A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Pins

First, Instagram (which we love). Then, Pinterest (which lots and lots of colleges love). Now, Facebook Timeline (which we’re also gobbling right up). The future, apparently, is visual. These image-driven platforms are hotter than hot. But here’s the $64,000 question: What’s our strategy?

Even in 2009, a Harvard Business School study noted that “pictures are the killer app of social networks.” All the more reason for us to be more thoughtful about the images we’re putting out there, whether they’re on our university homepage or our Pinterest account.

Writing for AdAge, Chas Edwards notes three factors to consider when crafting a strategy around the images we publish and share: 1) how will they increase audience engagement? 2) how can we convert engagement into sharing and 3) how do we earn revenue — or, in our case, how does image engagement and sharing translate into applications, donations or other conversions?

Pictures certainly matter, and we’re taking and sharing more of them than ever before. Ten percent of all photos taken by humankind were taken in the past 12 months. … Readers process more information more quickly from images than from text, and thus images drive more audience engagement than text content.

Source: In Age of Pinterest, Instagram, Marketers Need An Image Strategy by Chas Edwards, AdAge, March 15, 2012

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About Georgy Cohen

Georgy Cohen is director of online content at Suffolk University and principal of Crosstown Digital Communications LLC, a consultancy focused on helping institutions of higher education tell their stories on the web. From 2004 to 2011, she worked at Tufts University, where she led the university’s forays into multimedia, social media and online news. Keep going »


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