What do you get if you mix pictures and videos?
GIFs are the staple currency of social media humor today. If you’re active on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably seen a bunch of curious, interesting (and mostly funny) GIFs doing the rounds.
Do you know why people use GIFs?
Out of a gazillion reasons, here’s a few:
- GIFs are easy to share and consume: they’re animated unlike static photos but they’re not as long as videos generally are.
- GIFs are funny: good humor spreads and becomes viral.
- GIFs are trendy and peppy: you spot a GIF anywhere and you’re most likely looking at something that’s trending (Super Bowl, Deadpool, Valentine’s day anyone?)
GIFs are so cool that you’ll find a lot of marketing gurus saying you should use them (we’re not gurus but we say the same thing too!)
“This is a great opportunity for brands to showcase their personality, stay up to date with current trends, and it offers a more individualized avenue for communication with your audience.” – HeyOrca
The internet is not just about cute cat gifs (but they’re cute, hands down). If there’s anything just as popular as cute cats on the internet, it’s GIFs. And many brands have made strategic use of GIFs to make themselves be seen as human, relatable, approachable and with a sense of humor.
Here’s why your social marketing strategy could get a new lease of life by using GIFs:
- GIFs make your social media profile look trendy, catchy and interesting.
- They help you connect with your fans and followers in a new way because they convey emotions much better than text or photos or even videos.
- GIFs add that required element of humor to your social media marketing strategy.
- GIFs make it easy to communicate with your fans – you can stop fumbling for words.
- They help you tap the latest trends and happenings to gain more interaction as well as new fans from across the globe.
- GIFs are easy to share and spread through the interwebs; part of this is because a GIF takes much shorter time to be seen than a video but is kind of just as interesting.
- They are easy to find and use! That’s the best thing. With a ton of resources (listed down below), you can find a GIF for every emotion you want to convey.
How to use GIFs in your social media mix?
Brands use GIFs for a variety of reasons including featuring a product, announcing a discount or as just replies.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a GIF worth? When words do not suffice to evoke an emotion from your audience, give a GIF a go.” – Daniele Lazzoni
Some brands use GIFs to show their products like Samsung did:
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) July 17, 2014
Google famously responded a “no comment” reply to a publication with this GIF:
And Hootsuite used a GIF to add some happiness to a customer query they resolved:
GIFs can be used in a lot of places including emails, social posts (as photo posts), and replies on social media (think Facebook and Twitter).
Where to Find GIFs
Fortunately, there’s no dearth of places to find cool, awesome GIFs that can crack a laugh. One of my favorites is Giphy but here’s a bunch of other places you can find GIFs that you can share freely!
You can find Gifs of every kind in these sources. Giphy, r/Gif, Gifbin and Gif Hub let you search for Gifs based on tags / keywords which is great.
If you are replying to someone on Twitter or Facebook and want to spice up the reply with a Gif, you can search for something real quick and share it.
The other sources don’t have a search option but you can definitely find great Gifs that you can share.
Combining Around.io and Giphy
Finding Gifs is one thing, but making them a part of your social media like the big brands that do it so well is another.
One of the reasons why brands don’t make use of Gifs in their social media – even though we all know they have a positive impact in engagement – is not being able to organize the whole thing easily.
That’s why having a Gif section in your social media scheduling app makes a lot of sense. And that’s why we have Giphy integrated into Around.io.
Once you log into Around.io, you’ll notice there’s a tab called “Gif Share”.
You’ll find a lot of trending Gifs. You can also search for a specific Gif using the search tab.
Once you’ve picked a Gif (or a Gif picks your attention!), click on the “Share” button on the Gif. You can then share or schedule it to all your social media profiles.
- More awesome sources to find Gifs (although not having a search feature on most of these makes it hard)
- Social Media Examiner tells you why Gifs matter in social media
- Someone made an awesome GIF on David Bowie
Try Around.io’s Gif Share and see how your fans react to your social media posts having funny / interesting Gifs. You can try all of Around.io’s super-cool features for free for a week. Sign up here.