Visual Platforms in Social Media
When you think about a search engine, you probably think Google. You probably wouldn’t imagine that the second most popular search platform could be on YouTube. The fact is that many people would rather search for videos which allow them to “see the products [they seek] in action“. And how-to instructionals are much easier to watch than they are to read. Visual platforms perform remarkably well in social media.
Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has come a long way with “four billion hours of viewership a month“. Many of its features have gotten the attention of companies looking to expand their reach through social media. They are utilizing channels to organize their videos and give their audience a reason to linger. The ability to appear in a search “by playing with tags and titles” is one way brands can go where their audience hangs out. They can also “bid on keywords” or run “Promoted Videos” if looking for more advertising opportunities. YouTube has no intention to slow down. They see that the benefit of allowing for longer videos will open up the possibility for more advertising and viewership. Although shorter videos are still more popular than feature films on YouTube, the longer forms are becoming increasingly popular as more devices are able to play them. Now that they offer the Send to TV option, people can “watch it on a TV equipped with an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Google TV”.
In true 6-second Vine fashion I will give you my summary on the popularity of Vine videos and their stop-motion masterpieces:
Instagram was called “a visual twitter” during hurricane Sandy when people posted images in preparation for the storm as well as capturing the destruction and loss as the storm passed through. Instagram is no longer stuck in the photo niche. Since they added their video feature, there have been “37 % more Instagram shares on Twitter“.
People are spending an enormous amount of time of Pinterest…more “than Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.” Although the audience is predominantly comprised of women, men are beginning to find their way to the platform as well. Because people linger on Pinterest for as long as they do, it’s a great place for brands to have a presence. They can post loads of content with images rather than writing long articles or blog posts, and can “drive massive amounts of traffic” to their site. The search engine optimization coming from Pinterest is incredibly powerful “because it creates inbound links.”
As we’ve seen Instagram transition to a platform offering videos I’m sure we will begin to see many more options and variations popping up throughout all of the visual platforms. Each one wants to be better than the next. As they grow in popularity, they’re audience grows, attracting more brand participation.
Questions to consider:
1. Do you think traditional television will withstand the major changes we’re beginning to see throughout the above visual platforms? They are now offering new ways to watch and experience videos. Could it change television as we know it?
2. If a brand were to pick only one of the platforms I covered above to engage with their audience and market their products, which would be the most powerful place for them to have a presence?