Scroll. Pin. Like. Yikes!
We recently sat down with Krista Neher, author of Visual Social Marketing for Dummies, to learn more about the up-and-coming visual social networks and how to use them to best market your business. What sites are we talking about? Instagram and Pinterest, of course!
Owned by Facebook, which turned 11 today, Instagram was launched in October of 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and is currently one of the most popular photo-sharing social media networks. Known for its square-shaped photos and large selection of photo filters, Instagram recently added a video sharing option this past year.
Pinterest, the third-largest social network, was created by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra in March of 2010. An online visual “pinboard” that allows users to create boards on any topic and “pin” relevant images to them, this site has grown quickly in the last five years.
Both of these up-and-coming sites are now becoming known for something else, as well: marketing. Wondering when (or if) it’s time to put your business on one of them? Well, wonder no more! Neher is here to give you all the tips you need to become a “pin” and “gram” master.
What About My Business?
According to Neher, before getting lost in all of the cropping, filters, editing, and posting, you should ask yourself these questions to make sure that your company belongs on a visual social media site:
- Is your audience there? This is the most crucial question to ask when deciding if you want to use one of these sites. Instagram’s demographics, for example, mainly consist of young adults of both sexes. If your audience is over 30, Krista says it may be best to focus on other sites before jumping to these.
- Do I have the resources to post consistently? Instagram, for example, timestamps your posts and has a very fast-paced feed. To gain popularity, then, you need to be able to post multiple times within a given week.
- How to take my brand visual? Sometimes, deciding when to get on visual marketing is a matter of immense creativity. Will your brand look good in photos? For example, Starbucks recently held a competition on Instagram, encouraging its customers to decorate their Starbucks cups in creative patterns and upload the images. If coffee can look good in photos, there’s a way for your brand to do it, too!
How to Get Into the Visual PR Game?
So, let’s say you want to jump into the visual game. What now? How do you start a successful account?
- Put in the time and be consistent. These are the two most important factors in visual marketing! While anyone can snap a picture and upload it, it takes time and patience to build a large and loyal following.
- Don’t just post. Build community. For Instagram and Pinterest, it’s all about the followers. You’re going to get out what you put in. And you need to be willing to do more than post. Instead, you need to interact, comment, search, like, and more.
- If you want people to pay attention to you, pay attention to them. This is similar to the previous point, but with regard to your own followers. To build up your own likes, you need to be aware of the current hashtags, as well as the most popular posts and tags.
Who’s Doing Visual PR Right?
Here are some brands that Krista brags about that are on top of their visual marketing game! Feel free to check them out and be in awe. We sure were!
- Project Blue Collar. This organization works to find homes for animals in need of adoption. This company has been on Facebook for a while and has a 100% organic following. They then joined Instagram and spent time analyzing who follows them. They found out that when they have a new product, Instagram does a better job driving action (like signing a petition), even though they have significantly less followers there than on Facebook.
“Facebook is becoming passive while Instagram is active.” – Krista Neher
- Quail Wholesale. This is a company that sells wedding supplies to planners and customers and that recently joined Instagram. They will post what they’re thinking of buying by posting pictures and asking, “Hot or not?” This simple question leads to many interactions with the brand. Customers feel like they are part of the process and included in making important decisions.
Is Pinterest in Your Best Interest?
We’ve talked a lot about visual marketing in terms of Instagram, but let’s not forget about Pinterest. Here are a few hints to surviving the onslaught of pictures and pins that are sure to steal your attention (and time!):
- Content on Pinterest is not timestamped. Because of this, there’s less pressure to post frequently.
- Use Pinterest as a resource guide. For example, create a Pinterest board for infographics. So, instead of telling your clients to visit your website, direct them to a more precise board with exactly what they’re looking for.
- Use Pinterest as a service. Krista gives a great example of this: “Make a Pinterest board for events, such as boot camps or meetings, where you can pin the exact location of the hotel along with pictures of what the location looks like.”
- Use “pinnable” images! Make sure that any images on your blog or website are “pinnable.” This will allow greater traffic and more people to share your content if they are interested in it.
Social PR Secret: Create already sized social med9a images with design tools such as Canva
From rookie iPhone users to professional photographers and everyone else in between, there’s a place for you in the visual marketing world. So, grab your camera, summon up your creative muse, capture the world and share it with your followers!
If you want to watch our entire chat with Krista Neher, check it out target=”_blank”>here or better yet, you can even pin the video for later on your favorite social media Pinterest board!
Check out one of Krista’s upcoming 2-day boot camp’s coming to a city near you.
If you “Like” it, click the image below and Pin it!
Want more? Read Social PR Secrets by Lisa Buyer.
Image Credit: 123rf/Igor Yaruta and Starbucks Pinterest
Reporting by Sydney Thompson