17th Nov 2016

Seasonal Gif Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Using Gifs In Your Social Media

Gifs have come a long way from the tacky, over the top graphics back in the 90s, these days Gifs are back in a completely new way. Thanks to the likes of Tumblr, Twitter and now even Facebook and iMessage, Gifs are everywhere and more popular than ever and there’s no reason your business shouldn’t be making the most of them within your social media accounts.   

Gifs can convey emotion and information way more effectively than any other medium, they’re often short, snappy and visual and when used correctly can be a great way to emphasise a text post or help establish a point. 

Originally Gifs were established in the 80s and featured simple things such as flags waving and flames dancing, moving quickly to the spinning symbols, glittery graphics and dancing babies of the mid to late 90s, before eventually being classed as uncool and seemingly disappearing from the internet.  

These days however, and partially down to the popularity of Tumblr, Gifs are here and bigger than ever. Often used in blogs and social media posts, this powerful comeback has changed the way businesses are engaging with their customers, providing a much more fun experience all round.  

Benefits Of Animated Gifs

Not only do they look cool but Gifs can have a number of benefits to your social media marketing, let’s take a look at them;  

Easy To Consume 

Gifs make it a lot easier for people to understand what’s being said or what the point of your article or post may be. They’re the perfect hybrid between an image and a video and are often short and snappy, meaning that people can engage with them quickly, yet still take away a meaning from the Gif.

Help Build Your Brand Identity 

Working as more than just an informative tool, Gifs can convey your ideas, your style, your humour and even your attitude, which can make them an important tool for expressing the personality behind your brand. Choosing your Gifs wisely and choosing ones that you personally understand and enjoy are great ways to show your human side.  

Establish Your Point

If you’re looking to raise or establish a point then Gifs can be an effective way in which you can do this. Using a Gif to help establish what your article or social media post is about can not only increase clicks but can let people know what point your making, often before they even read the title. 

You can find Gifs across the internet, on sites such as Giphy, Gifbin and Reddit, however most social media pages these days include Gifs within their status or messaging functions and if they don’t now, it probably won’t be long until they do, meaning you don’t need to look too far to find the Gifs you need. 

It’s also important to remember that you can also make your own Gifs, if you’re looking to add more authenticity to your brand or show off your own products or features. There are a number of different Gif maker sites out there where you can create a unique and fitting Gif for your business.  

How Not To Use Gifs

Once you have an idea of how you can use Gifs and the benefits that come with using them, you need to know how you can use them effectively and correctly;  

Context Is Everything  

A lot of Gifs have a meaning rooted in their source, especially Gifs from TV shows and films, which is why it’s so important you know exactly where your Gif is from and what the original context of the Gif was, you don’t want to use a Gif in a joke or lighthearted post, if it’s originally from something that could offend or upset people.  

Don’t Post Branded Gifs 

Most Gifs aren’t branded, unless they’re used by companies to promote their own products, you want your Gifs to be fun and engaging, not used solely as sales pitches, which is why you shouldn’t use or should limit the use of using branded Gifs.

Don’t Use Too Many

Not every post needs to feature Gifs, yes they’re fun and can increase your engagement, but using too many can be overkill. Too many Gifs can look like you’re trying too hard to be engaging and fun, instead you should aim to use Gifs sporadically alongside images and videos, in order to keep your content fresh. 

Gifs are one of the best ways you can bring your social media to life and shouldn’t be shied away from. If you’re looking to convey emotions, show off your own products or ultimately increase engagement and clicks, Gifs are perfect for a variety of businesses.
Is it time your business thought about using Gifs in your social media marketing?

Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 17th November, 2016
Categories: Marketing

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