Sometimes it can be hard to express yourself with just text or images. Video could be an option within your social media campaign, but the struggle is that you want your video to look good. Aka, perfect editing, lighting with the best shots you can possibly produce. This takes up precious time and more importantly, budget.

So what if you could combine both? The magic of a picture and video, together? Welcome to the amazing world of GIFs.

Now, using a GIF can be tricky. If used incorrectly, it can ruin your brand’s reputation. It could be taken in the wrong context, posted at an inappropriate time, the list is endless. So I have come up with this easy guide to the GIF so that you know exactly how to use this trusty tool.

A GIF is essentially a moving picture. ‘GIF’ is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format, which refers to a file format that supports both static and animated images. But there is an argument on how ‘GIF’ is pronounced, either with a soft ‘g’ like jifs, or with a hard ‘g’ like gift. But no matter how you say it – it is all the same thing.

The entertainment value of a GIF is incredibly obvious, but using a GIF could be seen as a bit ‘informal’ on a business level. However, due to the endless opportunities you have with a GIF you should really question why you are not using them.

They allow you to show your potential customers that you are currently up to date with all the trends, shows a funny side of your brand along with being a little fun while being able to convey emotions a lot easier. GIFs also allow you to get your message across in a lot shorter space of time and they will be a lot more shareable.

But, don’t use them at the wrong time. Use GIFs when you want to generate buzz on that specific post, not to be ridiculed due for being ‘inappropriate’. As a business, it is your responsibility to protect your brand, so make sure what you are posting is appropriate for the brand you have created.

Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve convinced you to start using these – but where can you find them? Well, where can you not find them is probably an easier question!

Giphy is a tool that most GIF lovers use, as it is so easily accessible. You can actually get a GIF keyboard, which you connect to your smartphone so you can send GIFs via message, or just add them on your tweets – it is pretty incredible. There are obviously more sources of GIFs, but Giphy is really my go-to. Some other websites that deserved to be mentioned are Tumblr, Imgur, Reddit, the possibilities are endless when it comes to GIFs on the internet.

So, next time you are tweeting – maybe use a GIF? It is proven they get more retweets than just images or text, so why not improve your online presence and make your social media more fun!