conducted an analysis on engaging questions posted by the top 50 brands in the US. He found that the most viral photos were posted by Walmart.
People usually love challenges and often want to share the correct answers with their friends.
Hence, you can consider posting some interesting math or analytical problems that consumers spend time on. Recently, a math problem that had two solutions took off on Facebook. Two solutions gave rise to a heated debate among people, which is why the post spread like fire.
The post was started Go Tumble and shared on Wickr, from where it found its way to Facebook. Another example of an interesting question that went viral is that of the dress that couldn’t be categorized as either black or blue.
Another interesting way to catch your audience’s attention is by asking them to spot odd things out of a picture. A simple post by an artist Gergely Dudás went viral and was shared over 20,000 times on Facebook.
The picture only asked people to spot the cat. Dudás created another similar post in which he asked the audience to spot a panda in a number of snowmen. The post was shared 112,000 times on Facebook. While designing these posts, the goal should not be to make the post go viral. You should keep in mind what your audience would find inspiring or challenging.
Memes represent our everyday lives in a fun and light-hearted way. Since most people find them relatable, they have a great potential to go viral on various platforms. The term ‘meme’ was originally coined by biologist Richard Dawkins.
His theory was that cultural information is transferred from one person to another in a packet. The idea behind internet memes is the same. A lot of researches have been done on what types of memes go viral.
However, there is no one strict formula. Memes are highly competitive since there is a finite pool of attention. The rise in popularity of one sort of memes means that other memes will be scrapped.
Studies show that familiarity is an important aspect of memes. People are more likely to share memes that they have posted about earlier. Research by Michele Coscia of Harvard University also found that memes perform well in clusters.
Customers find tutorials to be quite useful. Visual tutorials allow them to learn something quickly just by looking at a video or an image. The best way to do a tutorial is to make a series of how to images that can be shared on Pinterest.
Vertical graphics work best for Pinterest as they have a greater impact. Video tutorials also have a great potential to go viral. Recently, a video tutorial of a girl doing makeup while sitting on a car’s roof took off.
The six-minute video was watched around 2 million times and was shared over 30,000 times. Tastemade is yet another great example. Tastemade shares food video tutorials that are liked and shared by a large number of followers. Tastemade is only 5 years old and is already one of the most recognizable food brands. It reaches around 200 million people per month.
Creating appealing graphics is not a difficult task these days. There are many tools in the market that can do the job for you. Piktocharts is one of the best tools for creating attractive infographics. You don’t need any prior graphics experience to use this tool.
It is an editor which lets you design with drag-and-drop and point-and-click. This tool comes with 600 templates that you can choose from. Also, you get around 4,000 icons and charts where you can crunch in your data.
The software is used by some notable names such as Forbes. You can create a free account and get access to some of the features. However, to unlock more features you can choose from the LITE and PRO packages that cost $15 and $29, respectively.
Adobe Spark is yet another tool that allows you to create graphics within seconds. The tool comes with an outstanding typography. You can choose from a number of fonts, lay-outs and colours and adjust them according to your needs.
The best part about this tool is that it syncs across the web and with iOS so you can access it from wherever you wish. Not just that, the Spark blog also provides you with tips that can help you boost your posts. You can either choose Spark’s free account or Premium account that costs $9.99 per month and comes with unlimited features.
You can also use Canva to create some powerful graphics. No matter what type of graphics you want, Canva makes it a piece of cake for you. With Canva, you can easily create appealing Facebook cover photos.
It also lets you create infographics. It has a whole library of templates in which you just have to add information and give your design some final touches.
Canva is a complete package for sharing visual content. You can also create quotes posts. You can either select a neat colourful background or upload a picture and do text overlay. Canva comes with a library of thousands of images relevant to every field, be it sports, food, or business.
If utilized in an appropriate manner, graphics can give a real boost to your brand’s popularity since people are generally more interested in visuals than text. The images that you share on social media represent your brand. They can help increase awareness and recall of your brand.
There is no set formula to determine if your posts will go viral. However, while sharing these visuals, you need to keep in mind that they have to be consistent with your brand image. Moreover, they should be relevant and relatable to your target audience since their attention span is limited. Users will only share images that provide them with some value and spark their interest.