The very surprising announcement on Easter Monday in the tech world was the gist that Facebook is acquiring Instagram for $1 billion. To the uninitiated, Instagram is a photo-sharing app that became the darling of Apple lovers in 2011, making it the App Store’s App of the Year. With just the 13 employees working from their San Francisco office thay have built a loyal followership of over 27million. ( You can check their story on inc.com).
With Facebook’s new timeline, its acquisition of Instagram and the powerful growth of another photo-sharing social network, Pintrest; Social media marketing is allowing users and businesses to communicate in pictures, images and photographs. Brand marketing is becoming more visual, a picture is really worth a thousand words.
Visual communication is not just about having a good logo or advert; it talks about a business/brand that has a clear eye for using pictures/images to tell their story – clearly, creative businesses have an advantage here. Businesses will need to create a strategy for consistently creating and generating images, photographs that consistently reinforces their brand story. For entrepreneurs, it is not only about scanning and uploading pictures faster than we can write articles; we need to communicate value. It is not just about being a creative entrepreneur who designs clothes, cakes and stuff. You need to use it to tell a story.
How can businesses leverage on this
1. A strong visual identity
It is no more only about your having to open a profile page, you also need to ensure your corporate identity is well communicated. Apart from ensuring that your letterhead, business card and websites are consistent, there is the need to ensure that the social media platforms bear the same look and feel. Consider that The Beat 99.9 FM has tweaked its Twitter background to share the same feel with its website, Facebook page and corporate colours.
2. Use images to communicate value
Though this confers advantages to photography and creative entrepreneurs, it provides a huge opportunity for brands too. Images, adverts, photomentions can be features prominently on brands’ pages . Social Media managers can teach people and even official photograohers to use images to tell stories. They can
i. Use split-screen pictures to commnicate benefits ( before-and-after comparison)
ii. Show negative consequences of not using your products
iii. Show the product in use
iv. Do not over-emphasize the product, scream benefits.
v. Using real people to share testimonies
3. Have a visual thinker (or be one) responsible for generating images
It is no time to get anyone to get images, you neeed to get someone with an eye for using visual images to tell your brand’s story.
You can blast images from the past and use them to communicate brand value.
Brands like Coke and Starbucks, for example, do a great job of that on their Facebook pages.
Is your social brand visually ready?