Tonight, in partnership with the Social Media Club of Portland, Jessica and I gave a training to a group of Portlanders working to make the world better—and trying to figure out how to use visual media, social media’s new frontier, to do it.

Visual media, we shared, is essentially, social media 2.0—the intersection of our very visual world with social networking. We think of it like if Facebook and YouTube had a baby and that baby exhibited some of each network’s individual best characteristics like compelling visuals and active, thriving communities.

The birth of these “FaceTube babies” is the dawn of a new approach to social media–one in which visual is prized above text, one in which information is easy to digest and one in which target audiences are compelled to take action by visual asks and not just words.

Three pioneers of this revolution are Instagram, Vine and Pinterest, the three networks we discussed tonight. Our training was an hour long so we won’t bore you here on the blog with all the details, but we do want to share our key take-aways and the resources we discussed.

Key Take-Aways:

  1. You don’t have to be a pro photographer, researcher or designer to create compelling visuals–capitalize on third-party tools like those listed below to help you deliver top notch results without the years of experience.
  2. Authenticity is the key to growing a thriving community that gets excited by the information you share be it a product you’re selling or an idea you’re trying to move forward.
  3. Engage, engage, engage. Visual media networks are NETWORKS, not news delivery services. Communication should be two-way.
  4. Don’t do visual media for the sake of doing visual media…do it because it makes sense for you and your brand or organization. Think strategically and figure out which tools work best for you before you take on new endeavors.
  5. Adhere to the individual conventions of each community.