How-Tu Tuesdays: Incorporating GIFs Into Your Social Media Strategy
Introduced firstly on Tumblr and Reddit, GIFs are increasing in popularity and now being featured across most social media platforms. Twitter first introduced support for GIFs back in June 2014, whilst Facebook just announced a few days ago that users now have the option of embedding GIFs in their status updates by simply adding a link to the GIF or uploading a GIF image straight from their files.
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is a graphic file which continuously moves through a series of images. Reaction GIFs are animated GIFs which are used to express an emotional reaction to something, and it is these specific types of GIFs that are soaring in popularity. According to Google Trends, the interest in reaction GIFs is forecast to continue climbing until April 2016. Check out a selection of reaction GIFs on Buzzfeed.
GIFs can be an extremely useful tool to build brand awareness, develop a brand voice and ultimately stand out from competitors. There are a number of ways in which GIFs can be incorporated into a company’s social media strategy.
- Boost your customer service Add personality to your brand by showing customers that there are real people behind your logo and some words on a screen. Using GIFs to resolve customer service issues can bring a level of humanity and humour to a situation that could otherwise be considered hostile or tense.
- Make your content more viral Featuring GIFs in both your social media content, blog posts and e-newsletters will catch the attention of readers and attract more traffic to your website. Making your blog content more shareable can also increase the average visit duration and page views on your website.
- Publicise your product Animated GIFs can be used to visually highlight features or provide exclusive teasers of a new product launch. This can also be done if you are revealing new branding, a new website or if a new member of staff is joining the team. Combining a GIF with paid promotion on Twitter can also increase the return on your investment and significantly increase interest around your products/services.
- Highlight company culture Providing your followers with an insight into your company culture using GIFs not only creates unique content that is only relevant to your company, but it shows customers what it’s like to work for you and how employees are treated. Consumers are now much more socially and ethically aware and will choose brands based on their behaviour and values.
GIFs can be shared across Twitter and Facebook by saving a GIF from the internet (make sure you save the file as a “GIF image”) and then uploading it to a post just as you would a normal image from your files. On Instagram, GIFs must be again saved as “GIF images” and then saved to your camera roll on your phone.
If you want to create your own GIFs, there are a number of free GIF makers for both iPhone and Android. Check out this article from About.com explaining the features of nine free GIF creation apps.
Hopefully you found this helpful in deciding the best ways to incorporate GIFs into your social platforms. We have created our own Tuminds GIF highlighting what we love best… social media!