How can a non-visual business compete on Social Media?


Your business is not a visual one. Then how do you compete in the world of social media?

This is a great question, asked by many, and one that has marketers, designers and social media managers digging to the depths of their creativity. Great imagery and eye-catching video are at the forefront of every social media feed. If you’re a non-visual business, how do you get noticed? What can you do to make an impact?

Professional service businesses in particular can find social media a struggle, so too can a beautician, a life coach, software providers, the list goes on. Many companies are restricted with the imagery available in their particular business.  

So, let’s rise to the challenge and see what opportunities are available to us.

10 tips for creating a visually appealing social media presence.

1.   Think variety. It’s all about variety. Post a range of visually appealing content. Use video, live video, infographics, graphics (text overlaid on a background), eye catching imagery and blogs.

2.    Focus on your clients. Look outwards rather than inwards. Are you providing a service, say as an Accountant, or are you a piece of the jigsaw which makes your clients the success stories they are. Do you work with a restaurant, a marketing business, a cake making shop, a florist, a bobsleigh company? Visual businesses who wouldn’t be who they are without your help. Share imagery relevant to their expertise, a piece of their story and the support you provide, of course with their approval. Vistaprint has captured my attention recently with their small business commercial airing again on TV. A captivating story of a happy photographer shooting on location….ending with his business card and the link back into Vistaprint.

3.    Pimp up your core communications. Continue to share facts and figures, important policy changes, advice on VAT returns and information which will be of use to your audience. After all your target audience will want to engage with you for your expertise and what you offer to them. Be true to your business offering and fulfil the need that your audience has. But do this in an attractive way. Can this be done as a live video on Facebook? Can it be a story? Can it be a live question and answer session? A pre-recorded video / slideshow? Great imagery or a simple but stand out graphic. There are tools available to make this easy. Try iMovie or Ripl for quick video production.

4.    Use words to command attention. Sometimes it’s not what you say or even how you say it, it’s how you present it. One or two words may be enough, but make them look great. There’s great templates in Canva and Wordswag helping you make an attractive graphic featuring text on a bright background or image in minutes.  There’s also the opportunity to animate graphics and make these stand out further.

5.    Use stock imagery. Accompany blog posts or text based posts with attractive imagery. Head to Pexels, Pixabay or Unsplash for a huge selection of fantastic imagery, which are free to use under the Creative Commons Zero license.

6.    Share a bit of you? Add personality and reality to your brand. A personal touch. Let your audience understand who it is that will be doing their accounts if they were to work with you. Now I’m not talking cheesy head shot selfies, or pictures of what you’re eating for dinner. And you don’t need to share your secrets or photos of your nearest and dearest. Think about what will resonate with your target audience. You need to know who these people are, what makes them tick. Amazing sunrises, landscapes, signs of Spring, your first trip of the year to the beach (or outside if you’ve been hibernating for the winter). You get the picture. If a client sends you flowers, share these and how you feel.

7.    Share Gifs. If appropriate for your business share a gif – short animated images playing in a loop, which help us to convey a feeling or a reaction. A bite sized piece of entertainment lasting just a few seconds. Head to Giphy to find relevant gifs to share, or make your own at gifmaker.

8.    Video. Social media likes video. Experiment with video for your business. Behind the scenes. An Introductory video. An interview between you and a client. Create a video which stitches testimonials from your clients together. Try iMovie or Ripl for quick video production.

9.    Live video. Be brave and experiment with live video. It’s natural, it’s not so polished so it’s truly authentic and enables you to connect with your audience. You go live, your audience engages by typing their comments which you can then address to all viewing. Hold a question and answer session

10.  Link to your brand story. Like any business, there is a reason you do what you do. What are the life experiences that make up your story? Connect into these through great imagery.

11.  Add creativity. The social media algorithms (particularly Facebook right now) seek engaging content. Content your audience are going to interact with and start a conversation over. Be creative, test a range of ideas and measure the response to see what it is that your audience wants.