Good news everyone! Facebook has added more motion to promotion allowing business pages to use GIFs in their posts and ads. The social media giant rolled out GIF support for personal pages back in May, but left business pages hanging. It appears Facebook is now slowly rolling out GIF support for business pages. You may have already seen GIF ads from Wendy’s and Guaraná Kuat pop up in your News Feed recently.
Only a small percentage of brands currently have the ability to post GIFs. However, Facebook announced that they would roll out GIF support more widely if users react positively to the test posts.
Long story short, full GIF support for business pages is coming very soon and it would be extremely beneficial for your business to have a handful of pre-made GIFs to push out when that support arrives. How do you create an awesome GIF for Facebook? Allow us to walk you through the process.
Why Should I Use Gifs?
As we discussed in our Facebook Follow Guide organic reach is just about dead as brands viciously compete for a very limited number of available spots in the News Feed. In order to stand out brands need to create engaging content that grabs audience attention and increases organic reach. You can stay ahead of your competition and claim your spot in your fans’ News Feeds by becoming one of the first brands to post original gifs once support becomes available. Remember when we introduced you to cinemagraphs?
Cinemagraphs are a type of GIF that exhibit the traits of both photographs and videos. As you can see with the cinemagraph above almost all of the image is still except for the earrings and the woman’s hand, which exhibit motion. Cinimegraphs are incredibly captivating GIFs and they will surely grab attention for your brand. However, we will be focusing on creating simple GIFs rather than cinemagraphs in this post. We provide a more in depth cinemgraph tutorial in our post on cinemgraphs as the next big social media trend.
How Can Businesses Use Gifs?
There are a plethora of interesting ways brands can leverage GIFs in their content. We’ve provided a few ideas below:
- Blog post/news story images – Brands can use GIFs to animate their headline. For instance, “10 household items to make your life easier” could actually cycle through images of the ten household items with a title overlay.
- Product/application demos – A video would be just as effective as a GIF for this purpose, if not more so, but it’s good practice to mix up the media types you use with your messaging.
- Promotions/Discounts – Put some motion into your latest discount or offer instead of using a still image to promote it. Create a GIF and make your offer pop. Users will be more likely to share it.
- Instructional/Informational Content – Creating visual GIFs of step-by-step instructions is a great way to reinforce what you’re trying to help readers do.
How Do I Create A Gif For Facebook?
If you want to create a quick GIF from a YouTube video or other streaming source you can do so through Gifs.com. With Gifs.com you can create a GIF in seconds by simply pasting a video link and adjusting the video timeline to cut out the portion of video you want to turn into a GIF. However, if you want full control over your animated GIF and you want to make something completely original, then you’ll need to make your GIF with a full featured image editor like Photoshop or GIMP. If you can’t afford Photshop GIMP is a great alternative you can download at absolutely no cost. You’ll find tutorials for both editors below:
As you create your GIF keep in mind Facebook’s aspect ratio. No matter what size you make your images, Facebook will stretch the GIF to a width of 470 px. It’s best to create your GIF on a canvas that is at least 470 px wide.
How Do I Share A GIF On Facebook?
Facebook doesn’t allow you to upload the GIF file itself (At least not yet). Attempting to directly upload your GIF to Facebook will result in a still image. Instead, you’ll want to paste the link to your GIF in the status bar and a preview of the GIF will pop up. This means that your GIF has to be hosted somewhere else. You can either put it on your website or upload it to a GIF database like Giphy or Imgur. Once your GIF is uploaded somewhere within the worldwide web you can copy the link and post it into Facebook.
It’s important to note that the GIF link needs to have a “.gif” at the end. Oftentimes services like Giphy will create a custom URL that will dynamically decide between loading a Flash or HTML 5 version of a GIF instead of the GIF file. When this happens the GIF will not work properly. To get around this, make sure to use the full GIF URL. For Giphy, click on the share button and copy the GIF link.
Once you paste the link a preview will appear and you can then delete the link to replace it with your status. Of course, if you’re looking to spice up your status text or find the appropriate hashtags you should visit our blog post on the anatomy of a viral social media post.
There’s nothing out there that can match the weird, mesmerizing quality of a good GIF. Start creating GIFs today so that when Facebook rolls out GIF support for all business pages, you’re ready to post. Get ahead of the curve. Create engaging visual content, and you’ll command your audience’s News Feed. Not sure how to work GIFs into your social strategy? Contact us, and we’ll brainstorm ideas with you.