-- Part 1 of our Social Media Toolbox Series --
Using infographics to enhance your social media presence
You see them everywhere ⎯ in your newsfeed, as online articles, in magazines ⎯ infographics are the it thing in social media marketing. Their proliferation makes sense: People love their facts served up with a side of fun and colorful illustrations.
It’s more than just facts + clip art. Infographics succeed because they convey information in an interesting and engaging way. Explaining moon phases is 'meh' from an informational standpoint. Explaining them with Oreo cookies? Much better. An infographic explaining moon phases with Oreos branded by a telescope company? Ding, ding, you have a social media winner.
What does it take to win at social media when it comes to infographics?
- Relevant content
- Quality research
- Smart design
- Planned distribution
Relevant content + clever delivery + call to action = sales.
You are an authority in your industry so choose an infographic topic that highlights your business’s knowledge and strengths.
For example, your plumbing company you wouldn’t advertise cola, so why would you create an infographic about the health risks of these beverages? Stick to what you know with a more credible approach: Bathroom remodeling. Gather interesting information about costs, time of year, colors, trends, etc., package it together, and put your logo and contact information at the bottom. Your customers have everything they need to know to get started, including your contact information to call for a consultation.
You don’t have to be a visionary to develop clever delivery. You do need to brainstorm, think of interesting topics, and develop an overall concept (like how Oreo filling looks like the moon). This part of the process works best with a team.
Don’t forget the call to action!
It’s easy to get wrapped up in facts and cool illustrations. The bottom line of infographic development is sales. Always include your logo and contact information. If there’s a subtle way to ask for the sale, do it, but do not treat an infographic as hard-sell tool. It will fall flat.
Do your research!
As an authority you establish instant credibility with your audience. Don’t ruin it with lazy research and half-baked facts. The same rules apply as in English 101: Use reliable, current resources, and always give credit.
Instantly this infographic business is tough; the Internet doesn’t have the best reputation for providing credible facts. Wikipedia is a standard source, but since it’s based on user contributed info there is a margin of error. What’s a girl/guy to do?
Use first source data. Always.
First source data comes from your industry’s authoritative site. If you’re a contractor your research comes from sites like The National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Additionally, sites with a .org or .edu in their web address typically have credible information.
You found credible data. (YAY!) Make sure it’s the most up-to-date information. If you own a candy company and the National Confectioners’ Association releases a chocolate report every year, make sure you’re using the most recent report. Infographics are an investment in your time and marketing budget, updating them constantly due to outdated information is a costly endeavor. Plus, using old data doesn’t make your brand an authority.
Think of your infographic content like the news: Relevant, current, and accurate.
Cite. Cite. Cite. Make sure you collect all your sources so they can go on your infographic. Web addresses, article names, and dates should be part of the package you hand off to design.
Make it pretty!
Now comes the fun part: Design. There are two methods: Professional or DIY. Which route you go depends on the complexity of your infographic, your budget, and your skills.
If you have the budget earmarked for infographic development, leave it to the professionals. Hiring an infographic designer starts at $1,000 but the results are superior with a uniquely designed piece that reflects your brand and concept.
Four figures for one piece of your social media strategy are hard to swallow for most business owners. There are some great online resources like Piktochart or Infogr.am where you can upload your info, choose graphics, and create a DIY version of an infographic. They’re easy to use; if you can upload files, you can create an infographic. Some services are free to use while others charge a minimal monthly or yearly rate.
While the cost to DIY is a fraction of what a designer would charge, there are some drawbacks. Since you’re choosing from a menu of options, your infographic could look similar to others using the same service. Adding your logo is sometimes an additional charge, and if you have a specific concept you may not be able to create it since your imagery choices are limited.
Before you set out on creating, think about how design will impact your piece and make the best decision for your brand.
Pinning, tweeting, sharing!
Congratulations! Your infographic is complete. Almost. Distribution is the final piece of the social media puzzle.
Post your infographic to all your social media channels, and don’t forget the smaller guys like Pinterest and LinkedIn (if applicable to business). If you don’t have a business Pinterest account, consider creating one, even if it’s just for your infographics. This visual social media channel is an excellent medium for your image-heavy content, plus you can create link backs to your site and tag with hashtags too.
Encourage your friends and followers to retweet, pin, and share your content. Factual content coming from reliable sources (like friends and family), increases your ability to get shared and seen.
With all the different tools in your social media arsenal, infographics can be the most effective way to create shareable, unique content that also positively impacts your bottom line.
Thanks to Optics Central for their Oreo infographic
Socialty is a full-service social media marketing and social recruiting agency in Chicago. We create content, websites, blog posts, email marketing and strategic marketing plans for small and medium size businesses. Our social recruiting team helps you attract talented candidates via social media outlets. Socialty connects you to your audience and potential employees. We'll keep you social while you carry on with your business. Keep Social and Carry On!