Telling your brand story on social media channels is an essential part of a successful marketing strategy — it’s where all the people are. The fast-moving nature of social media can present a challenge when it comes to sticking power, though, so how do you stand out from the scroll?
The key is consistently posting eye-catching content so that your brand becomes a familiar face. Ever heard of the “Rule of 7”? It’s an old marketing adage that still holds true today — consumers must see your brand (at least) seven times before you’ll make an impression. And the way to make memorable impressions? That answer is also an oldie-but-goodie: great storytelling.
We’re spotting the most popular social media trends across the biggest channels so your visual brand story is trending all year long.
1. YouTube: Color-code your playlist thumbnails
When folks visit your YouTube channel do they immediately know what you’re all about? Can your followers easily browse and find what they seek? Or is your folder of vids a mish-mash of styles and topics? Using consistent thumbnail images to organize your content is a simple way to boost your brand recognition.
We are wild about how tech tutorial vlogger Shelly Saves The Day does this social media trend, using different colored thumbnails to arrange her content by topic. Her videos about using iMovie have a purple thumbnail background, YouTube is red, social media is tan, and PicMonkey (woot!) is teal. You get the idea. Need a little direction to get started? Check out our selection of YouTube thumbnail templates or make one from scratch.
2. Facebook: Make a head turning ad with the carousel format
Facebook’s carousel feature allows you to pack in a lot of ad into a little space. Using up to 10 photos or videos in a single rotating ad post, each image can also have its own link. Imagine the possibilities! Show your upcoming folder of clothes/jewelry/bags/whathaveyou with a link to each item. Link out to multiple posts on your blog. And, for a “whoa-how’d-they-do-that” look, create a 3-panel image with graphic elements spanning multiple cells as in our example above. It’s all the rage with marketers at the moment, so get on board before this carousel ride slows to a stop.
3. Instagram: Get touchy-feely with your stories
Instagram Stories let you take your posts to the next level with an interactive user experience. You can up the engagement level by encouraging tapping and swiping throughout the story. Users feel like they’re “driving” their own experience and you’ll get more click-throughs as a result. Win-win. But first you gotta create the kinds of posts that people want to tap and swipe and click. Adding textures, collaging multiple images with eye-popping graphics, and experimenting with different fonts to get your messaging out can help tell your story.
4. Pinterest: Give the people what they want by knowing the trends
Sure, Pinterest is considered social media, but it’s also a ginormous visual search engine. So it makes perfect sense that if you create content for what the people are searching for, the re-pins will come. Each year Pinterest puts together an extensive trend report detailing the top-searched pins. Take a cruise through this comprehensive list to pick up some pointers that are relevant to your brand. For instance: searches for “mustard yellow” are up 45%, so add more of that color in your posts; same with geometric shapes (+1178%), chalk art (+664%) and donuts (+748%).
5. Twitter: Never miss another meme
Motivation Monday, Taco Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Throwback Thursday… The themed hashtags are working ‘round the clock, seven-days a week, and that doesn’t even include the viral memes that occasionally pop up. Remember real celebrity names (Cardigan Backyardigan), squinting woman and not a cell phone in sight? Relieve your FOMO and get in on that action with PicMonkey mobile, posting reactions and side-by-side #10yearchallenge pics on the go.
6. LinkedIn: Create an eye-catching cover photo
Just because LinkedIn is the “serious” social network doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be your engaging, dynamic self — just remember to keep your posts “industry-relevant”. That’s how LinkedIn judges your posts according to its algorithm, examining your content for how useful it may be to your specific audience. For instance, if you’re a baker, a post with a link from a reputable source about service industry health insurance will probably be more visible than a post uploaded from your phone about a friend’s birthday cake. Visually, though, you can be more creatively free by designing an eye-catching cover photo with textures and fonts and by making a winning profile picture.
7. Go Live on Twitch, Mixer, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube
Today’s consumers want authenticity and a personal experience from the brands they interact with and live video is the perfect way to build relationships and maintain loyalty. Share who you are with your followers by directly addressing their questions or comments in real time. Authentic, check. Personalized experience, check.