Welcome to LTPH This or That?, the blog series where we talk about public health marketing and communication messages and assets, when we think they work best and why.
In this edition of This or That?, we’re looking at animated GIFs, specifically those from the #FluTip series posted by @CDCFlu on Twitter. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty, let's check the performance of GIFs on Twitter and best practices for using them.
Why use animated GIFs? They can be far more engaging than static images. CoSchedule reports that tweets with GIFs get 167% more click-throughs than tweets with static images, and according to Insight Pool, sharing a post with a GIF increased the engagement rate 20% for B2C brands. Social Media Today says tweets with GIFs generate 6X more engagement than tweets with basic text updates, and are 3X as likely to be retweeted than tweets with images. GIFs can backfire, though. The folks at Hootsuite advise against posting GIFs that are out of context, too casual, or overly branded. They also recommend using GIFs to advertise sales and events, feature products, visualize data, and share instructional content. You can check out Hootsuite's Ultimate GIF Guide for Social Media Marketers for more insights and tips.
This GIF earned @CDCFlu 180 retweets, 132 likes, and 2 comments.
Stay Home GIF
This GIF earned @CDCFlu 612 retweets, 470 likes, and 20 comments.
Antiviral Treatment GIF
This GIF earned @CDCFlu 73 retweets, 65 likes, and 3 comments.
Let's talk This Or That? The antiviral treatment GIF had the lowest total engagement. It must be noted that we are comparing apples and oranges, in the sense that we don't know how many people viewed each post (reach) or how many times each post was viewed (impressions). Without those denominators, we can't definitively say which post performed best. The stark difference in the total engagement between the posts that modeled a behavior and the one post that did not, however, does raise some questions. Is the animation in behavior change and social marketing GIFs better when used for demonstrating a behavior? Is animation distracting when it involves only text elements and does not model a behavior/action?
Leave a comment or share your thoughts with us on social media (we're @LTPHmedia on Facebook and Twitter).
By: Monique Thornton, MPH