How to start using GIFs in your social content

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Looking for some inspiration with your social content? Feeling challenged to consistently come up with new and compelling stuff for your audience? Why not start dropping in some animated GIFs?

If you haven’t already tried using GIFs in your content mix, you’re missing out on not just a huge shift in how people are communicating, but also a really simple and resourceful way to engage your fans.

But just posting a GIF shouldn’t be start and end of your approach. There are a ton of ways to start implementing them and seeing their benefits.

First, it’s just a really easy way to inject humour into your content mix and either show a lighter side of your brand or find a different way to portray that brand voice.

Hootsuite is perfect example of a company using GIFs to stand out in your crowded Twitter feed, but while also maintaining the fun and light-hearted brand voice they’ve become known for.

GIFs are also a great way to broaden your multimedia mix if you’re a little cash-strapped or working with a tight budget. Consider that Facebook offers integration on its platform for services like GIPHY or IMGUR. while Twitter actually has a built in GIF search to make it that much faster.

Or if you’ve got a few videos you want to push people to, you can GIF a small part of it and use it as a teaser for the full video.

Which brings up a not so obvious benefit to using GIFs – creating your own GIFs for other to use. It’s a pretty straightforward process to create one and once you’ve uploaded it to a platform like GIPHY, you can make your GIF available on platforms like Twitter and Facebook for the general public – great way to spread your brand around.

Lastly, stringing a few GIFs together in a blog post can make for a totally different way to tell a story. Breaking up your copy and accentuating key points with a GIF give your readers a slightly more diverse experience with your content.

An outlet like Buzzfeed has almost mastered this approach and have really turned it in their signature to long form content.

There are a lot of grey areas around usage and copyright when it comes who owns and who can use GIFs, so it’s probably best to check with your internal marketing teams about your policy. But however you proceed – consider using more GIFs.

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