The what, why and how of infographics marketing using social media
In today’s fast-paced social media world, if you want your message to be seen, you need to include a visual. Whether it’s a picture of your dog, a map, or an infographic, articles with images attached get 94 percent more total views than plain text. Of all the visuals available, infographics are an especially compelling way to capture the attention of online readers.
Consumers are bombarded every day with so much social media content that you need to include something that can get their attention and educate them quickly and succinctly. Whether you’re using a visual social network like Pinterest or Instagram or a text-based platform like Twitter, infographics fit the bill.
So what is it that makes infographics so engaging in a social media format? Infographics are popular social media tools for four main reasons:
- We want information, and we want it now! Social media is all about speed, and infographics communicate more information in a shorter amount of time.
- We use social media to improve our social status. Infographics are full of the kind of information we love to share with our friends via social media, like fun facts and cool tidbits of information.
- Visual social media is engaging social media. As Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram have become popular, social media has become very visual. Sites are built to accommodate and share images, and infographics fit nicely into this dynamic.
- We have to break through the clutter to be seen. It’s no secret that social media has a lot of noise. The constant stream of content begins to clutter everyone’s feeds, and infographics are a great way to break through and be seen.
Reaching Consumers with Infographics
We typically see two types of infographics: brand infographics and editorial infographics. Think of brand infographics as visual press releases; they contain information about you, such as milestones, announcements, and new products or services. Editorial infographics are about telling an untold story and based on history, research studies, surveys, polls, etc.
Typically, you should include two infographics per month on your blog or website.
To make the most of different social media platforms, follow these best practices for using infographics:
- Facebook: Infographics don’t format well on Facebook, which is unfortunate because it’s so widely used. However, you can still take advantage of Facebook’s popularity by uploading a snapshot of the most compelling part of your infographic and then including a link to the full infographic. You can also widen your reach by mentioning or tagging any people or companies involved in the infographic.
- Twitter: Because Twitter is text-based, you’ll have to tweet a link to your infographic. Make it a shortlink so you can track clicks, and be sure to let people know the link is an infographic by including either “#infographic” or “[INFOGRAPHIC]” in the tweet.
- LinkedIn: People on LinkedIn are looking for value in what they read, so add some text with the link to your infographic that demonstrates its value. Tell the reader what he or she will learn or how he or she will benefit from looking at the graphic.
- Pinterest: While the description must state exactly what the infographic is about, don’t be boring. Have fun with it! For example, 'Who knew there was so much to know about avocados?' is much more likely to be repinned than 'Avocado graphic.' To increase your graphic’s reach, make sure to join group boards and use hashtags in your descriptions.
5 Tips for Incorporating Infographics into Your Social Media Strategy
You’re convinced you want to use infographics, but you’re not sure where to start. Just follow these five tips, and you’ll be in good shape for developing your social media strategy through this compelling visual medium:
- 1. Know What You Want: Before you start an infographic, know what kind you want to make. First, determine if you’re making a brand or editorial infographic. Next, develop the infographic’s thesis and main points.
- 2. Focus on the Narrative: The best and most engaging infographics have a great story with a beginning, middle, and end. It’s not enough to rely on good design; you need good editing, too. To tell a clear, compelling story, you have to be cutthroat about getting rid of what doesn’t belong.
- 3. Give Your Infographics a Home: Don’t just send your infographic into the big blue yonder and make it fend for itself. Give it a home on your site so you can reap the SEO benefits. All of your social links should point back to this page.
- 4. Make Sharing Easy: If sharing is hard, people won’t do it. Your reach will suffer. Include quick and easy social share buttons for your infographic, and provide the embed code so others can copy and paste your graphic on their blogs or websites.
- 5. Highlight the Visually Compelling Parts: It’s very common for infographics to format poorly on social sites. To solve this problem, grab a snapshot of the most compelling part, and provide a link to the full graphic. Not only does this solve the problem of poor formatting, but it’s a great teaser to get people interested in viewing the whole infographic.
Social media strategies have become crucial to businesses, and the single most important element of this type of strategy is getting the consumer’s attention. Look at social media as a crowded train station with you at the entrance and your consumer at the turnstiles.
Using only text is the equivalent of a whisper; your consumer can’t hear you. Using text with a picture is like using a normal speaking voice and, while louder, your voice is still drowned out by the crowd. An infographic, however, is a shout that echoes across the crowded room and, finally, grabs the consumer’s attention.
Our Infographic highlights our best practices for sharing Infographics.
Editor's note: If you're interested in marketing with infographics, don't miss this popular post by our own Dan Bosomworth on Techniques to promote infographics