Jul 31 Visual Content Marketing on Facebook Can Be a Tough Coconut to Crack
Should you include your brand or logo in the visual content you publish to Facebook? Let’s check out the travel industry as a mini case study.
Below are the most shared images on Facebook from January 1 through May 1, 2013 for Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, and Priceline.com. We used Taggs’ visual content marketing technology to quickly sort hundreds of brand images to find the top five shared images from each of the brand’s Facebook pages. Can you figure out which image goes with which brand?
You can’t, can you? The images are nearly identical in theme: palm trees, a pool or ocean, and perhaps a hammock. Snowy mountains had their chance in several image posts but didn’t get shared. Tropical settings get shared, and most notably, tropical settings without people get shared on Facebook. Empty tropical settings without people in them allow Facebook followers to project themselves into the image, and their connection with the image influences them to like, share, or comment on the image. The painfully obvious trend: no logos or branding.
This begs the question – how much brand value do these travel brands really get from the shares of these generic Facebook image posts? I think very little. I also think that the these travel brands are in serious need of a differentiated creative strategy to blend compelling travel imagery with their brand.
What about your brand? Is your Facebook visual content suffering the same fate as the generic content from the travel industry?
Here are some strategies with examples of visual content published by brands that incorporate interesting content and brand identity while still earning high marks for fan engagement. The product or brand in these images didn’t reduce shareability, the engagement performance of each example post below was exceptionally high relative to the brand average.
Creative Use of Brand Product
Use your product to create interesting, creative content to share with your audience. Keep the image relevant and timely to your audience’s interests and you can get your brand shared. For example, check out these posts from Dunkin’ Donuts and Zappos to celebrate July 4th. The logo and/or product is pretty clear, but each post achieved really high Facebook engagement for the brands.
The Value Proposition Image
If you create an image post that delivers value, you don’t need to be scared about putting your logo on it. Take a look at this “how-to” image post from cosmetics company Lancome, which earned incredibly high engagement relative to their post averages. They deliver value to their audience by creating quick visual tutorials for makeup application. Their audience likes and shares the content at a high level, and the brand logo and products are along for the ride!
Entertain Your Audience
If you entertain your Facebook audience, they will not only tolerate your branding, but they’ll also share it. Take Guarana Antarctica – the South American soda. They have outstanding engagement on Facebook, and they rely heavily on simple games to create visual content to engage the audience and advance the brand. Below is an example of a post that performed exceptionally well for them. Even if you can’t read Portuguese, you can get the gist of the game from the image itself.
These are a few strategies that we’ve found enable community managers to include the brand in visual content on Facebook while minimizing the risk of reducing engagement. In some cases, we’ve seen these strategies yield higher engagement rates, but it’s possible they could reduce engagement if followers perceive your posts to be blatant advertisements. In that case, you’ll need to decide whether or not the reduction in engagement is worth the boost in brand visibility. If you don’t find a creative way to include your brand in your visual content, you’ll eventually find yourself in a similar position as the travel industry brands.
Do you have other recommendations that help community managers blend the brand into visual content on Facebook? Tell us below.
About The Author
Mark Kelley is the co-founder and CEO at Taggs, the leader in visual content marketing software, serving some of the world’s largest consumer brands and agencies. Mark founded Taggs with the vision of helping marketers measure and optimize their visual content marketing across all social platforms.