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The shift to visual social media has been dramatic in recent years.

Social networks based on visual content have sprung up “faster than you can say Indiana Jones” (Notting Hill, 1999). There is Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest representing the image based social networks. And YouTube, Vimeo and Vine for video.

People are using these networks for a reason. Text based content is harder to communicate particular emotions during marketing activities. Thus, actionable messages are delivered stronger in visual media.

Text will, of course, always have it’s place though.

Take pretty much any form of advertising or marketing as an example. Banners are known to have higher click-through-rates (CTR) than text links. LinkedIn ads now have the option to choose video format. Facebook’s EdgeRank even holds images in higher regard than text posts and displays visual media higher in profile streams.

But these aren’t actual statistics, so let’s explore a few…

A Few Visual Social Media Stats

  • Pinterest is now the 4th largest traffic driver worldwide (Shareaholic).
  • Visual media on Facebook generates 53% more Likes than the average post (Hubspot).
  • Facebook users are uploading approximately 300 million photos to Facebook per day (Gizmodo)
  • Instagram has increased 1,179% in six months (Business Insider).
  • Instagram now has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter (Mashable).
  • 4 billion YouTube videos are watched daily (Expanded Ramblings).

The move to visual media definitely has its value. So how do we utilise visual social media effectively?

The infographic below, by Socially Sorted, provides 6 tips businesses can follow to help become more visual, while outlining the transition to visual social media.

The Shift to Visual Social Media

Infographic courtesy of Socially Sorted.

Visual Social Media Trends

With the shift towards visual social media especially apparent in the last few years, what do you see as the next social media strategy trend?

Do you think that the ‘next big’ social network will be based on visual content?

I quite like the idea of Twitter’s Vine and it’s 6 second video uploads. Along with wearable technology, I think the next big shift will be towards super fast-paced content.