It has become clear that a dynamic visual presence is essential for developing a successful social media campaign and just as essential for your underlying social strategy. But stunning visual campaigns don't have to be just for the big-name brands with money to burn on fancy lighting, editing and production costs. Even a small brand can make waves with thoughtful and visually powerful multimedia. Here are 5 ways that almost anyone can start introducing multimedia elements into your social media presence.
1. Expand Onto Visual Platforms
One of the first steps is to get your brand on platforms that are made for visuals. Brainstorm how your brand will translate on these platforms, and the ideas for how to represent your brand visually will translate into campaigns you can run on your other platforms. Two of the easiest networks for brands to get started using are Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram is a great tool to show your company culture, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes of your brand. Connect with the hip, young, tech-savvy followers and show them employees celebrating birthdays, new product development, client or office mascot. Showcasing your company culture makes your brand more personable.
Pinterest is a great tool to connect with corollary communities and networks that are related to your brand. If your brand sells kitchen appliances, connect with foodies, fitness, health and home decor communities that are all related to your industry, but aren't direct competitors. There is a good deal of "inspiration" and "wish-list" appeal of Pinterest, so use that as a jumping off point on Facebook or your other networks where you are engaging with the community.
2. Produce Branded Visual Content
Once your brand has dipped its toe into the multimedia pool on Instagram and Pinterest, use the content that is successful there as a jumping off point. Make simple, visually interesting graphics that engage users by asking a question or give a fact. Web photo editor PicMonkey is a standby photo editor for simple overlays of branding, text and design if you want to create a quick and simple graphic. For product and ecommerce brands, a collage site like Polyvore is a great tool to combine your products in a "look" to see a finished product. Although especially suited for beauty and fashion, there is also implications for design, decor and other industries to think "outside the box." Plenty of other apps also allow for easy-to-use graphic editing including Phoster, Diptic, Photo and others. Take a great photo, and add a great quote, phrase or saying with your brand's logo and website, and you have a simple formula for visually dynamic content to spice up your posts.
3. Get Vlogging
Video is the other arm of multimedia content and it is becoming more important and with the introduction of Facebook's new newsfeed design, will have more prevalence on Facebook. Video content is consistently the most engaging content and also opens up the opportunities for expansion onto new platforms including the big fish: YouTube. But youtube and other video platforms will get your brand nowhere if you don't have a game plan for regular video content. We aren't suggesting you hire a production team (although if you had the budget, we aren't saying no). You can create interesting content by be engaging and creative. A great way is to host a vlog, or video blog. Have someone on your leadership team, or a visible member in your company host a regular video blog where they talk about the latest in your industry. Invite other members on the team to have short discussions, interview other experts and industry leaders or answer questions from your audience. Google+'s hangout feature is a great option to host regular video discussions, which can be hosted live on air and then recorded and added directly to your YouTube channel. You can also do some light editing on YouTube itself to polish up your final product.
4. Introduce Short Video
Push your video content to the next level and produce short clip videos that feature different things about your company. Twitter's new Vine app and Cinemagram's GIF offer ways to create short video "snippets" that are easy to produce and offer a little more interaction than photos alone. Just make sure that there's a reason to make them videos, tell a story, show a progression or capture movement to fully justify showcasing them in video form instead of just snapping a photo.
5. Capture User Generated Content
Everyone wants a little recognition and promoting user generated content is a way where everyone wins. Ask fans in your audience to take videos of your product, share their ideas, or even hold a photo or video contest. Promote their content on your social media, blog and other platforms, tagging their work. Chances are they will share your post with their networks and open up a whole new set of possible fans of your brand.