Chapter 6 of Engage! by Brian Solis talks about images and multimedia and the
importance of using them to reach a company’s audience. Solis wrote, “Online photo sharing encourages views and interaction around images, transforming pictures into social objects” (Solis, 39). The ability to involve an organization’s audience on an even more personal level is crucial because it fosters a strong brand loyalty. Solis talks about using Flickr and Facebook to distribute and share photos but this can be done through any photo-sharing site.
When I think of companies that really understand how photos can be used effectively, the company that sticks out the most in my mind is Coca-Cola. On Facebook, fans can upload pictures of themselves enjoying their Coke on the beach
or while walking their dog, etc. This ability lets customers personally connect to the company’s brand. Not only does this photo-sharing capability increase company loyalty but it also is free advertising. For example, if college students see other college students drinking Coke and they look like their having a great time while doing so, more than likely, the students that see that will go out and buy a Coke. Even with Coke’s Facebook page being run by their fans, this photo-sharing ability is still effective.
Using images is a big part of any social media plan. Companies can’t just post their own photos on a site and not let their customers do so as well. This relates back to what Solis said about corporate blogs. If a company is just using social media as a pitching resource, they’ll lose their credibility with their audiences (Solis, 26).
Another good example of a company that uses images to start conversations with their consumers is Kong (a pet supplies company). On Facebook, they’ll post pictures of dogs doing various activities and then they’ll ask their followers to post similar pictures of their own pets on the company’s wall. What better way to stay connected with your audience then by initiating the conversation with them and then continue to keep it going!
If companies look at other businesses that understand the importance of images, they can greatly enhance the effectiveness of their overall social media presence.