On May 29 of this year Facebook began supporting GIFs on personal profiles. For years there has been much chatter around why Facebook did not support GIFs and when they might start to. So, this is pretty big and exciting news. GIFs have been one of the most shared types of content on the web for many years. Yet, Facebook continued to not support them. Yes, there were times when work-arounds made it possible but those disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived. But now, for the first time, Facebook directly supports these fun, and highly viral, pieces of content.
While GIFs are currently not supported on Company Pages there are still many ways you can leverage this big news for your business.
1) Post the Right GIFs
There are countless GIFs floating around the web. Funny cat ones, favorite television show clips and, of course, red carpet blunders. Yes, these are both funny and popular but how do they help your businesses? Rather than grabbing the first funny GIF you find put some time, thought and consideration into how the GIF will help your organization reach its goals.
We recommend you find existing GIFs that are easily relatable to your brand and audience. If you’re a fashion related company maybe those red carpet blunder GIFs are perfect. And, a pet shop should absolutely use funny cat GIFs. However, if you can’t find the right GIF you can always create them. Consider creating GIFs to help tell your company story, culture and announce exciting news. There are lots of sites where you can find and make GIFs for free:
2) Set The Stage
A great GIF can tell its own story but there are definitely times when setting the stage is a must. This is especially true if you are using an already created GIF. When posting to Facebook be sure it will not be difficult for your audience to understand why you’re posting the GIF and how it relates to your organization. For example, if you’re trying to recruit new hires and you’re using a GIF to share how awesome it is to work at your company ask yourself, “does this GIF accomplish the goal of showing off how great it is to work at my company?”. If the message isn’t clear enough be sure to add context in the post, “here’s why our employees love coming to work on Tuesdays”:
3) Rally Employees to Share your GIFs
Earlier I shared the unfortunate fact that GIFs are only available to individuals. This means, as of today, you cannot post GIFs directly to your company Facebook Page, just personal profiles. But don’t worry, not all is lost. This is an opportunity for you and your team to get creative and leverage the power of your devoted employees. Try running a fun internal contests that encourages everyone to post company related GIFs to their personal profiles. When doing this be sure to provide clear instructions for how to post the right GIF to their profile and provide any copy recommendations to help them out. But, keep in mind your staff’s Facebook profiles are their own so don’t require or demand. Make it fun and rewarding for everyone.
To get you started with your posting instructions: Paste the URL of an animated GIF into Facebook’s “update status” field. Yup, that’s it!
4) Measure and Test
As with everything else you do on social you’ll want to measure and test your GIF posting efforts. If GIFs help drive traffic, boost engagement and increase brand affinity it will be important to know things like when, how and why. If your efforts are not working you should make adjustments and try again. Don’t simply post and forget.
5) Start Strategizing for Company Page GIFs
While you currently cannot post GIFs to your company Facebook Page we suspect Facebook will soon support this feature. In the meantime, start strategizing for how you’ll roll out your GIF Facebook Page strategy. Use this time to test how well GIFs perform when employees share. Understand what works and what doesn’t. And be ready to implement your Facebook Page strategy the day GIFs are supported. This way you’ll be ahead of the rest and, hopefully, can benefit from being an early adopter.
What GIF advice would you share with organizations? Tell us in the comments below!