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The ultimate social media cheat sheet

It is fair to say that it seems that everyone these days is glued to social media. Whether it’s a continuous stream of tweets or a Selfie in every location known to man we are now a generation obsessed with sharing.

With most social media users accessing platforms on the go from their phones and tablets it’s no wonder that the posts that grab the most engagement include some form of image or video, they are fun and easy to view and stand out from the sea of text based posts on users’ newsfeeds. This is why picture and video apps like Instagram and Vine have become increasingly popular, it’s true what they say, pictures really can say a thousand words.

When it comes to engagement, posts that include photos get around 39%* more interaction that posts without. Facebook and Twitter are constantly updating their apps and sites to provide the best platforms for media sharing and there are now thousands of ways to stand out from the crowd using visual media.

Here are our top five tips for sparking engagement using photos and videos on social media:

  1. Have a caption contest. Get your followers involved by letting them come up with an amusing caption for your image, it gets conversation going and a bit of healthy competition.
  2. Use quote pictures followers identify with quotes and then want to share them. It’s a win-win.
  3. Have a message to go with you image, whether it’s a team picture or a new product, have a message to go along with your image. Make sure you have all links included too.
  4. Use short video clips there’s a reason why apps like Vine and Snapchat are so popular, their videos are short sharp clips that can be filmed quickly and watched anywhere.
  5. Make sure your image fits, there is nothing worse than uploading amazing images to your social media channels only to find that they don’t sit properly or don’t look as good as they did on your phone.

Following the success of our Social Media Timeline we created in January, we put our heads together again at Prohibition HQ and decided to create a resource that would help anyone looking to amend their social media channels. We have created the Ultimate Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you quickly check the best formats for posting pictures and videos across the most popular social media platforms. Feel free to go through it and use it at your leisure. Did we miss something of the cheat sheet? If so what was it?

Social-Media-Cheat-Sheet_AW

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Instagram Videos – Are they enough to rival Vine?

Facebook-owned mobile app, Instagram last week delivered an exciting new feature to its users with the option to record videos which can last up to fifteen seconds. And true to Instagram, 13 video-specific filters have been designed to choose from, along with the option of choosing a still from the recording to be used as the video’s cover.

Upon hearing about this latest feature, I instantly thought: copycats. The development seems to be a reaction to Vine – the video app from Twitter at the beginning of the year.  Vine allows its 13 million (not a huge amount) users to record a looping clip which lasts six seconds. Unusual and entertaining it can be used to showcase anything, from advertising a new product to making a marriage proposal.

So, will the ability to post video on Instagram be a threat to Vine? While Instagram has scale (100 million monthly users) I highly doubt it. After having a play with the new option to video, I do have to admit that it is useful and fun, but unlike Vine, it doesn’t amaze or delight me. The ability to add effects to your video recording does create a better finish – but this is nothing new, with vintage video apps being a around for a while.

Vine’s stop-motion feature means a video you record becomes looped and therefore a lot more interesting.  Your recording almost becomes a piece of art and a product of your individuality, while the six-second restriction demands a creative approach. Instagram on the other hand seems rushed and unfocused – is it about making videos appear prettier, or about telling a story, or both?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with Instagram’s video feature, but I expected a much more innovative development.  As a regular user of Instagram to edit photos, I would have liked to see features to make videos faster, slower or more distorted. Maybe that’s work in progress, but for now, I’m sticking with Vine.

Here’s a little Vine of the Prohibition PR‘s office by Chris.