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Utilizing GIFs on Social Media: Holiday Edition

If you’ve spent a day on any given social media platform, you’ve likely run into a GIF. To some, GIFs (short for Graphic Interchange Format) are a way to accentuate a point while others see only humorous purposes. These static and animated images are ubiquitous in the social media realm, so why not enliven your account as well?

GIFs, invented in 1987, have come a long way: from something teen bloggers used to make jokes to cultural icons we recite and reference daily. According to a Time Magazine article, 66 percent of polled Millennials said GIFs explained their feelings and emotions better than words. Therefore, get with the times and animate your social media! Still not convinced? Maybe the following reasons can persuade you.

Why You Should Be Using GIFs

1. Stand Out

Brands should be using GIFs because it shows a modern and knowledgeable company. Social media accounts are dedicated to spotlighting a brand personality and showcasing the company’s product or service. More than that, GIFs are consumable and interpretable messages that can be easily seen on a viewer’s feed. A GIF adds another layer of messaging and can grab the attention of a passerby, rather than relying on the written copy. While videos also work similarly, they can be expensive and require meticulous planning and editing. GIFs are a happy medium between picture and video content.

2. Reach a Target Audience

Many companies use social media as a vessel to broadcast messages but reaching a target audience goes much further than a simple conversation. The imagery and movement within a GIF convey emotion and tell a story that words alone cannot. Because of this, GIFs often feel more human and personable than direct phrasing.

3. Get Festive

The Holidays are a magical time of year, but don’t restrict your GIF usage to these few months. GIFs can be used at any time, though it can accentuate your festivities. Accounts can repost popular GIFs or create their own. Using this sandbox function, designers can incorporate products into GIFs to show uses, present the product in a unique way, or simply to please the eye. No matter the occasion, GIFs are a useful tactic to draw attention and diversify your feed.

4. Mobile friendly

GIFs and mobile platforms go together like peanut butter and jelly. Mobile users desire fast, digestable information: something GIFs provide. This visual stimulation requires no audio, portrays emotion and connects with audiences of all ages. It’s a perfect recipe!

However, accounts must remain dedicated to the season as posts can quickly fall upon deaf ears, if they are not genuine. Evaluate your employee, client and audience base to see how these individuals celebrate and what you can contribute to the conversation!

No matter how you pronounce GIF (“jif” or “gif”), it’s agreed upon that these images assist in the creative diversity of social media. So, post some GIFs as you decorate your tree, spend time with family or travel this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

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