In a visual social media world, focus on visual social data analysis becomes imperative

Chanel

Although top brands’ Instagram engagement rate showed signs of significant decrease since last year, Instagram still remains a leading platform for social media engagement. A comparison with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter certainly leaves no room for doubt.

Top brands’ average number of social media followers has massively increased as well offering a golden opportunity for growth. Brands also post more often than previous years, making social media platforms a fundamental tool for their strategy plans.

However, visual social media content still seems rather behindhand (and at times neglected) by top brands. Forrester research mentions a number of possible reasons:  a) lack of adequate work force, b) brands do not trust that their customers use visual networks, c) lack of a more visual brand. In fact, Forrester research expresses a rather strong point on the issue, saying that ‘tο ignore visual social content is to ignore customers’.

Still, visual social media data is out there, it’s massive and it moves really fast. Missing visual social media and images might result in missing important insights about brands and customers. That said, investing on visual social media data analysis certainly has serious cost implications for brands and also requires strong technical capabilities and synergies. Making sense of images on social media calls for deep learning tools, smart data mining, technical expertise and innovation.  Brands face a big challenge: They need to organise it, analyse it, comprehend its business value, convert it into strategies and insights and even discover new business solutions. Indisputably, it is an important business decision. But on a social media landscape where a tremendous 1.8 billion images are shared per day, this decision cannot be further postponed, in my opinion.

P.S.
The photo attached to this post is taken from Chanel’s Instagram account, one of the most followed high-fashion brands on social media. There is a reason why Chanel does not follow any other brands or users (never has and it seems rather unlikely that it will) and it would be interesting from a marketing and/or advertising point of view to reflect on this practice at a next post. Especially in relation to the high engagement rates that characterise Instagram’s ecosystem.
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