Looking for social media design tips?
You’ve come to the right place.
Professional social media marketers never discount the value of engaging social media graphics. Knowing how to use them to your advantage can make a campaign catchy, well understood, and meet its objectives.
Engaging social media graphics grab attention, help audiences process what you’re trying to say, and allow them to remember it. That’s perhaps the reason why nearly 52% of marketers say visuals are very important for their marketing strategy.
Image via Venngage
To make sure you're creating social media graphics that tick all three boxes, here are some design tips for social media success.
Social Media Design Tips to Get Engagement in 2021
Here are some important social media design tips that you can leverage to boost your engagement in 2021.
1. Provide Value
Want people to remember your page and engage with it more often? Provide value. Value-adding visuals can support and reinforce the message that you want to communicate.
The next time you’re about to post something on social media, ask yourself: how do the graphics I’m about to use add or detract from my intended message? Do they support what I’m trying to say or do they make it harder for the audience to understand?
By carefully examining your graphics, you can boost the relevance of your social media posts and make sure that people better understand what you’re trying to say. Using such design tips will also make them feel that your page and its content is more useful.
Here are a few creative design tips through which you can provide value with relevant graphics:
- Create checklists
- Use infographics
- Showcase product features
- Provide step-by-step guides with relevant images
Here’s how Daniel Wellington creates stunning visuals using a combination of images and custom designed graphics to engage their audience.
Image via Instagram
2. Keep it Simple
One of the other important social media design tips is to keep things simple. There's no need to use fancy fonts and complicated graphics on social media. Too much detail makes a graphic overwhelming and can cause confusion, which can obscure the main idea.
Think about social media items that had the most impact on you. You’ll realize that the most engaging graphics are beautiful and memorable in their simplicity. They are also powerful because they clearly convey a message.
You can use different shapes, sizes, and colors to emphasize your message and guide readers on what they need to focus on.
However, one of the most important design tips to remember is to choose colors as well as a look and feel that represents your brand instead of just the current post.
When in doubt, stick to your company theme. This includes your chosen font styles and color schemes.
Here's how you can make sure that you don't go overboard with graphic design:
- Use one font style
- Keep the text short and concise
- Use a single call-to-action (CTA) button
- Try to keep it down to 2 main colors and 2 accent colors
Here’s how Unbirthday does a great job of maintaining brand colors by adding a hint of pink and green in every Instagram post.
Image via Instagram
3. Use Contrasting Colors
Use quality content and contrasting colors to grab your audience’s attention as they browse through their feeds. In fact, this list of social media design tips is incomplete without talking about colors.
If a thumbnail lacks contrast and colors, it will be lost and easily disregarded in a sea of other posts.
Use Contrast To Highlight CTA Buttons and Links
One of the other important design tips is including CTA buttons within your graphics. These can also help increase engagement and drive traffic to your website. The smaller the area for the link or button, the louder you’ll want to make it since contrasting colors help ensure it stands out from the rest of the graphic.
However, be mindful when using contrasting colors.
You want them to complement each other well. You can play light colors off dark ones or the other way around. Contrast makes important elements like text stand out by making it more readable and appealing.
It's a good idea to maintain a 4.5:1 color contrast ratio in your graphic design for cohesiveness.
4. Use Visual Cues
Feelings of anticipation, mystery, and curiosity are all key elements in designing social media graphics that can increase engagement. These are one of the most important design tips for brands that are looking to hook their audience to their posts.
When you want people to click on something, it's important that you include visual cues that tell them what to expect.
For example, if you're showing a food item as a part of an ad, use a picture with just enough detail to whet people's appetites.
If you want readers to click on an image of an animal, show parts of it that can spark curiosity and give a sense of what the creature looks like.
Here are some ways you can incorporate visual cues into your graphics:
- Add an arrow to highlight key information
- Use bullet points or emojis
- Add text that explains the image in detail
5. Set Goals for Your Graphics
What do you want people to do after they've seen your graphics? Write a comment? Share it with their friends? Setting a goal for your design is one of the most important design tips for your brand. The goal will help you determine what kind of graphics you should use, why, and how. It’ll also affect the copy of your graphic and the caption.
Here’s a great example by EA Sports. By asking viewers to vote on who was a stronger defensive player through likes and comments, this post earned 19,000 likes and received 5,500 comments.
Image via Facebook
However, if you want people to share content with their friends or subscribe by entering their emails, then you should create something more interactive and engaging.
When setting goals, you should typically stick to a few things like:
- Increasing engagement
- Encouraging site visits
- Boosting shares
Depending on what your goals are, you'll have to get creative to make sure that the goals you set are met. If you want to boost shares, you should create a shareable post that provides value to your viewers, such as a branded meme.
6. Be Mindful Of Spacing Out Elements
One of the most common mistakes in social media graphics is the misuse of white space. Keep in mind that you want to use sufficient white space so readers can easily read your content and see your CTA buttons and links.
White space can help create contrast between various elements in a graphic, which, in turn, will guide the reader's attention to certain parts of your post.
In addition, you must also decide on what your spacing should look like in your graphics. You can use a 1:1 ratio or 2:3. Sometimes even a 3:4 ratio can work depending on how cluttered your graphic design is.
7. Prepare Templates to Make it Easier
You won't always have the time to create high-quality graphics. Running a business can be time-consuming and there will be times when you’ll need to come up with a social media post right away.
If you run a retail business, flash sales and time-sensitive promotions are great examples of opportunities where you’ll need to produce social media content quickly.
And the best part?
You can find templates for all kinds of social media content online.
These social media templates can help you quickly create engaging posts for your brand. However, they should follow your brand's overall look and be easy to customize with the information you want to include.
