Using GIFs in social media for more than humor

Research shows that a picture on social media is worth more than a thousand words. It’s worth about 150% more retweets and 2.3 times the engagement on Facebook – possibly more if the pictures are in motion. Enter, the GIF.

GIFs are a great opportunity for brands to showcase their personality, stay up to date with digital trends and offer a bit of entertainment to an otherwise dull stream of text-heavy posts. They help shift a story from telling to showing.

So now the question becomes how to use them – after all, nailing the perfect tone, image and timing can be tricky. Here are some tips to use them to your advantage:

1.) Include information beyond character limits

Oreo continues to build off its illustrious social media legacy with GIFs like the above that give more information than the 140-character limit can accommodate. Think of it as a moving infographic! You can even get educational with it, like the Center for Investigative Reporting story on caffeine below – perfect for short online attention spans, as they do not require followers to watch a full video.

2.) Get 3-D

Want to give your audience the complete view of your product or event? A rotating image can show off more sides of a product than a user would see in an image.

3.) Evoke emotion

There’s no question that these images have more of an effect on PETA’s audience than even the most eloquently written post. 

When you want your followers to feel your excitement, and words just don’t suffice, GIFs are a perfect way to add a bit of hyperbolic sentiment.

Got it? Good. Now, Giphy. is a one-stop shop for all your GIF needs. You can search for GIFs, browse GIFs by emotion or upload a video or YouTube link to make your own GIF.