Visual is In – Are You into Visual?

me, giving a visual thumbs up to visual!Two huge social media sites have been mentioned in the news in the last couple of weeks: Pinterest and Instagram:

What’s going on? Why are these two sites so hot right now? Well… it’s because of this:
  • Pinterest = visual
  • Instagram = visual
  • Facebook = visual (depending on what you do with your status update)
  • Youtube = visual
  • etc.

Visual is in. Why? Because you visually “get it” immediately. It takes seconds to look at a photo and understand what’s going on. It’s very easy to look and like … and then click through to the meat of the post/site/message/video/etc if the visual carrot being displayed is interesting enough to make you click.

Is your website visual? Do you use visual parts and pieces to get people interested in your stuff? If not, you should maybe take a hint from the growing popularity of visual-based sites, and … add some things to look at.

Some visual starter ideas:

  • blog post – add an image that relates to the post. The image can help some people “get” the post better (I’ve had people tell me that about the images I use in my blog posts).
  • Video post – make a short video, showing off a new thing in your library. Videos are easy to watch and share. Since the video is usually embedded into a site, there’s a visual component, too. Do video well, and people will stick around (and hopefully click around, too).
  • Facebook – add an image of that packed program. This visually shows popularity – much better than having someone type “the event was really well-aattended.”
  • Twitter – tweet links to your photos and videos.
  • Pinterest, Instagram – start experimenting, and figure out how (or if) you can use one or both of these for your organization. I’ll bet you can.
  • Websites – add photos and graphics. That’s what we try to do on our website, and our customers love it (they’ve told me that numerous times).

How are you making your website visual? Adding visual elements to social media?

  • Suzanne

    One of the things I’ve always hated abot Twitter is its total lack of visual appeal. That’s why I now read it via Flipboard. Much more attractive and readable IMO.

  • Laiterdame

    Just thinking…Visual is important, the points are well taken, what about the visually impaired online clients?  

  • davidleeking

    Good point – about Twitter AND flipboard. I like using Flipboard better for Instagram, because it gives you larger photos, and more than one on a page (if it’s done with the ipad anyway).

  • Colleen Greene

    Excellent post, David. I agree on the importance of visual content. Our new library website (launching this summer) has been completely redesigned with a very visual focus, and I’m working with our operational teams to start thinking about how to create quick visual pieces of informative content rather than text-heavy blog posts or promo pieces.

    Our Facebook Page Insights show that having an engaging visual thumbnail vs. just a text post make world of difference on engagement and sharing.

  • Colleen Greene

    Our state 508 compliancy rules still require us (public universities) to create text-equivalent content for visually impaired users.

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