Whilst it’s possible to use social media for years without posting a single image, the easy accessibility of high-quality cameras and editing tools make it easier than ever to create media-based content for marketing purposes, even without a dedicated team being hired to do so.
As the internet continues to grow towards being the main source of customers and consumers with every passing year, it’s important to pay attention to the companies who have embraced this change and put more time, money and effort into marketing to their online consumers.
Using the bathroom-designs-and-fixtures company Victorian Plumbing as an example, it’s easy to see how and why their brand has expanded due to the increased use of visual media in their social media content. For example, the company has created accounts on photo-sharing sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.
On Instagram, from an outside perspective, the company simply seems to be sharing completed bathrooms and bathroom suites for their followers to look at and comment on with opinions and preferences. Each post contains a large amount of hashtags to draw in customers looking for similar posts and products, and they respond to any feedback or queries in the image comments, sometimes even just thanking past customers who mention they like a certain product.
They also post certain bathroom designs that customers send them, adding a degree of extra, indirect customer interaction that other social media sites can’t usually provide.
On Pinterest, they post similar content, but due to the bulletin-board-like setup of the site, they are able to organise similar designs into “boards” rather than individual “pins”. Because of this, they can market certain sets of products and suites to customers with different interests and personal preferences, rather than having one general feed of content for users to scroll through. This allows Victorian Plumbing to use Pinterest as a sort of ‘indirect catalogue’ for the products they offer, since it builds up interest in their products without overtly putting pressure on potential customers, making it a kind of ‘soft marketing’ that doesn’t directly cost any money to set up.
Twitter & Facebook
However, the company (and many others like it) doesn’t just limit itself to image-based social media: if we use Victorian Plumbing as an example once again, they maintain accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even YouTube, and produce different content for them all.
On Facebook, they post a mixture of image posts, articles, contests and links to new products or pages, varying the content enough to appeal to the wider interest diversity in Facebook’s general user base – the contests and ‘raffles’ hosted on their Facebook page are also a major source of customer interest, since they not only drives interaction, but also open up opportunities for even further post sharing and greater brand presence as long as the competition is running.
On Twitter, Victorian Plumbing post a mixture of their own content and content they find that is relevant to their brand or products in some way, and present themselves as a very jokey, laid-back company that responds to customer queries or complaints as appropriate.
The company tweets fairly often, at least once per day, due to Twitter’s fairly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nature – sometimes this will simply be an image and caption for one of their bathrooms, complete with full decorations and bathroom tiles, that serves to remind their followers that they even exist at all.
This kind of multiplatform content creation is a major tool for most businesses, but it cannot be done without careful preplanning and scheduling – falling behind on a schedule can leave certain sites without any content whatsoever, which can be a serious blow to the popularity and overall profitability of a brand’s social media content and presence.
Other Social Platform’s
Google+ is Victorian Plumbing’s lead popular social media account, although this is mostly down to the site itself being relatively unpopular among the internet as a whole. However, they still produce content – in this case being a combination of photos of complete suites and individual furniture pieces – and use hashtags to promote their posts to their followers.
They do the same on Instagram, filling their posts with a large amount of keywords and hashtags that attract new viewers from pieces of relevant content on the same site.
This kind of social media focus can be considered ‘native advertising’, since it’s less likely to actually be considered an advertisement by the company’s audience but still discloses that it’s created by the company themselves. Marketing like this can be applied to almost any market.
In short, creating social media content will act as free, natural advertising as long as there is an audience for it, which can usually be gathered from just being active and providing interesting or attention-grabbing content for people to see, enjoy and possible even share with their own audiences.
This can become even more effective when combined with influencer marketing, potentially leading to your audience containing even more audiences, creating a multi-layered advertising campaign – completely for free – from only one or two images.