A picture may be worth one thousand words, but nothing can provide a more stunning narrative than online video content.

As multimedia consumers, we crave visual content. Look at the popularity of social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Corporate brands have discovered our affinity for visual content, but even small businesses can build their own audiences by developing visual content that customers want to see.

Here are some secrets to the success of the big brands on social media platforms:


Use your fans to sell your products. Some of the best audience engagement on Instagram is using your loyal fans to help sell your products. By posting photos of real fans using your products, you’re boosting visibility of your product and gaining brand loyalty while also increasing your sales.

Sponsor online contests and giveaways. If you want people to get excited about your products, then feature contests and giveaways that require your customers to engage with your brand via your brand’s Instagram profile. Choose winners through likes, comments, reposts or photo challenges.

Take advantage of #hashtags. Like Tumblr and Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags to increase user engagement. Keep your hashtags short, easy to remember and make sure they are tied in with your product.


Create high-quality and beautiful content. On Pinterest, your visual content must be beautiful. By offering quality content, you’re more likely to draw more people to your brand.

Be creative with your brand. On Pinterest, visitors can create different boards to showcase the many facets of your brand. This will give your customers a more in-depth look at your company, and showcase the things that make your company and your products unique and interesting.

Be the source of inspiration. Pinterest is about inspiring people to be better, whether it’s cooking, decorating or keeping up with the hottest trends. Provide motivation for your audience through your Pinterest account. This is how you’ll convert potential customers into dedicated fans.


Actively engage and participate with your audience. YouTube’s comment sections are where your audience members have the opportunity to connect and communicate with you. Show your fans how authentic your business is by providing helpful and authentic responses.

Understand what your audience wants to see. Make content for your audience in mind. Audience members who enjoy your content will naturally react positively to your brand not only in other multimedia channels, but also in the marketplace.

Publish content frequently. The most successful brands on YouTube publish about 78 videos per month, according to one study, rather than publishing a few videos a month and hoping they go viral. Create content that keeps your audience engaged, entertained and updated on the latest news about your business and products.

The big brands have learned that the most effective social media marketing strategies are not by marketing head-on, but by marketing sideways. Social media success is more about helping, then a hard sell.

The good news is that even small businesses can find success on these social media platforms, even without the brand recognition that a multibillion dollar corporation may have. With realistic goals and a plan, you’ll see a return on your investment.

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