There’s a reason Pinterest and Instagram are so popular: People like pictures. Here’s how to use them to your advantage.

Marla Tabaka | Inc

When Pinterest came onto the scene it instantly became more than a playground for scrapbooking fans. Business owners quickly learned the benefits of adding a visual component to their social media strategies. As a result, Pinterest has experienced astoundingly rapid growth, already passing Tumblr and Flickr.

Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram, is another great indicator that it’s time to expand your social media content by adding photos, graphic images, and videos. Why? There is plenty of research indicating that messages depicted by pictures penetrate the brain more quickly and with greater impact. It’s no accident that fast food chains have added food images to their menus; the growth associated with this strategy has been exponential. If you want someone to buy, don’t simply tell them about your product or service–show them.

David Lee King, author of face2face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections (CyberAge Books)helps entrepreneurs understand what it takes to make their company “human” and approachable via social networks. “Connecting with people, both customers and potential customers, doesn’t always come easy,” King says. “And this can be even harder to accomplish online. However, as customers begin to heavily rely on social media tools to learn about products and companies, business owners must learn how to transpose their traditional marketing tactics to resonate in the virtual world.” Adding visuals to your social media updates is one way to achieve this.

King offers these five tips to help you get started in creating great visual-based content. They key is to keep it simple, and to post with your customer in mind.

1.  Show off your stuff.

If you are a small business selling a product, this part is easy. Simply take some photos of your products, and post them on the social networks that most of your customers use. Don’t think of these images as some sort of extended product catalogue. Instead, share images of new products that you’re excited about. Post the photo, and write a paragraph about the product, too. Sharing your enthusiasm helps get your customers excited too–especially if they can see the thing you are excited about.

Not a product-based business? That’s ok–images work here, too. Service-based businesses can use lifestyle shots to connect their audience to the essence of what they do. You can purchase stock photography on sites like Shutterstock, iStock, and other royalty-free sites.



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