On Great Visuals and Evolving with the Image-Driven Market

By: Melanie Libatique

To borrow and paraphrase a few words from Madonna, “Coz we are living in a visual world, and I am a visual girl and/or boy.”

Yes, 2013 will all be about great images and visuals of campaigns, call-to-actions, and what-have-yous in the social media marketing world. It’s actually been this way since last year but with the explosion of mobile browsing and photo sharing networks like Pinterest and Instagram, “netizens” (Internet citizens) have come to appreciate and even obsess about a single frame of image that gives a complete message under 5 seconds.

Why are we so image-driven?

Photographs, memes, and posters keep viewers engaged. It captures their attention without imposing the need for more than a minute of their valuable time so if they don’t like it, they just simply move on to the next image.

With social media marketing and the increased competition for attention and viewership; business owners need to run with the herd and stay quick on their feet for the next most interesting graphics or photo that’s out there.

This explains why users of photo sharing networks like Pinterest skyrocketed to 25.3 million in October 2012. The website’s easy navigation and simple layout, with its links to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr has roused the Pin It-happy users and has created a world where the focus is really not about bragging about what you ate for lunch but actually a sharing of great finds and ideas.

Bianca Bosker of the Huffington Post writes,

“This sharing of things rather than personal updates, while deeply consumerist, enables Pinterest to connect strangers in ways that Facebook hasn’t yet perfected. “

What does this mean for business owners?

Taking a cue from Ms. Bosker, what business owners should start doing is to learn the art of sharing images and content that’s not so egocentric to their products. Technically, traffic to websites that share other website’s contents is more likely better than a site that just goes on and on about what they provide.

BLL’s operative phrase for this year is “genuine interactions with great visuals.” That means we share something and we appreciate the stuff that’s shared with us; creating real communication with other people rather than just mindless posting of campaigns and information.

To sum up the checklist, here’s what needs to be done to succeed in this environment:

1. Start building your social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress, etc. (We’re most likely going to come in on this part.)
2. Link all those profiles together.
3. Make associations with relevant contacts using these social media tools.
4. TAKE LOTS AND LOTS OF PICTURES! Use your phone, a digital camera, or hire a professional to take good photos of images that’s yours (stress on YOURS) and start sharing. Remember, don’t make it about you. Make it about an idea you think others can use and will appreciate.
5. Be interactive. Comment on what others are sharing. Start or engage in a discussion. Be part of the sharing process and not just the disseminator of stuff people like to see.
6. Be consistent. Update! Update! Update!

Now start making great visuals!