As a marketer, social media is a fantastic tool for reaching out to your target audience and directly engaging with them, in a way that is just not possible with other digital channels such as email and online advertising.
With more than 2.5 billion users worldwide, the potential for marketers is phenomenal but the biggest challenge is how to break through the noise and ensure that your message is seen and understood by the right people.
Back in its heyday, social media was all about the text, but like most things in the digital landscape in more recent years social media graphics have become much more visual. This is not surprising, as humans are very visual creatures after all, with our brain processing images 60,000 times faster than text!
Having designed literally hundreds of social media graphics for our clients, we thought we’d share a few simple design tips to help you create engaging social media graphics and get the best from your campaigns.
1/ Establish your goal
Like most things in marketing, the first and most important step to creating effective social media graphics is establishing your goal which will then act as a blueprint for all design elements. By asking yourself a few simple questions at the start, this will ensure your graphics are specifically targeted towards your audience and the message is on point.
A few questions to ask yourself include:
Who am I writing to?
What is the message I’m trying to convey?
What action do I want viewers to take?
What social platforms do my target audience use?
What emotion do you want people to feel?
2/ Do your homework!
There’s nothing like doing a little research to get some inspiration. You’ll be surprised at how this can get your creative juices flowing! Take a look at what other businesses in your industry are doing on social media including competitors and key influencers. What aspects do you like and don’t you like?
Also, go back to previous posts you have done and look at what types of visual posts have worked better for you than others.
3/ Make it pop!
‘Make it pop’ is a phrase commonly used, or some would argue overused in the design world. What people are really asking for when they say this is for contrast in an image, or in other words, make it stand out!
Contrast can be achieved in a number of ways. The first and perhaps simplest is through size. Simply by making certain aspects bigger, or by adding more weight to the font you make certain aspects of the graphic stand out against others.
Secondly, contrast can be achieved through colour. Choosing colour combinations that are opposite on the colour wheel such as red and green or blue and orange for example are common techniques to achieve contrast. Similarly, by using a light font against a dark background can make your text more readable and visually appealing.
Try to avoid colours that clash with your brand.
4/ Keep it visual
The best way to capture people’s attention is by keeping your post highly visual. As we have said before stats show that humans recall info better with images.
Choose large eye-catching images, or illustrations that appeal to your audience’s emotions for maximum impact. If you don’t have access to your own image library there are some great free stock imagery sites out there.
Keep any text to 1 or 2 lines if possible. The shorter the message, the higher the chance of content being seen and shared. And any text you do have, ensure you choose a font that is readable. Please note Facebook in particular will penalise the reach of posts where the image features to much text.
5/ Prioritise messages
Again, it comes back to goals. What is the key message you are trying to convey?
With as little as 0.05 seconds to get your message across, it’s really important to make sure your most important message is the focal point of your graphic, using other elements to help make it stand out.
And don’t forget, SIZE DOES MATTER. Every social media platform requires different image sizes. Don’t be tempted to simply crop and resize! Click here for Hubspot’s up to date guide to all the different dimensions required by each platform.
So there we have it, our 5 simple tips for creating awesome social media graphics. Now it’s your turn to give it a go!
Of course, if you do ever need a helping hand, the soap design team have created some awesome social media graphics over the years and we’d love to do the same for you. Get in touch to let us know your requirements.
We’re soap creative – a marketing agency in Pill, near Bristol. Founded in 2007, soap was born out of a passion for design and the ambition to provide a better service. We specialise in brand, design and digital media. We’re each of us experts in our field, whether that’s refreshing your brand, designing a brochure or developing your marketing strategy.
Our portfolio comprises creative and strategic campaigns for ambitious and growing companies of all shapes and sizes, from healthcare and agriculture to finance and construction.
We see ourselves as an extension of your team: working with you, not for you. Think of it like the emergency services calling for backup. When the task at hand needs more heat and more manpower, we’re by your side at a moment’s notice.
So if you need some support with your next creative project, why not give us a call as we’d love to help?