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The Three “I”s of Visual Social Media

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As Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube lead the rising trend toward content visualization, food has become a popular category for people to consume and create content around. Content visualization — visual representations through photos, videos or infographics that often prompt sharing on social media — allows retailers to entice customers with attractive images.

SN spoke to media consultants about the best ways to reach out to customers. When developing your digital marketing plans, consider these three “I”s of visual social media:

  • Image content creation can fit any budget

Whether your store has a budget for professional photographers, your press team has a do-it-yourself ethos and a single camera or your staff members come equipped with smartphones, any of these solutions work for social media.  

“People definitely follow food. That’s probably the most photographed thing on Instagram is food, and to be able to start using that, that’s just as simple as going out there and taking pictures with your smartphone,” said Jessica Levin, president of Seven Degrees Communications.

“With some of the tools now, you can do it at a lower cost,” she added. “People like the authenticity of the Instagram, so I think that there is a solution for everybody for every budget.”

  • Interact with your online audience

Connecting on social spaces requires more than setting up a page and posting photos. Dialogue helps drive engagement between customers and retailers.

People want to interact with brands and retailers and share content, said Michael Bigley, director of creative technology for RGI. “We’re finding that people feel a closer affinity to the brand, whether that be a retailer or a CPG, if they are contributing back, if they’re giving feedback and they feel that feedback is actually listened to,” Bigley said.

  • Integrate digital efforts with proven traditional marketing strategies

Leveraging visual content across social media platforms reinforces a digital campaign, engages shoppers and helps drive traffic — to websites and into stores. But don’t replace traditional marketing practices with digital tactics, such as mobile marketing for example.

“A lot of people jump into mobile because it’s the big buzzwords,” Bigley said. “But if that’s not integrated into your overall marketing strategy and it becomes this island or this silo, you’re not going to be nearly as effective in that.”

Read “Retailers Promote Produce Online With Visual Media” to learn about campaigns retailers developed to promote produce through visual content.

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Liz Webber

Liz Webber is Engagement Director / Fresh Market Editor at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined...
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