If you’re as active on the Internet as you should be in this day and age (and you really should be), then chances are you’ve come across the mythical, magical, Harry-Potter-moving-picture-esque images known as Gifs.
Gif (pronounced “jif,” no matter what your friends might say) is an image file type that’s short for Graphic Interchange Format, and can be used as both a static image, or a moving image. The latter is really what sets gifs apart from other file formats, because they allow an image to move like a short video clip, but with a much smaller file size, and a constantly looping format.
In recent years, gifs have exploded all over the Internet, thanks to their popular use on social sites like Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter, and, recently, Facebook. So, how can your business use gifs to its advantage? Check out these fun tips on gifs for business.
What’s Up With Gifs?
Truthfully, you probably won’t be using gifs unless you already have a social media account on one of the big 3 social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest — sorry, ‘Grammers, Instagram doesn’t natively support GIF animations yet).
One of the most popular places you can use gifs is Twitter. Some of the bigger name businesses have been catching on to the trend for quite some time, and have found some fun and creative ways to use them.
Gifs are amazing!
One of the biggest reasons to use gifs is that they show your customers that you’re paying attention to Internet trends. Why is this important? Why do you need to cater to the young whipper snapper millennials with their fancy moving pictures, and iced chai mocha lattes with non-fat soy milk?
Really, you don’t. You can go through your entire company’s lifespan without using a single Gif. But if you do use them, you’ll show your customers that you’re fun, that you’re not just an unreachable money machine, pumping out products and calculating overhead costs 24/7, 365.
But there’s also a proper way to use gifs. It’s unproductive to post gifs without context, or without reason. Typically, gifs are used to compliment an idea or statement that you’re already tweeting out.
For example, if I was tweeting something fun about being ready for an upcoming holiday, such as the 4th of July, I would compliment the tweet with a gif of fireworks going off.
Or, if I was looking to get a funny reaction from customers, I could post a gif of this firework scenario gone wrong. If people like it, your tweet will be retweeted, favorited, quoted and maybe get some replies.
All of these things will make your social media traffic go WAY up. The more RT’s you get, the more people are going to see your company’s Twitter account.
But like everything else in the world, there’s something called “too much of a good thing.” So be careful you don’t post gifs with every post. People get tired of repetitive content very quickly, and will soon unfollow you if your gifs are posted too much.
You also need to make sure the gif you’re posting isn’t going to have a negative impact on your followers. Something that might seem like a harmless tweet, might in fact put a bad image in the minds of some people (literally).
Quality of gifs is also a big part of their effectiveness. Tumblr has a knack for producing lots of gifs, but with really poor quality. People don’t like to see low quality photos, so why would they want to see low quality gifs? But thankfully, there are plenty of sites out there that produce great gifs. Check them out.
Where Can I Find Gifs?
These sites are great for finding the perfect gifs for whatever situation you need. Most have easy download options, and share options, so you should have no problem finding the right gif.
- Giphy – Probably the best gif finding website out there. They literally have gifs for every situation. I’m not kidding. Every. Situation. Plus, their search option is super effective and easy to use. Just type in any keyword, and Giphy will pull up a gif that’s related to that keyword.
- Reaction Gifs – If you’re looking for gifs that express certain moods, or emotions, than Reaction Gifs is your personal glass case of emotion. From anger to sadness to joy, they have gifs that perfectly express every feeling.
You can even make your own gifs, if you’re feeling really dangerous. Websites like imgflip, gifmaker.me, and makeagif are all great, easy to use sites. You can even use Photoshop to make your own gifs, but that should be reserved for the photo editing pros in your company.
Just make sure to credit the source of the gif from one of these sites when you use them on your blog or website. Gifs fall under the Fair Use doctrine, but like anything else, it’s important to credit the source.
Gifs are great, and they show your company can be fun, humorous, and creative. So don’t be afraid to use a gif in a post every once in a while.