While there is a bit of controversy as to who was the first person to philosophize that a picture is worth 1,000 words, there is little doubt they were correct. Nowhere is that more evident than in today’s tech-savvy world, where, according to Social Pilot, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. You still need the right image to accompany a message. Posting an image that contradicts or muddles the content of a post is in bad form, so be sure the GIF you chose does the job it’s meant to. Just like with emojis and emoticons, GIFs are a quick way to transmit information or an emotion to a population that craves image-based communication but is also inundated by it. Assuming, of course, that the right image is chosen.
Tips for choosing the right GIF include:
- Keep it simple. Don’t select an image requiring an explanation. That will dilute your message and weaken the image's effectiveness;
- If your business is serious or somber, such as medical or legal-related, be mindful the picture you select isn't overly humorous. That can reduce your credibility;
- If your audience is more likely young or more generally more relaxed, images and animated gifs can be edgier, trendy or sarcastic. However, don’t ever post offensive or lewd visuals. Remember, you are still running a business; and
- Consider the intent of your post prior to selecting or creating the image. That will ensure you remain on message.
Pictures are an excellent way to tell a story, explain some information or jump-start an interaction. An engaging image that cleverly and succinctly communicates the poster’s message is far more likely to be shared over social media than one that’s dull, poorly devised or improperly captioned.
So, assuming Social Pilot is right, I would have to agree that a picture, and even the right animated GIF, can really be worth a thousand words. Or, in the case of social media, perhaps a thousand (and hopefully more) clicks and shares.
This article was written by Adrian Dayton and Tami Kamin Meyer (who is a personal bankruptcy lawyer and a frequent author on Progressive Law Practice). You can follow Tami on Twitter @girlwithapen and you can follow Adrian @adriandayton. For more ideas on how to bring in more business with social media, check out Adrian’s social media blog http://adriandayton.com