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Marketing / Social media

The four top visual social media platforms

Want your visual content to stand out, especially on the top four visual social media platforms? Read on.

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Instagram

Instagram has 150 million active users and is obviously one of the top social media websites today.

But if you thought Instagram can only be used to put up crisp, filtered images of your Sunday picnic, think again.

Successful brands are already using Instagram in creative ways. Generic Electric for example has 166,318 followers, the last time I checked.

If a company that has hardly any “creative” component can boast thousands of engaged followers, surely your brand can find some good use for Instagram?

Another great example is Starbucks. They have got a massive 2,300,000 followers! These companies understand the golden rule of social media: people love connecting with people. They’re using Instagram to humanise their own brands.

For soloists and micro business owners, it’s a great idea to share photos of yourself and your staff (if you have any); make use of captions, and reply to photo comments using tags (@username) of the people who leave comments.

"If a company that has hardly any “creative” component can boast thousands of engaged followers, surely your brand can find some good use for Instagram?"

Also make sure you use the hashtag # to be found when people are searching for relevant topics. You can also come up with your own signature hashtag to engage people in conversations about your brand.

Want more articles like this? Check out the social media section.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a huge virtual pinboard where your images become pins and people can like or share them via the “Pin it” button.

Eighty percent of the Pinterest audience is female, and Pinterest drives more referral traffic to business websites than Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.

Real Simple is a New York based magazine that gives creative, practical and inspiring tips, and it’s one of the most-followed pinners on Pinterest. With over 130 boards, their content is organised and users can follow topics that interest them. They’ve got boards from easy hairstyles to weeknight meals.

The best part? They make sure they’re engaged with their followers via comments.

 

Needless to say, on Pinterest, use only high-quality photos. A good size to start with 736 x 1128 pixels because it’s long enough not to be missed by users and stands out nicely. It also works nicely on smartphones.

This board shows you how different sizes come out when published.

Another neat tip is to add a “Pin It” button to your images if you want them to be shared on Pinterest. However, try posting them once to see if they are near-perfect size and don’t get lost in the sea of pins.

Vine

Vine is relatively new on the block. It lets you create 6-second videos to put your message across. It was released in January 2013 and has bagged 13 million users, making it the most downloaded iOS app in June last year.

The beauty of this video-sharing app is that it leverages the low-attention span online. Videos are capped at six seconds but you don’t have to shoot the whole thing in one go. You can create a montage and a series of non-consecutive pieces together.

Home improvement brand Lowes understands this pretty well. Their Vine page uses a hashtag #LowesFixInSix where they teach six-second home improvement tips using fun, short videos.

 

Twitter

Surprised to see Twitter in this list? Well, Twitter is always making new tweaks to their design and the latest one looks eerily like Facebook.

Nevertheless, this means they are jumping the visual bandwagon with a larger profile photo.

The new features, along with larger “best tweets”, pinnable tweets and an ability to choose which type of tweets you’d like to see are coming.

There are many more ways to grab attention using visuals, but I’ll stop at these and pass the megaphone over to you.

What are your thoughts on these top four visual social media platforms? Got any more to add?

Pooja Lohana

is an accomplished freelance writer, blogger, ghost writer and editor. She has been featured on ProBlogger, WritetoDone, Firepole, JeffBullas, MarketingProfs, Hongkiat and more. Clients hire her to simplify their content marketing, make more sales and live the Un-9-5 life.

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