We are living in an age of News Feed overload.
In less time than it takes for you digest this sentence, the News Feed of millions of Facebook users has been updated with statuses, photos, videos, app activity… and advertisements from companies around the globe.
With an unstoppable stream of content, businesses need to work harder to really stand out and capture audience attention if they want to avoid ignorance.
Actually, you have no other option. While procrastinating their daily commitments ahead of them, your target audience on Facebook will take a moment to quickly scroll through their News Feed. Most likely, they don’t have the patience or time to go through lengthy content.
The average person’s attention span decreased to 8 seconds (from 12 seconds in 2000), which is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish, according to a research published at the beginning of last year.
So the question: How can your message break through the noise and engage people for an extended amount of time?
Now I don’t know about you, but the words ‘visual storytelling’ really inspire me to answer. In fact, visuals have a better chance of catching users’ attention than any other form of content, and they can tell your brand’s story in a much more dynamic way than a block of text could.
Here are some eye-opening statistics:
- Posts with visuals result in 180 percent greater engagement (source)
- 93 percent of the most engaging Facebook posts are image posts (source)
- Half of the human brain is involved in processing visuals. A visual can be interpreted in less than 1/10th of a second (take that goldfish) (source)
As a result, draping content with strong visuals and a story will allow for quick comprehension, even if your fans don’t actually read the copy.
Visual storytelling tactics for Facebook engagement
You may already have an established Facebook presence, but do your posts effectively engage your audiences? Here are some ways to engage them with visual storytelling:
1. Use videos
A picture is worth a thousand words; imagine the worth of a video. Take your company’s visual storytelling strategy to the next level by posting videos on your brand’s page. HootSuite reveals videos can get 12x more shares than any other type of Facebook content. Social media videos are experiencing astonishing growth.
8 of the 10 most shared Facebook posts in 2014 included a video, we also recently listed Facebook Video ads as one of 2015’s top trends. Many companies have applied this visual storytelling tactic. Samsung is a great example of a company that often tells the story about its products and company culture with hands-on and company insider videos. Most of their video posts get a lot of likes, shares, and comments.
Tips for maximizing the impact of videos
- Gear your videos to lead your audiences down the path of understanding your product, service, or company.
- Incorporate humor
- Make sure your videos appeal to fans’ emotions
2. Use fan-submitted images
It’s easy to forget the storytelling power of the images submitted by your fans when you’re looking for ways to increase engagement. Using one of fan-submitted images tells a story of their experience with your brand and how it has impacted their life. Also, it is a great way to appreciate their commitment and show you are dedicated to them.
The fans on your page will understand the message you are sending much faster when you’re reciprocating their stories. You can hit the jackpot when customers who are in the thick of the story tell their social circles about it. Pro Dive Cairns follows this strategy by sharing photos and experiences by customers.
Tips for maximizing the impact of fan-submitted images
- Insert your brand into the ‘fan’s journey’
- Don’t be afraid to jump in real-time conversations in the comments section
- Use AdEspresso to generate more views for the human side of your brand
3. Use a mascot
Facebook fans are always looking for a way to connect with their favorite brands and its people: they want to explore company culture and what inspires the brand to innovate. Why not use a cute mascot to tell the story of your company’s mission who invites your fans to be a part of something bigger?
Apart from increasing brand recognition and encouraging engagement, using the right mascot to tell a story could elevate your brand beyond social. A study revealed brand mascots are more effective at creating a social buzz than celebrities… you didn’t see that one coming. M&M’s characters are wonderful mascots who have amassed more than 10 million fans. They tell the brand’s story in the best way possible.
Tips for maximizing the impact of brand mascots
- Develop personality traits and qualities for your mascot
- Try adding some quirks to make your mascot memorable
- Once fans embrace a particular character of the mascot, make sure he/she stays in it
4. Use captions
Whether you’re posting a hilarious video of your brand in action, a picture of a dog wearing your company’s sweater, or a collage of a fan’s experience in a getaway organized by you, use a short caption with the image or video than simply leaving the visual content to tell the story on its own.
Even one or two lines are enough to hint what the audience should be expecting out of the visual they are going to see/watch. Captions can particularly help audiences who are new to your brand and unfamiliar with its story. Here’s an image from Toyota’s Facebook page telling how brave its 4Runner is with a caption.
Tips for maximizing the impact of captions
- Use a sentence or two
- Follow the caption with a link or hashtag
- Make sure names and facts are spelled correctly and accurately. Compare them with the story they illustrate.
Over to you
So now you can get some ideas to enhance your Facebook audience engagement rate with visual storytelling tactics. Telling your story with these tips can help add a whole new dimension to your Facebook marketing campaign. Reconsider your Facebook content strategy and think how you can mix in visuals that show your world in a unique way.
Already a little motivated? How are you using visual storytelling to make your Facebook page more engaging? We’d be real interested in hearing from you.