There’s no bigger turn-off on social media than a text-heavy timeline. Without images, it just becomes a string of text that just looks like a bit too much effort to get through!
Strong visuals are vital for not only catching the eye of your target audience but for instantly conveying the meaning and values behind your brand.
Of course, the accompanying words are important, but it’s the images that draw people in. Fail to add a great picture and even the most profound, insightful posts can languish unread.
But what if your products are more functional than aesthetically pleasing? Or if your business offers a service rather than a tangible product?
This is where creativity is key! Let’s look at some ways you can ‘paint a thousand words.’
Not all products are pretty
Take British Gas, for example. While we all value our boilers, radiators and hot water systems, we’re unlikely to be enticed by a gallery full of pictures of pipes, thermostats and valves.
Instead, they often illustrate the positive effect their services have on their customers – many pictures on their timelines show couples cosily snuggled on their sofa, elderly people content and smiling, and families enjoying their homes. They demonstrate that they understand their customers and know what is important to them – having heating that works and being comfortable at home!
Think about what you offer your customers. How do you want them to feel after using your service or product and how can you convey that in an image?
A smiling face goes a long way
People buy from people. Focusing on the staff at the heart of your business adds a human element to your brand and this is what customers connect with.
Invest in some photography of your team members and create posts that focus on them – their role in your business, or their interests outside of their job. This tweet from HSBC with pictures of employees sharing how they mark Diwali gets across a multitude of messages – it puts a human face to the brand but also shows that HSBC cares about its staff’s personal beliefs and different cultures, and celebrates their values. This in turn implies the same level of care extends to their customers – who match the diversity shown in the images.
Go behind the scenes
Not all posts have to be focused on showcasing your product or service. It’s always interesting to get a snapshot of the ins and outs of a business.
Here’s a selfie I posted of me on the way to a client meeting during the pandemic. It doesn’t scream, “Sign up for PR and marketing services from Izzy PR!” but that’s not the aim. You don’t have to strictly talk shop all the time and, after all, who wants to see a post like that anyway! It’s a simple illustration of us in action. It’s also a good way of building a relationship with our audience by showing we’re all going through similar situations and starting a conversation about shared experiences – great for your engagement.
So, while you’re going about your daily business, stop and think about what might make good content. Seen something funny on your commute? Discovered a new favourite drink for your coffee break? Can’t decide what colour furniture to put in your office? Snap it and post it!
But make sure you’re posting to the right timeline – keep more business-like posts for LinkedIn and you can loosen up a bit for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Create a character
Admittedly, this one takes a bit more thought and likely, budget.
A hugely successful example is Compare the Market. Recognising that insurance is one of the less interesting necessities in life, they created a meerkat character for their marketing and ads. This snowballed into a whole family of meerkats who are now instantly recognisable as the faces of the brand and give the brand its persona. It also lends itself to countless content and merchandise opportunities.
This could also work on a scaled-down version for smaller businesses. A graphic designer can easily create an illustrated character that encapsulates your brand whether that’s friendly, fun, young, smart etc – and can be used on your website, social media, ads, leaflets and brochures so that any materials are instantly recognisable as yours.
If you would like help with visual ideas, photography or design for your business, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org