If you’re wondering how to step up your social media marketing game, we have one word – rather, acronym – for you: GIFs. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and everyone has an opinion on how to pronounce its three-letter abbreviation.

Pronunciation opinions aside, you might be wondering what in the world GIFs are. Well, a GIF is a series of images sequenced together to form a short, soundless video that plays on repeat. Check out this classic GIF, oftentimes used to convey excitement:

via GIPHY

(we’re really excited to teach you about GIFs – can you tell?!)

In today’s social media landscape, static images may not always be enough. One main goal in social media is to be engaging through creative and innovative content. While photos are totally acceptable and widely used for social media posts, a GIF is like the image’s new little brother that everyone simply adores.

GIFs Create Content Diversity

Content diversity is so important today. Between videos, high-quality photos, designs true to your brand, and GIFs, there are so many ways to reach people. When posting content, consider if you could utilize another type of media to create content diversity. Just like podcasters are switching things up by writing books to keep followers engaged (and turning them into lifelong fans), business owners like yourself should start diversifying your social media content to keep your followers engaged.

via GIPHY

Think of it this way: let’s say you only create social media content with photos. Your text and your photo always align, the message is clear, and you get a couple of likes per post (maybe more if you boost it). If you start sprinkling in GIFs to your social media content, chances are your followers will be more likely to engage with what you’re saying because GIFs are eye-catching. GIFs are relatable, funny, and convey things that sometimes a photo cannot. They’re also much easier to watch than a video. All in all, GIFs are a quick and easy way to engage with your audience.

Our Attention Span Is Shrinking

While social media improves and evolves, so do we – and our attention span is decreasing over time. We as social media marketers must adapt. The GIF, albeit over 30 years old, is becoming so popular now for a slew of reasons. GIFs last about two seconds, which is the perfect amount of time to grab your followers’ attention as they scroll through their newsfeed.

via GIPHY

GIFs Undoubtedly Add Value to Your Business

What’s that? GIFs add value to your business? That’s right. Utilizing GIFs shows your audience that your business is fun and brings out more of that personality that can get hidden in all the text!

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They also convey context or emotion in a way that is incredibly easy for followers to understand quickly. GIFs show your followers that you are paying attention to the latest trends, which shows them: A) You care, and B) You’re connected to the world around you. Finally, GIFs are easily shareable – you can now add them to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Stories easily, text them to friends and share via email (work emails are now way more entertaining!).

GIFs Are Worth a Thousand (+1) Words

Have we mentioned that GIFs are a great way to drive engagement on your social media pages? 😉 Check out our ideas for you to try out GIFs and get your audience involved:

  • Have a contest coming up? Use a GIF to get people’s attention, like this:

via GIPHY This could be you after winning our contest!

  • Celebrate holidays with a GIF. Check out this post we wrote for our client CJ’s Patio Grill on International Beer Day!
  • Turn the tables and encourage your followers to respond to a question with a GIF. For example, recently we asked followers of Nick’s Italian’s Facebook Page where they were from and encouraged them to answer with a GIF in the comments. Check out the post and all of its comments now!

Stay tuned – in Part 2 of our GIFs series, we’ll show you how to create GIFs to keep your followers engaged and your company lookin’ fly 😎

If you’re not sure how to make the most of your social media channels with tools like GIFs, Aspen Grove Marketing is here for you! We can help you decide which GIFs best convey your company’s brand voice and unique style. Contact us today to learn how you can incorporate GIFs into your digital marketing strategy!