Monday, February 3, 2014

How To Use Photo Tagging As A Social Media Marketing Tool

True engagement with fans on social media that makes a lasting impression is not an easy thing. Getting a bunch of comments with a "caption this" or a "fill in the blank" post may feel good for a day. But, the reality is that these tactics are lazy, and are soon completely forgotten by fans. If posts to social networks are not part of a thought out content strategy, it is unlikely they will to lead to sales, loyalty, or even awareness.

To be fair, it's not all laziness. Social media is still a new world when it comes to marketing, and the constant changes to, and of networks makes it difficult to determine how best to engage with users in a meaningful way. There are plenty of brands, big and small, that are getting it right though. Studying their tactics reveals that success comes from hard work and planning, as well as good, old fashioned creativity.

Not every post has to be a key part of the strategy, of course. But, marketers definitely have to be aware of where their opportunities lie, and capitalize on them. Here are just two examples of what I mean. Both of these Facebook posts use the photo tagging tool as a way to engage with their fans, making an impression that lasts while bringing more eyes to the original page.

1.  Mayer Hawthorne is a musician that takes time to talk to his fans on social media. In this Facebook post, he displays a wide shot of the audience from the stage. He asks fans to go to his website to tag themselves if they were in attendance. By giving fans the chance to relive their experience and feel like they were an important part of the performance (which, they were), Hawthorne creates a lasting impression on them.

This single photo drives people to the website, delivers a piece of shareable content that will display in the news feed of many friends of everyone tagged, and most likely drive ticket sales the next time he has a show in this city. Simple, meaningful, and brilliant.    

2. Alzheimer Nederland is a Dutch Alzheimer's organization that wanted to bring awareness to Alzheimer's disease in a unique way through social media. To do this, they inputted images of Facebook users at events which never really took place, leading to confusion among them once they were tagged. This confusion is similar to what Alzheimer's patients experience when unable to remember events of their past.

This campaign is great because it puts the user in the shoes of a person facing this disease, delivering a powerful call to action to get involved. It also is a bit fun (if I can use that word here), that has a viral nature to it, as Facebook users can then deliver an image of a friend from their Facebook photo collection to Alzheimer Nederland to be inputted and tagged in an event photo. So, those that are drawn in by this campaign can then pass that experience on to a friend. This approach is much more involved than the first. But, it creates a lasting impression by being personal, and could drive online donations which are vital for disease research.

ALZHEIMER NEDERLAND - The Alzheimer's Event [casefilm] 2:00" from N=5 on Vimeo.

We know the power images hold on Facebook. It's difficult to get into those news feeds without paying extra. Engaging photos are a great way to overcome that obstacle, and command attention in a crowded space. This is where the creativity of your social media marketing team is important. If they take the opportunity to shine in a unique way, your social media pages could prove to be great tools for driving revenue from engagement.