How Social Media is Becoming More Focused on Visuals

How many Snapchats have you sent within the last hour? When was the last time you chatted on the phone or saw the recipient in person? Snapchat is quickly becoming the new means for communication as the enticing image based, concise text focused, app allows users to conveniently keep in touch. While traditional advertising via TV, billboard, and radio are ongoing, advertising through a platform where users have chosen to accept ads and want to see them can bring effectiveness to another level. Consumers barely look up from their phones when walking the streets… or even driving, for that matter. What are they looking at? Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook- apps that require minimal mental engagement yet provide short and fast entertainment while walking down the street.

With about one in three millennials currently using the platform, it only makes sense for brands to step in and capitalize on the situation. Unique and eye-capturing content is the only route to take when trying to engage with consumers via the time constricting app. Snapchat allows marketers to connect with fans in a simple yet memorable way with the advantage of prompting impulse purchases due to the fact that the message will quickly vanish!

 Photo credit: LA Times.Business

From “snapping” coupons to consumers to offering sneak-peaks, this type of marketing is on the rise and will only continue to grow as these real-time, image-based apps emerge. Now lies a great opportunity to step in and start a trend of connecting with consumers before it too becomes commonplace.

Furthermore, Instagram has also become a great source for advertising. There is so much that can be captured in an image and distributed to “followers” that allow this platform to take giant strides in a marketing sense.

In choosing to “follow” a certain brand, the user commits to seeing all image posts that brand populates. In the consumer’s eye, the brand must narrow down their single post to the best, most memorable and action inducing image and/or saying to capture the attention of the user. In doing so, the consumer is no longer bombarded by continuous and exhausting ads as that ended up in “un-liking” a brand’s Facebook page in the past. Instagram creates a visually appealing platform for consumers to glance down at and connect to while on-the go.

Gain a competitive advantage by seeing who your followers follow. What other companies are they following? What are they posting? Any potential partnerships? How will you incorporate these ever-growing trends into your marketing plan?

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at

Amanda Ciccatelli

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