Visual social media networks give you the most engagement for your buck

visual social mediaSocial media is so much more than just Facebook and Twitter. Both are important places for businesses to be — to share, listen and interact with your customers. But that shouldn’t be the end of your social media plan. Visuals generate more engagement than just text or links on social media, so take advantage of the more visually-focused networks — such as Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Vine.

According to this infographic, 43 percent of Pinterest users say they use the network to identify with brands versus 24 percent of users who say the same about Facebook. It makes sense — Facebook started out as a way to connect with your friends, not businesses. Pinterest, on the other hand, started out as a way to collect your favorite products and to-do ideas. So while many Facebook users continue to primarily use the network to keep up with old and new friends, Pinterest is primarily used with the eventual goal of buying the things you’ve pinned. Pinterest users also spend more money than Facebook users — $180 versus $85 on average.

Is your brand or business on Pinterest? What types of content do you pin?

If a photo is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Technorati reports that customers are more than ever willing to watch videos about products they are considering buying. Technorati Media CEO Shani Higgins says this allows potential customers to actually watch how the product is used or what it looks like in action. If you’re concerned or curious about how something works, what’s better than being able to watch a video of the product being used? YouTube makes it easy for customers to find videos from businesses and individuals advertising, reviewing or testing products. For example, if you were considering trying out Bare Minerals makeup, but you didn’t know how to apply it or what kind of coverage to expect, you could check out this video on YouTube:

Whether you’re selling a product or a service, your business can benefit from creating and maintaining a YouTube channel. Julie Perry, social media director at BLASTmedia, says putting content on YouTube allows you to be discovered by people who are searching for information. That’s even better than ads (and it’s free). Ads are often seen as interruptions, but if you can put your product’s information in front of someone who is actually looking for it, that creates a positive experience for your potential customer.

What kinds of products have you turned to YouTube to check out? Did it influence your decision to buy?

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8 thoughts on “Visual social media networks give you the most engagement for your buck”

  1. HI Julie.

    I use YouTube to research products that I am in the market for, however, that’s not the main reason I watch YouTube. My buying decisions are influenced by product reviews on YouTube as opposed to commercials that I almost always ignore. Speaking of which, I sometimes get distracted by “banned” commercials or spoofs of advertisements that I find funny. The commercial may invoke an emotional response through laughter or shock value, however, YouTube commercials still present a minor influence on my buying habits.

    1. Good points, Jason! Product reviews are much more helpful than advertisements. Follow-up question: Do you only trust reviews from third parties, or would you trust a “review” — more like a demonstration of the product, I guess — from the actual company?

  2. Julie, I really enjoyed reading your post! I am personally on Pinterest but the business I work for is not. I previously worked for a wedding and events company and they took full advantage of Pinterest. After awhile, we began getting business from people who started following our boards on Pinterest and liked our pins. That’s what Pinterest is all about to a marketer!

    I don’t use Youtube to check out any potential products. I still turn to a brands website and Facebook page. The only time I notice a product is from the advertisements before Youtube videos. I normally use Youtube to look up new music videos.

    1. Thanks, Victoria! Pinterest is so awesome — especially for a wedding company! I didn’t even need wedding planning books when I was planning mine, because I had Pinterest! So it’s perfect for companies like your former one to catch customers at the point of intent.

      I don’t usually check out ads on purpose on YouTube, but I have looked up how-to’s and demonstrations for various products. Certainly, a helpful and informative website is always going to be important for any business.

  3. I actually just had a meeting earlier this week about how to utilize Pinterest at my job! After reading how important it is and seeing all the sales that are produced from this site I think it will be beneficial for EVERY business to be present on the platform! Great post Julie!

  4. HI Julie! Great post!

    I use Pinterest for personal and business. For recreation, I pin fashion, funny pictures, puppies, interior design and anything else that catches my eye. For my career consulting business, I pin about interview attire, work attire and gadgets. For my job (with a nonprofit), I pin inspirational quotes, infographics, stories and photos.

    As far as YouTube goes, I don’t really search for products I’m interested in buying, but I do search for how-to’s. For example, I learned how to braid my hair into a fishtail, how to create a smokey eye, and how to do a milkmaid brad by following YouTube tutorials.

    1. Oh, I love the idea of a work attire or interview attire board on Pinterest! The topic possibilities are sort of endless, as long as you have some form of a visual. Right now, fashion, crafts, decor and the like are the popular topics on Pinterest, but I wonder if we’ll see those trends change as Pinterest grows…

      I watch a lot of how-to’s, too — and just think if you accidentally stumbled across a how-to for a smokey eye that was actually produced by MAC or another makeup brand. After you saw the (hopefully) beautiful results, wouldn’t that make you want to buy the exact same products they used in the video?

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