image of smartphone with social media icons

This week’s post is written by social media guru Meral Crifasi, who explains how to integrate images, emojis and videos into your social media messaging so they appeal to your audiences.

Four out of ten millennials would prefer to engage with pictures than words. Images, emojis and video are the latest trend in how we communicate.

How can you make sure you make the best out of images and video to communicate with your target audiences?

When I deliver Social Media Marketing workshops or classes as part of the Digital Marketing Institute’s Digital Marketing Diploma, I often see the same overwhelmed faces asking me how on earth they can actually cope with all that creating, sharing and engaging on all of those platforms

GIF of Elmo (Muppet) falling over

Set clear social media marketing objectives

First of all, before you even start thinking about images, identify exactly why you want your organisation to be on social media. How important is it for your business to be present and active on the various social media channels? Is it about customer service, lead generation or brand awareness? And which channels will work best for you?

Once you have a clear vision then you can focus on creating relevant content for your audience.

Know your audience & know your channels

Identify where your audience is most active and find out about their behaviour on each channel. Listen and monitor your social channels and observe your audience how do they behave and what they like. Find out what type of media that your audience prefers in each platform. For example, GIFs perform very well on Facebook and Twitter as they bring out the emotions, give personality and catch a user’s attention.

When it comes to LinkedIn customer testimonials, event images, behind the scenes photos, tutorial videos for products, corporate videos tend to work very well. Make great use of employees, customers and partners and create a visual story. These give your company a personality and also engage with all people who are involved in your brand story.

Instagram stories are great to bring exclusive content to your audience. They work really well during events, and product launches.

When you look at brands that are doing this really well you will notice that they know their customers inside out and truly relate to them in social media.

While you are engaging with your audience don’t forget to stay human. After all you are speaking to them directly! People appreciate brands that stay human and honest. Take Innocent, who have topped the Social Brands 100. Their strategy when it comes to copy and images is simple “It should feel like a human being talking to other human beings.”

Images: will cute and funny suit your brand?

They engage with individuals on a one-to-one basis. They focus on interacting with their community, rather than simply broadcasting marketing messages. When it comes to images they do not broadcast branded images throughout their feed but have a balance. They often use cute or funny images that anyone can relate to. For example…

image of Innocent drinks tweet illustrating use of images on twitter

Start Small

Find the most effective channel and master it really well before you launch into other channels. Once you get the first channel right, I can assure you it will be a lot easier to carry your brand values, tone and style to other channels and adjust. As you start out even one social media channel can be overwhelming. So stay focused

Pre-plan and schedule content. This will help you save time and streamline processes. Hootsuite is one great social media automation tool that can help you along the way.

When you are choosing the right channel for your audience here are some questions to answer before you proceed:

• What are your social media marketing goals/objectives?
• What channels are your target audience using and most actively on?
• What channels are your competitors using successfully?
• What type of content do you want to use?

If you want to focus on images and video then identify the best channels for these media formats Once you have a clear understanding of the above then pick one or two channels and start growing.

Stay curious

One advice I give to my students after each class is that “STAY CURIOUS”. You might be very skeptical about social media but do learn the basics, do try them out and always learn more about mastering them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Always read about the new trends. Here is one blog that can keep you up to date.

Also, always find new tools to enhance your images. I was very lucky to find out about Canva as it first launched. It is a great image tool for all things social media.

Analyse and adjust

Every social media channel is now powered by insights. The data will tell you more about your audience, where they are coming from, the ultimate time that they are more engaged. This data will help create your brand personas and in turn you would be able to create the right message and images for your targeted personas and know exactly when to share them.

So, for example,

• if you have used videos make sure to find out where people stop watching.
• understand why certain images work better than others. Which ones go viral ?
• A/B test your timeline updates with different copy, emojis, GIFs and images.

Over time, you will come to understand what works well for your brand.

3 tips for getting the most out of your images & videos on social media

  1. Invest in a great mobile phone with a powerful camera and learn to use some editing apps
  2. Be consistent in your creative style
  3. Always try new features while staying true to your objectives and style.

Yes Hell's kitchen gif to illustrate social media images



Meral Crifasi is a consultant and Lecturer/Trainer specialising in Social Media and Digital Marketing. She leads Westminster Business School’s workshop Strategic Social Media for Business, and teaches on the Digital Marketing Institute’s Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing.


Upgrade your social media at Westminster Business School

Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing

Strategic Social Media for Business

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