Using Visual Storytelling to Promote Your Business

by Teri Kojetin on February 19, 2013

We have become a people that live for the image. We take photos of everything, from life-changing events, to food, trips, people and anything else that strikes our fancy. And we don’t just take them for our own personal collection. We share them widely on the Internet on social platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and others. They tell the story of our lives from the important to the daily and mundane. We like to share them and people “like” and share them.

If businesses want to grab the attention of consumers and gain more followers they need to be about the business of visual storytelling on the social media platforms that their audience are on.

In the past year, images have become the way we tell stories. They are, in many ways, more important than the text we use. If you compare the engagement generated from an image with a small amount of text to just text, you will see that the image is commented on and shared more. According to Facebook’s data:

  • Posts including a photo album, a picture or a video generate about 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement than the average post, respectively.
  • Top performing ads feature close-up images and a single color stands out.
  • Feature images that capture your brand. An internal study showed… it performed better in terms of recall and purchase consideration.

Oreo is a company that knows how to tell a story with images and engage customers. If you look at their Facebook page  (shown in the screenshot below) you will see the clever ways they use images of their cookie to entertain and engage fans.

Oreo

Pinterest is built completely on the concept of visual content, which is why it is an excellent platform for brands to take advantage of. As a business you should have boards that not only show your product or services, but even more so, have boards about things your target audience is interested in. Have boards that your followers can pin on and also hold contests. One company that is known to have conquered Pinterest is Whole Foods. The screenshot below of their Pinterest page shows how varied and interesting their boards are.

Whole Foods

Instagram is a good way to showcase your brand’s products, especially if you’re showing fans using them. Let your photos tell the story of your brand and make sure that they showcase things your fans like and are interested in.

Target puts images up on their Instagram account regularly as well as holding contests. You can see by the comments in the screenshot below how much fans love them.

Target

Justin Goldsborough, Social Media Consultant at Fleishman Hillard, says on his blog that “Society responds more to visual stimuli and storytelling than any story we read in a magazine or on a website. Customers are now saying: ‘Don’t just tell me. Show me.’”

Be a company that tells a story on social media. If you engage and entertain your followers and fans they will not only follow you loyally, but will share your images and thus drive traffic to your website. Leverage your brand with visual storytelling!

About the Author

Monthly contributor Teri Kojetin is passionate about social media and writing. Teri is the Social Media & Community Coordinator for ICUC, assisting with their social media sites and company publications. She writes for theICUC Blog, an industry blog powered by ICUC. She also writes regularly for her own blog, Walking In Color. Teri is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA where she lives with her husband and spends time on creative outlets such as writing, art and crafts. Connect with Teri through Twitter: @TeriMKojetin.

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