You have taken the bold step of introducing your business or organization to the wild west of social media. You’ve been diligent in your market research, you’ve identified your target audience, and you know what your audience expects from your brand. You’ve even culled the web for examples of what others are doing. You have purchased some design software and taken the plunge, dutifully scheduling posts to all your platforms.
You feel like you have tried it all, and very few, if anyone, are actually engaging with your posts.
If this sounds like you, you have probably reached a point where you feel like you are spinning your wheels. You are not alone. While the solution may not be readily apparent at this point, consider for a moment how your social media graphics look to your audience.
Designing visual content that engages is more than just following a template and slapping your logo on it. It requires a strategy and tons of tests. The best place to start is to understand how people consume and retain content.
According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, visuals (photos, videos) are processed 60,000 times faster than text. One study found that after three days, a person retained only 10-20 percent of written or spoken information, but almost 65 percent of visual information.
This information is vital for your brand. Your content not only has the potential to be visually stimulating, but also memorable. When you add well-written copy and a call to action, you have practically sealed the deal.
At the core, social media graphics should possess these characteristics in order to be effective: familiarity, consistency, and versatility.
If you have an established brand image, make it a point not to deviate from it. Your graphics should reflect the personality and uniqueness of your business or organization.
When you craft content to use for social media promotion, you can build brand awareness by the use of the same or similar look to your content. You can make this a discipline by being consistent with the following:
- Fonts. Use no more than two complementary typefaces as a standard rule. Using more than two complicates the flow and overall message of your design. Keep it clean with minimal image copy that is as short as possible.
- Logo and URL placement. Your logo, while it adds value to your image, should rarely have top billing in your design. Research from the Journal of Marketing demonstrates that high positioned logos are preferable to audiences when the brand is high-powered, and a lower position if the brand is lesser-known. Give it a strategic position in your design, but it should never be the focal point. The same applies to your website URL. You can also opt to not use your logo in your graphic and let your URL stand alone.
Consistency doesn’t necessarily mean your designs need all elements present at all times. A rule can be broken if it produces the necessary result. Gillette, a prominent brand that sells razors, chose to place their logo in the lower right of the graphic (right). The image of the product, paired with minimal type, carries the post. The logo adds the cherry on top.
- Certain colors work better together than others. If you have a preset palette of colors you use in conjunction with your brand, use them sparingly, particularly if you’re using stock photos and text.
- Images and video. The use of images and video is an excellent way to add mood, emotion, or texture to a social media graphic. While the use of images or videos is entirely optional, it’s good to utilize ones that fit your brand and the message you want to communicate. There are tons of free image sites available, such as Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay. Other premium sites, such as Shutterstock and Depositphotos, offer a wider range of options. The VitaminFresh post (right) is an excellent example of subtlety that allows the image and the type to work together to produce a mood.
Tailor your graphics to be scalable to different social networks. Online, cloud-based design tools, such as Canva and Crello, give any person the freedom to create graphics that can be automatically scaled to every size imaginable. Both sites offer free, but limited subscriptions, but their premium subscriptions are easy on the budget and offer an unlimited world of possibilities. You can create a graphic for a Facebook post and easily resize it to an Instagram or Twitter post, all with a few clicks.
If you want to increase engagement with your social media posts, keep these tips in mind when it’s time to generate content. Design with your audience and your social channels in mind. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and definitely don’t be afraid to bend the rules, especially when it comes to what your audience likes.
Is your social media content not generating enough buzz?
Infinity Concepts can help! Contact us today.