Whether you pronounce them “jifs” or “ghifs,” GIFs have become one of the funny heroes of social media. Since 1987, the 8-bit per pixel interface has been used everywhere from blogs to wikis to show video-like images with the data capabilities closer to that of a picture.
In recent years, The Graphics Interchange Format has erupted in popularity on social media. First used mainly within blogs and popular listicle sites like Buzzfeed, people began to embrace the moving pictures that are more reminiscent of Harry Potter’s living portraits than they are actual videos. From there, more social media networks like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter adopted the capabilities to upload, search or share these moving pictures.
Tools like MakeAGif and Giphy quickly popped up to meet the demands of users who wanted to make their own soundless video blurbs without needing much technical know-how. In just the span a few short years, users have been presented with a multitude of tools to make, upload and store a vast amount of select moments from movies or TV.
Why Using GIFs to Boost Social Engagement Actually Works
What businesses need to do is take advantage of this unique opportunity. Creating proper content and encouraging audience engagement is key when connecting with influencers on social, and GIFs are a great tool to make your brand’s social posts more engaging and relatable.
Thanks to the latest Twitter update, attaching an image, video or GIF to your tweet doesn’t count as part of your 140 characters. Adding multimedia to your tweets helps your posts stand out – meaning people are more likely to see and engage with them.
At Insightpool, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in audience engagement in posts that include GIFs. In campaigns run on the Insightpool platform, we’ve noticed that when two posts are published with the exact same text – and where the only difference is that one post includes a GIF – people favor the post with the GIF. On average, the engagement rate for a post with a GIF increases 20% for a B2C brand and 10% for a B2B brand.
It might sound silly, but adding the occasional GIF can seriously increase your engagement rate. And at no extra cost of characters, there’s no reason to not occasionally throw one in and see how much it helps out your posts!
Tips and Tricks
Convinced that now is the time to start adding GIFs to your posts? Make sure to follow these tips and tricks:
- Keep ’em short. Twitter only allows GIFs that are under a certain length. The typical maximum that Twitter allows is 5 seconds, so shoot for a 3-second GIF length.
- Keep ’em simple. Don’t overuse them. GIFs are enjoyable and can be very engaging, but they’re not for every tweet. Use wisely!
- Keep ’em relevant. Only use GIFs when they are hyper-relevant. They’re perfect to use when you’re trying to promote a specific video or interact naturally with a follower. But don’t just use GIFs in the hopes that it will garner more attention.
- Keep ’em fun. Use a GIF only if it’s fun and enjoyable to watch. They’re a quick opportunity to showcase the exciting nature of your product or brand in a way that simple text can’t convey. Have fun with it.