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A GIF (Graphical Interchange Format) image will run continuously. Multiple images are layered in sequence in a thumbnail-size frame and then run in fast sequence to animate the image. You’ve seen them everywhere!
GIFs rule on social media. They are proving to be effective hacking strategies for marketing, branding, and customer engagement. A contributor to Forbes noted, “Bloggers and meme-fanatics alike will admit that very few things can convey emotion like an animated GIF, and with almost 23 million GIFs posted to Tumblr every day, it’s needless to say that the internet has become obsessed with the file format.”
5 reasons you should use GIFs on social media:
GIFs show how-to moments.
It may take some creativity, but a GIF can demonstrate how to use a product. It can quickly show how to use a tool or appliance making it appear simple enough to buy.
If pictures are better than a thousand words, animated pictures tell an even better story. A well-done GIF is more effective than content copy.
Yes, GIFs are easily shared, technically speaking. But, several heavily used social media channels prohibit their use.
The NFL and Olympics have banned GIFs because of subject matter. Others have problems with possible copyright infringement. And, some lack the capacity to run and store millions of them.
GIFs are plain fun.
Posting and receiving GIFs can be a lot of fun—assuming the content and visual is not objectionable to reasonable people. You can build or repost a humorous take on your grandchild, hobby, or recipes.
GIFs can show real or animated characters involved in play, school, or do-it-yourself projects. And, you’ll easily find GIFs that celebrate holidays, birthdays, and special events. With tools like the Cloud App Snipping Tool (https://www.getcloudapp.com/uses/snipping-tool), you create your own fun.
GIFs can sell.
If you have an online or on-ground business, you can post GIFs to announce new products, new prices, or new personnel. Your social media connections will forward and repost clever and engaging GIFs.
Your connections expand your market reach as they share your GIFs, and that strengthens your personal or business brand.
GIFs just say more.
These animated pieces say something about you. They suggest you are fun, bright, and hip. They communicate a message, but they suggest you are trending and technologically current.
You can use a GIF to add humor, emotion, or empathy for your content copy, and the visual effect increases your message impact.
Social media growth hacking strategies
GIFs are suddenly everywhere. Ordinary people are adding them to their social media postings to deliver a little whimsy with their postings. They are sharing GIFs they enjoy or creating their own.
Writing for AdWeek, David warns businesses not to use GIFs without the formal consent of the people in the GIF. But, he does recommend creating your own and confirming with your attorney that all copyrights and releases are in place. Otherwise, GIFs are a go!