GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format): those short animations or static images with no sound, which often result in an eye roll or a snigger. They’re more popular than ever. Their presence has been hard to ignore as they have seemingly taken over social media.
But more than just a gimmick, they can be of great value to your marketing. Below is exactly why you should be using them too:
Like pictures, GIFs are easy to view and instantly convey the tone you’re trying to show. Twitter noted that in 2015 over 100 million GIFs were shared. You can add humour into your brand and show a more human-side of the company.
On Twitter, GIFs are now easier to use than ever – when you go to post a status they are located right under where you type:
Being able to get across the tone and meaning behind your text in one simple moving image can help get the desired end result of your customer feeling happy or amused – which is a win for your brand. This establishes a connection between you and your customer much quicker than a couple of words – the visibility of the moving image can attract attention where words might have been skipped past.
Changing up your posts stops the same content looking stale. Unfortunately sharing the same post (or type of post) over and over again isn’t actually that engaging. However, putting in a GIF to add the visual element varies your posts and shows you are full of good content. Which means your followers will be more likely to keep an eye out for your posts, and are also more likely to share your content.
GIFs aren’t as easily used on Facebook as on Twitter, but it actually isn’t that much harder.
Here’s how to use them on Facebook:
To share a GIF on your Timeline you’ll need to copy and paste the link to the GIF, wait for it to load, then post. A great hub of GIFs, Giphy offers these instructions for Facebook:
“For a GIF to play in the NewsFeed or on your profile, you need to use Giphy’s hyperlink found on the selected GIF’s permalink page. The link must be the first link in the post. Once the GIF is previewed in the post, its URL can be removed!”
Some suggestions though:
Don’t overuse animated GIFs
You should use GIFs strategically for content you want to draw maximum attention to. Overusing GIFs could be viewed as gimmicky, will make your feed look clogged up and prevent individual posts from standing out.
The team at Giphy also offer advice on how not to use a GIF. They add to this saying that the GIF should also be relevant to the context and you should know what it is about and where it has come from – be it from a music video, cartoon or movie etc. You will confuse your readers if you have an overload of GIFs that don’t match what you’re actually posting!
Don’t forget the importance of text
Text is still very important.
Although “a picture speaks a thousand words” a couple of words really help set the scene. Plus, a “Call To Action” will need to be clear through the post’s text.
Don’t post overly branded GIFs
GIFs are free and brand-less, they aren’t to be captured and imprisoned by a logo. Your profile picture will be next to your post anyway so let content marketing do what it does best and not bombard your audience with your trademark.
GIFs are a great way to liven up your content and are able to convey different emotions and products. Go on GIF it a go…
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