The Rise of the Visual Social Media Era

An article today on Fast Company caught our eye. It could not have more eloquently positioned the rhyme and reason for iCharts’ role in the larger publishing industry. And the rapid shift to use of visualizations to create and share stories.

Simply put - consumers, the voice of the people - engage at a more rapid pace with visual content. We saw a similar shift when online video became a more accessible medium for publishers and everyday consumers. The same is now happening with photos, infographics and charts.

The fundamental value-add of including photos, videos or data-driven charts versus a long-form, text-only article hasn’t changed much over the years. These elements have, and always will, improve reader engagement.

But what has changed, and is visibly seen in research and consumer feedback, is that we - the people - are much more apt to discuss something with our social peers that is uber visual and in a format that’s easily distributed and consumed by a scanning, A.D.D. society.

A few snippets from the post for your reading pleasure:

“Pictures have…become a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly….The need for publishers to get to the point quicker than ever came about as humans became more pressed for time and content became more infinite. For publishers, it was evolve or risk losing their audience, and the only thing shorter than a tweet or post is a picture.”

The “trend toward the visual is…influenced by the shifting habits of technology users. As more people engage with social media via smartphones…”

“A 2012 study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most. Forty-four percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media. Pictures have become one of our default modes of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to every day.”

How will you embrace this trend? 

Why, When to Chart


 

Charts are either loved or hated.  Loved…for their ability to capture and create stand-alone stories. Hated… for the complexity and time and it takes to move from data collection > story creation > distribution. iCharts is here to help.

Why Chart?

Charts aren’t just a quick way to share dense information; they are images that convey a bigger storyline, a 101 for captivating communications. As Peter Guber argues, “Humans simply aren’t moved to action by ‘data dumps,’ dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion. The best way to emotionally connect other people to our agenda begins with ‘Once upon a time…’ “.

When to Chart?

The Obvious
When you have data to drive a story.

The (Less) Obvious
When you have small or big datasets (e.g. top 10 lists vs. aggregated survey results of a recent poll) to share on social networks. Both use cases, regardless of data depth, have valuable factoid pass-along power when combined with strong visualizations.

The Upside?
Short-term, additive audience reach. Long-term, charts tweeted or shared in a social context get indexed on search engines Get your charting on!

Want to become a data partner to share your stories for FREE? Please contact us.