Visual Social Marketing 101

While it is true, there is a plethora of social media platforms out there– some companies are having trouble on which platforms to embrace and which to ignore. Three prominent visual platforms that companies can use are Vine, Snapchat and Instagram. Some marketing companies use all three of the platforms, while others have trouble getting the hang of just one. These three sites all have similar features, but the strategy for using them is anything but. Seth Fiegerman who is a business reporter for Mashable, describes the three platforms as so “Snapchat is best used for sending playful messages that look more informal, Vine’s optimal use is for posting playful videos that look professional and Instagram is best employed for sharing professional content that looks professional.” Here are some do’s and don’ts that popular companies have done on these platforms.


Out of the three, Snapchat is one that companies have the most trouble getting a hang of. With it’s limit of only 10 seconds long per clip, how much advertising can a marketing company actually do? The clips are a less polished and (have to be) more creative then some marketers may be used to. It is not like the typical advertising process, and normally Snapchat is not intended for big companies to advertise on– it’s more for the young adult community who just want to talk to friends. However, there is still a growing number of companies who are stepping up to the platform to take a swing. One company in example is Taco Bell.

The CEO and founder of Deep Focus (a digital agency) says “The key to it has been them figuring out their voice and being able to speak in the vernacular of their audience, It means being relevant to them and understanding where they fit within their customers’ lives.” Taco Bell is not afraid of having out of the ordinary and weird advertisement’s, they make use of all the features offered in the app. The brands that are successful at Snapchat are authentic and have a playful attitude, they have to be willing to have candid moments and be relevant to the younger demographic who is the original audience.  


One of the newer platforms is Vine. Vine is a video service that runs on 15-second clips. Vine videos have a sense of whimsicality and can seem effortless. However, the most popular of users can spend hours to even days creating the memorable clips. According to a digital media officer (Engroff) at The Media Kitchen, “Don’t take a 15 second spot and cut it to 6 seconds, Embrace the medium and create for it.” Some of the best videos on Vine, are surprising and have a playful vibe. One marketing company that does this well is Samsung. Not only does the company make clever video clips, it also makes a soft cell rather than hard for it’s products. Engroff also says “You don’t really notice that it’s a Samsung device… It’s interesting in its own right, That’s the bar. These have to be interesting in their own right, regardless of the brand.”

Everyone that has worked with Vine has said that it has the potential for real-time than any of the other platforms because it is integrated with Twitter. This doesn’t mean that companies should be trying to put out Vine videos that tie with real-time events, but if it’s a good fit– go for it.


Many top brands in the world are now on Instagram, with good reason. This platform has more than 200 million users, and integrates with it’s parent company Facebook. It also has the option to not only post photographs, but 15-second video spots (much like Vine.) The types of brands that do well on Instagram tend to be higher end, such as Lexus cars, Beats headphones and even Burberry clothing. However, brands can also find success on the platform by having gripping images or videos that pull in the consumer (companies such as GoPro and Red Bull do this.) Unsure if you should post images or videos? The goal is to have an even balance of both. While the videos haven’t fully caught on as Instagram would have hopes, they still are an effective tool from brands and media outlets.

With every picture and video, comes a description. By adding relevant hashtags to your posts, you  can gain followers and traction. Just don’t go overboard with too many or by creating a complicated one with over 15 characters. For Instagram and even all three of the platforms, it is important to remember that you are dealing directly with the customer. You are not hosting a telvision ad or a giant billboard advertisement, all your content is going directly to the consumer on a small and intimate phone screen. “It has to be authentic, has to be an evocative emotional moment in that it stirs something in the viewer. The brands are getting much better at it, but it’s often been something they’re not good at.”


Thank you Seth Fiegerman for the original idea. You can read more here.