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Just when marketers thought they'd mastered social media marketing—creating and monitoring tweets, posts, and links—now the social Web is morphing again.

Today, social networks are all about images. Photo-centric social sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are rising quickly in popularity, while Facebook continues to revamp its Web and mobile feeds to focus on the more than 300 million photos its members upload every day.

To succeed with social marketing, brands now need to move beyond text-based posts to develop an image-driven strategy, incorporating photos, logos, and graphics into their social content programs.

But, as a marketer, how can you effectively use brand images in social marketing? What are some proven tips and tricks to incorporate images into your social content mix? How can you track and measure the impact of these image-based posts on brand reach, sales, and overall marketing ROI?

Image-driven social marketing is still new, but there are some tactics marketers can start using today to get ahead of the competition. Here are four practical ways to incorporate images into your social media marketing programs.

1. Select shareable images

The best brand images are the ones that are the most shareable. Identifying your brand's most shareable images is the cornerstone of a successful "visual social" marketing program.

Comb through your company's likely vast repository of images—campaign images, product photos, logos, graphics, and more—to identify those with the most emotional appeal. Funny, beautiful, interesting, touching, and fascinating images are the most likely to be shared, and thus they are the best candidates for image-based social marketing.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Shepherd is general manager of LTU Technologies.