Get ready for some breathtaking scenery in 2013!
Now everyone is starting to realize that social networks are saturated with advertisements and promotions. But above all there’s information coming at you from all directions, from brands, individual users and from so-called gurus and masters of social media.
My prediction for 2013 is that there will be a return to quality content. Brands will make an effort to create beautiful visuals in order to engage and build communities around their interests.
This return to a focus on content rather than mass distribution looks like it will be amazing, and will be facilitated by the use of distribution channels as powerful as social networks. We can expect to be dazzled by stunning photos and videos.
You may say that I’m wrong, but how do you explain the success of networks like Instagram or Pinterest?
According to Forbes magazine, Pinterest grew from 1 million users in July 2011 to a community of more than 20 million a year later.
Similarly, Instagram has grown from 860,000 to about 11 million users less than a year after its acquisition by Facebook in April 2012. In addition, PRnewswire published a study showing that multimedia news releases garner 77% more views than text-only releases.
Brand managers thus have an interest in embracing this trend and producing beautiful visual content regularly, in order to stimulate and maintain the growth and interaction of their social community.
Rather than leave you in anguish with the thought that your publication, due to be posted tomorrow, is just a long, boring block of text, here are some tips:
• Don’t neglect the quality of your content because that is what will determine whether your visitors are recurrent or not. Your platform is the mirror of your business; you want it to be beautiful. There are a thousand sites like yours, so visitors must see yours as special.
• Don’t be too aggressive in trying to make a sale. The goal here is to build a community and develop user interest for your brand by creating added value. This in turn will build sales — and probably more sustainably than an obvious sales pitch.
• Never lead your users into a blind alley. In other words, you should always offer more content to your followers. The best time to engage your readers is when they are already in content-consumption mode. Youtube does this particularly well, by offering related videos on the borders of the one you’re watching. It’s sometimes impossible to stop clicking from video to video in the vastness of available content.
• Make sharing your content easy so that your readers will work for you — if you deserve it — to expand your community and potentially create new customers.
Good luck in 2013.