If in 2011 the online buzz was all centred around “checking in” and providing information on your whereabouts via social media then 2012 has seen the focus move towards the visual.
While preceding years saw an emphasis on copy whether through blogging, tweets or status updates the last 12 months has seen a major shift towards pictorial content. Two major success stories being Instragram and Pinterest, sites firmly focus around the sharing of pictures within online communities.
Facebook's timeline launch puts photos’ right at the centre of it's user experience brands can make use of several new features that rely heavily on bold graphics and visual storytelling: the cover photo, the timeline itself, and larger images on wall posts.
A 2012 study by ROI Research indicates that when friends engage with each other over social media it's the pictures they enjoy most with 44% stating that they would be more likely to engage with brands who use photo's as their prime communications platform.
For brands in a time of information overload, with news feeds and updates containing streams of irrelevant information visuals act like trailers to users for what they represent, providing a snippet of easily digestible information to convey a message or invite a user to delve deeper into the brand
The campaign showed an astute level of awareness in understanding that a large segment of their audience were tech savvy enough and sufficiently passionate about the group for the final content to be sufficiently high quality enough to produce print runs.
However brands choose to achieve it, what is clear is that visual identity creation is now vital to any profile. With search engines now basing ranking on conversations and sharing within social media in addition to website hits embracing visual content, clearly offers huge benefits through it's proven record of generating engagement. The old maxim a picture is worth a thousand words never rung truer.
Sam Wolf , Digital Account Manager, Liveinsights