visual social media

By nature, humans are visual creatures. Dense blocks of text intimidate us, we’re subconsciously swayed by colors and just the site of a double chocolate fudge brownie is enough to make our mouths water.

Heck, we see roughly 5,000 visual messages daily. Even if our brains aren’t hardwired to prefer visual elements, out environment certainly is.

Naturally, social media has taken the hint. There are now entire websites devoted to visuals like photos, graphics and videos – almost no text allowed.

The question for content marketers is which visual social media site is best for your brand. Read on to get the low down on the top five visual social media outlets.


Founded: March 2010

Number of users: 70 million

User Demographics: Not surprisingly, about 80 percent of Pinterest users are women with at least some college education and annual incomes of about $100,000. More than two-thirds of the site’s users live in the United States.

Highlights: Pinterest allows users to create business accounts that they can link to their website, which automatically gives your page credibility. There are also analytics you can use to track your followers and pins. You can upload videos (in fact, there’s an entire section for videos), but photos and infographics are more common.

Conclusion: This site is best for women-oriented businesses such as retail, home goods or weddings. Pins involving food are also incredibly popular.


Founded: October 2010

Number of users: 150 million

User Demographics: This photo-sharing and editing platform caters mostly to 18 to 34 year-olds, and about 68 percent of their users are female. In terms of geography, 17 percent of users who live in urban areas are on Instagram.

Highlights: Instagram nearly stopped the world earlier this year when it announced the introduction of 15-second videos to the previously photo-only site. Businesses on Instagram have the opportunity to show their corporate and personal side on the site while keeping up with social trends

Conclusion: This site is good for businesses that have a younger audience. Some of the most followed accounts are Justin Bieber, Rihanna and the Kardashian/Jenner sisters, so that should give you a good idea of the type of content users expect on the site. Try to keep your content fun – show an office holiday party or a birthday celebration.


Founded: January 2013

Number of users: 40 million

User Demographics: There isn’t much information about user demographics yet (most likely because the site is still so new). There is, however, one major indicator of the types of users on Vine: the fact that it’s only available on smartphones. In general, demographics will most likely be similar to those of Instagram.

Highlights: Owned by Twitter, Vine is one of the newest social media sites devoted solely to video. Users can upload 6-second mini films to their accounts, which means businesses on this site must be incredibly savvy with their messages.

Conclusion: Building a strong following is possible, but it’s going to take some thought. Focus on videos that give your followers valuable information, such as a how-to (one of the top trending hashtags on the site) or stop-motion videos featuring one of your products. Creative businesses such as design firms can also hold contests for their followers to create videos related to their business.


Founded: February 2007

Number of users: Debatable. Yahoo hasn’t released the numbers since it bought Tumblr earlier this year, but estimates range from 30 to 50 million users.

User Demographics: Users 18 – 24 eclipse other age groups on the site, making it very popular with young adults. Men and women make up about an even percentage of users, and more than half of the people on the site have at least a college education.

Highlights: Think of Tumblr as the love child of WordPress and Instagram. The site is designed like a blog, but the content should be quick and visual. You can upload photos and videos, and you can connect your Tumblr and Instagram.

Conclusion: Find creative ways to represent your company in a fun, intriguing light, like behind-the-scenes photos from one of your events.


Founded: February 2005

Number of users: 1 billion

User Demographics: YouTube’s largest audience is the 18 to 34 age range, averaging about 37.6 million U.S. view each month. The ratio of men to women is about the same (59 million views per month vs. 63.7 million views per month, respectively).

Highlights: There’s a TON of content on this site. On average, users post about four billion videos each day. In order to build a following you must put out quality content. Perhaps the best feature, however, is YouTube’s parent company, Google. Any video you post gets indexed by the world’s largest search engine, so it greatly improves the chances of it popping up in search results.

Conclusion: This is great for any type of business that lends itself to video. This can include podcasts, webinars and around-the-office shenanigans.