There’s no denying the importance of visual content on Facebook
For instance, a recent infographic
showed that photos and video drive the most engagement on social media.
What’s relatively shocking, however, is the few number of brands that have caught on to this huge content shift on the biggest social platform.
Many of the larger Fortune 500 brands are on board, mostly because they have huge agencies assisting or guiding them. Of course, not all the credit goes to the agencies, but it surely mitigates the risk that a company misses a trend when it employs an international agency to keep it ahead
Look just below those larger companies though, and you’ll find an overwhelming amount of companies that are still playing by the 2010 Facebook rules: share links, ask questions, poll followers.
Those rules are virtually dead. Welcome to the visual era of Facebook—and by the way, I should have welcomed you about four to five months ago. Images are everything on Facebook right now.
What can you do to catch up? Here are a few simple ideas that the early adopters are using:
Capture “on the fly” pictures
What I love most about Starbucks’ Facebook presence are its ad-hoc photos. These are shots that at least appear like they’re taken “on the fly,” and PR or marketing professional can capture them with something as simple as a smartphone.
It’s the way of the new world. Brands that are nimble enough to pull off these sorts of visuals quickly are going to succeed in the new Facebook world.
Recycle portions of print ads
In this example from Tiffany & Co., a piece of an ad is used as the visual and paired with an ad-like headline. It’s enough to earn a few “likes” and comments.
Celebrate current events and odd dates with images
Oreo solved the problem so many brands have: How do we “celebrate” all the odd dates and current events we want to recognize on Facebook and do it in a way that inspires engagement?
As we know, Oreo has done it brilliantly by using its product in a creative way. For example, in the following image, the cookie maker is marking Star Trek Day. Think about how you can incorporate what’s happening in the world into your visuals.
[RELATED: Oreo image goes viral, offering lessons in branding]
Remember: Branded photos still work
As much as everyone wants to be Oreo, good old-fashioned branded photography still works in terms of engagement. Remember that most of your fans on Facebook are there because they are existing customers, so sometimes you don’t need to over think it. Give them branded photography—in the matter of Burberry:
Transform quotes into visuals
You know those quotes you co-opt for Facebook update? They work much better as visuals. More brands are taking this approach because it works. For instance, take a look at what Dove has done:
Make regular posts visual
You know those run-of-the-mill text posts that worked so well four to five months ago, such as the fill-in-the-blank posts? Why not make those visual? Just look what Burt’s Bees has done here:
Any types of images you’ve seen brands use on Facebook that we missed? Let us know in the comments section.
[RELATED: How four brands manage their wildly successful Facebook pages]
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this post originally appeared on Communications Conversations.