There's no doubt that we're moving toward a more visual marketing world. As users, we often prefer consuming visual content to reading blocks of text. In fact, Facebook users are uploading approximately 300 million photos to Facebook per day, up 20% from earlier this year. Even usage of the photo-sharing tool Instagram, purchased by Facebook in April of 2012, has increased 1,179% in six months.
But as a business, will catering to this new trend in visual content have a positive impact on crucial engagement metrics, including Facebook Likes, comments, and potentially even link clicks?
The Impact of Photos on Generating Facebook Engagement
To learn if using visuals in social content has an impact on social media engagement, HubSpot evaluated 8,800 Facebook posts from B2B and B2C companies' Facebook Pages in October 2012 by comparing each businesses' average Likes-per-photo to their overall average Likes-per-post. As a result, our study revealed that photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post. We also compared each businesses' average comments-per-photo to their overall average comments-per-post and found that photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post, too.
You've done it. You've managed to convince management to give you some budget to apply to social media. You've built out a plan and have been executing, but you're running across some challenges of the fiscal nature.
Management won't ok the spend for your engagement platform or additional people or other resources. It seems as if the well has dried out for additional funding for your initiatives. In this article, I'll go over common objections and solutions for getting more budget freed up and applied to your social media campaigns.
What does social media do for your organization? This is a fair question for management or the powers that be to ask. It's supposed to do something, right? What's that something, and how does it relate to the business?
One of the big problems with most social media experts is how they communicate with "suits" on what they're doing and what kind of impact they're having. One of the hottest arguments is on this whole "ROI" discussion, and it's really a reflection of a failing of social media practitioners to speak suit language.
If you throw too many non-business relative metrics at a suit, they'll get frustrated and throw out ROI as an example of a business relative measure that they're familiar with. If you get stuck in an ROI argument with your upper management, it's because you failed to deliver them a measurement that matters.
- Do you ever feel like your tweets and updates fall into a black hole, never to be seen again?
- Does your idea of building a following consist of spamming your entire friend list with a plea to like your page and share it with their friends?
- Are you never retweeted, and do your new followers always seem to have an xxx in their handle?
- Is social media stupid and a waste of time?
- Is it impossible to tie ROI to social media?
6. Would you like your own page if it wasn't your own? Why or why not?
7. Does what you say reflect who you are, or just what you do?
8. Are your updates more for you, or for your customers, prospects and leads?
9. What do they want to see?
Emotional engagement is the key to content marketing success. People discover and share information, videos, pictures and other types of media constantly. Assuming that all content starts out equally however, viral content seems to take on a life of its own, rapidly spreading among the masses in much the same way as a real virus does among people.
With content marketing, the message is the virus, the carriers are your audience and a strong emotional connection to the message is the catalyst.
Eliciting an emotional response is an essential element of all successful viral content marketing campaigns. It's human nature that people want to share the experiences that stir their emotions by communicating them to others. When people develop strong, deep feelings like surprise, anger, fear, disgust, sadness and joy around an experience or message, social sharing becomes impulsive.
According to research conducted by Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman of the Wharton Business School in 2010, in their report, "Social Transmission, Emotion, and the Virality of Online Content", there is a strong relationship between emotion and virality regardless of whether it is positive or negative.
The study presented a number of key takeaways including the following:
At some point in your career, you've probably been in the position where you think you are doing a phenomenal job marketing your organization. You are proud of the bulletproof strategy you've created, pleased with the tactics you are using to achieve the strategy, and thrilled with the measurable results you are able to report. But one day, you get the message from leadership that "everyone else is using (insert latest internet fad here), why aren't we?" The short answer would be that it doesn't fit into your current strategy, but when is the right time to introduce something new, and how do you do it in a way that is not disruptive to the rest of your strategy? You shouldn't always have to wait for pressure from another person within your organization -- sometimes you just need to experiment a little bit in a safe environment without detracting from your marketing plan.
We all know that an Instagram profile, a crowd-sourcing contest, and a Pinterest board are not strategies. As marketers, we take care to research and analyze the best communications channels for our unique audiences and the way we talk as a brand. But what happens when you've invested time, money, and effort into a comprehensive, long-term marketing strategy only to have a phenomenon like Pinterest pop-up out of nowhere and have to answer the "why aren't we there yet" question?
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