To make it easy for you, here are a few elements that should be interchangeable in your templates:
- Main image
- Supporting images
Arming yourself with templates can speed social media marketing because:
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money hiring someone to create graphics for you on the fly.
- You won't have a hard time producing urgently needed graphics.
8. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Image Size
Nothing spells amateur like a distorted and incorrectly sized image.
The size of your graphic will depend on what platform you’re planning to use. Some platforms like Facebook and Twitter will let you upload graphics in almost any image ratio.
On the other hand, Pinterest and Instagram call for very specific sizes for your posts to look great.
Otherwise, you risk dealing with an image that's cut in half or one that's too blurry to be seen clearly.
9. Define Your Brand’s Qualities
Before uploading anything, define your brand persona. Is your brand insightful, deep, and thought-provoking or is it light, fun, and playful? What qualities do you want your brand to be associated with? This will help determine the look and feel you employ across your images.
Once you’ve decided on how you’d like to be perceived, make sure that all the graphics, icons, logos, etc. line up with the qualities you defined. If you fail to do this, you may end up with a public image you didn’t plan for or want.
Can you deviate from this?
Sure, once in a while.
But make sure that the bulk of your collaterals project a consistent impression that stays true to the look and feel you want to project.
You may also want to keep an eye on current trends and viral posts. When used with the right strategy, you can use them to boost visibility. If you use graphics that are trendy and have the potential to go viral, then your audience will take notice and share them.
Augmented reality (AR) is a hot trend that many brands like Nomis Jewelry are capitalizing on to establish and drive awareness.
Image via Lenslist
10. Keep Your Graphics Fresh
While it's a good idea to keep up with the latest trends, you don't want to just copy what everyone else is doing. One of the biggest design tips here is to make sure you think of new and interesting content that your brand can be known for.
Some companies even go as far as creating one-of-a-kind posts that their audience can easily identify with. For example, Coca-Cola had a social media campaign that involved posting pictures of the soda shared in different scenarios.
The strategy was to make the brand more personal by adding names to the bottles. Through it, they were able to attract more viewers and create higher engagement with users who liked the idea of sharing photos of their own Coca-Cola and food/products.
This Share A Coke campaign was such a hit that businesses sat up and used it for their own promotions. Thousands of consumers also shared their own photos using #shareacoke.
Image via Coca-Cola
By putting their own spin on things and encouraging audiences to create content on their own, they created a campaign that sparked the imagination of their consumer base.
So, it’s important to remember that the more unique your content is, the more likely it is that people will spread it around.
Plus, having highly unique content helps you stand out among competitors in the same niche.
Q1. What are the most common improvements people need to make with social media graphics?
A. Some of the design tips you can use to improve your social media graphics are:
- Choosing the right dimensions: People don’t often stop when a graphic looks weird or sketchy. It only means you haven’t spent enough time on it or that you weren’t invested enough to make sure you have the right size.
- Cohesiveness is your friend: It’s important to stick to a single style so your audience can easily recognize your brand.
- Use text sparingly: Unless absolutely necessary, you should avoid using text, especially in an image that has a lot going on visually.
- Infographics: When you plan on using text, you should create informative, shareable, and downloadable graphics.
Q2. How do you make awesome graphics for social media?
A. Here are some of the design tips through which you can create great graphics for social media:
- Provide value
- Keep it simple
- Use contrasting colors
- Use visual cues
- Set goals for your graphics
- Be mindful of spacing out elements
- Prepare templates to make it easier
- Make sure you’re using the right image size
- Define your brand’s qualities
- Keep your graphics fresh
Q3. How can I create engaging social media visuals?
A. When in doubt, one of the most important design tipps is to stick to providing value. Take a look at your final image and think about how valuable it is. Is it something that would stop you as you look through your social media feed? By doing so, you’ll have a clear idea of what you need in your graphics.
Q4. What is the best way to design social media posts?
A. Stick to what you know. If you’re planning on using multiple platforms, you should make sure your graphics and content are optimized for each. For example, what looks great on Facebook may not look good on Instagram. Make sure you account for these instances.
Furthermore, include your logo in your posts. This way, if your content gets shared without your permission, your brand is still advertised in some way.
Q5. What programs do I need for graphic design?
A. Depending on your skill level, you may want to look at popular platforms like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. On the other hand, if you want something a bit easier to handle, PosterMyWall has a wide range of social media-ready templates.
Before you pick out a program, make sure you’re comfortable with it and the learning curve isn’t too steep, particularly if you’ve never worked with graphics software before.
Q6. How important are social media content designs?
A. Using the right kind of graphics is one of the best ways to drive engagement and conversions. Nevertheless, it isn’t the only reason why you should invest in good graphics.
When you post a custom graphic on any platform, it helps drive brand recognition. Anyone who sees your graphic will know that it’s associated with your brand, which, in turn, could help advertise your business for free.
Q7. How do you add graphics to HTML?
A. To add graphics to your HTML page, you need to indicate the image you’re inserting with the IMG tag. The IMG tag is closely followed by the location and the name of your graphic.
If you’re new to HTML and web development, you can try using a drag-and-drop web editor like Adobe Dreamweaver. Otherwise, hire a developer to make things easier for you.
Q8. How many social media templates should you have?
A. Around 4 templates for your social media platforms should be enough to see you through emergency posts that need to be posted quickly. Make sure they’re easy enough to edit so that you can publish them speedily.
When you have time, create more for good measure.
Creating engaging social media graphics shouldn’t be too difficult. There are a ton of design tips you can implement to make sure your social media campaigns are as successful as possible.
From creating templates to sticking to your brand’s goals, you should do it all to ensure that your graphics are top notch.
Do you have any questions about the social media design tips mentioned above? Comment and let us know in the space below!