That whole alphabet system thing is so 7th century BC.
We all (hopefully) know that animated GIFs are nothing new. Graphics Interchange Format (aka GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987. The developers pronounced it jif, like the peanut butter. But I guess they also pronounced graphics as giraffics. Take it away Chris…
Animated GIFs have particularly blown up on Tumblr as a primary form of media shared. You can get lost in there for days on end.
Until recently, though, sharing GIFs on Twitter and Facebook has been difficult. Twitter finally realeased a feature that allows animated GIFs to be viewed directly within your timeline and Facebook has come around some too (more on that below). When it comes to engagement, especially from a brand, utilizing media in clever ways can be one of your best strategies. GIFs can often be the perfect extra touch for many occasions.
But the real question is: Where do I find that perfect GIF?
Giphy is a massive database of animated GIFs. Giphy is to GIFs what Google Image is to images. If you’re a community manager, social media marketer, or whatever else you want to call your position of writing tweets for a fun brand, then Giphy should be at the forefront of your toolbox. You can either save a GIF and upload it to Twitter, or you can share the direct link from within the webpage, and Twitter will add the GIF into the timeline. I avoid the latter method because I don’t like the extra link cluttering up my character field.
For Facebook, uploading a GIF directly does not work. It will come out as a still image. However, sharing the link from Giphy does work. It will embed the looping animated GIF for all of your friends to enjoy! One little tip is once the GIF is pulled from the link and embedded, delete the link from your text field to clean things up a bit.
And for all you Chrome users, go get yourself this handy dandy little Giphy extension for finding the perfect GIF on the fly.
Now, GIF on with it.