Creating Engaging Graphic Content for Social Media
Being human means we like to visualise things and people around us. We see content everywhere. But do you remember any of it? Do you remember what that advert was for when scrolling down your social media page?
Visualising content can take many forms like flipping through a magazine or paper, watching TV, passing an advert board or surfing the internet and more.
The best thing to do this is to create content that not only stands out but is also visually memorable by using creative graphic content tips below.
Let us start so we can make sure your social media content is engaging and consisting of all elements to create lasting impressions.
These tips are in no order of hierarchy but applicable to the success of your business.
Creative Graphic Design Tips for Your Social Media
1. Setting your Goal
The most important graphic design tips when creating social media content is that you need to have a goal. Setting a goal will be crucial in creating your design for your social media content.
Let us ascertain what it is that you are trying to do and then let’s make a story out of it.
Having a goal will help you design your social media content and also allow you to tell your message visually.
Ask yourself a few questions as highlighted below:
- What is the purpose for this post?
- Am I trying to increase engagement on my page?
- Do I want to increase traffic to my website?
- Am I trying to drive sales?
Whilst asking these questions, keep in mind your target audience. Make sure you know who your audiences are. Research your competitors and your ideal target audience.
Focusing on Your Audience
Below are some research points to consider when targeting your audience:
- Who are they?
- Which platforms do they use?
- Are they desktop users or mobile phone users?
- What message do I want to convey?
- How do I want my users to feel?
- What do I want them to do about it?
- Who are they following?
- What do they like on social media?
- Where do they hang out?
Once you have identified your audience, who you want to target and the purpose of your post then you have your goal.
The WHY for creating your social media graphic is the first and most important step in this process? Everything after this will be chosen to reflect this goal.
Another important point to remember – too many goals can cause a confused, unclear and busy graphic. Too much text, pictures or fonts can instantly turn your audience away.
This is not to be confused with typography. Text is a sequence of words whereas typography is the visual component of the written word. Now let’s get into why text is important.
As a business we know that the brand is very important. You want to show it off and tell everyone about it.
You might even want to use every word you can to explain your brand and why it is so great.
However when creating social media graphic design you want to stay away from overcrowding an image.
Amount of Words
Words are powerful and too many words on an image can appear busy or potentially distract your audience. The last thing you want is for your audience to feel overwhelmed.
Whether you are creating a graphic for Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest try to limit your text to one to two liners. These lines will help create an order in the overall image.
By incorporating them around blocks of texts, they can also be used as a separator for each element found in an image. Doing so will create the sense of co-ordination in your design.
Colour and Size
The main point of social media graphics is to deliver your message as simple as possible. One good graphic design tip is to make sure your text is easy to read.
A large share of your content will be viewed on a mobile device so choosing your font size is crucial.
The readability of the text largely depends on the colour as well as the size.
It is good to use a light coloured font with a dark background and vice versa and also use contrast to make the text stand out.
It is an art in itself. Selecting the perfect font to get aligned with images can bring your graphics to life.
Picking a font should reflect your brand’s personality. Do not go overboard – you only need two to three fonts max.
Any more and your audience may get distracted and your message will get lost.
You want your customers to be able to see a graphic and know it is yours even if your logo is not on it. Your fonts need to project your message and reflect your brand.
Similar to colour, typography can project moods and emotion and sometimes even more powerful than the copy therefore choose wisely it will deliver your tone.
Typography and Fonts
Some graphic design tips to keep in mind when using fonts:
- Serif fonts are best for print
- Sans-serif is best for internet
- Open sans is best for blogs
- Limit your design to a maximum of 3 fonts
When working with more than one font, ensure to pair the fonts with high contrast to balance each other out.
The image above shows the same font in different versions
The eye finds it hard to scan multiple fonts when using too many fonts. Instead, use a font that has a selection of versions like italic, bold, condensed, etc.
A simple font contrast you can include is a font that is serif and the other that is not.
Using fonts to make text legible and more appealing is vital when creating social media content to ensure that your audience can ultimately read your message.
This is one of the most important aspects of any design. It helps to set a mood, create an atmosphere and even invoke a memory.
Every colour has a meaning and psychology behind it. Therefore finding the correct colour scheme will conveys the emotion you want to your target audience or brand.
This will also help to establish consistency.
So what does your brand stand for? Is it fun, established, trustworthy, etc.? You want to pick colours that reflect what your brand stands for and you can do that by choosing two to three main colours.
Colour Contrast and Text
Finding your colour theme is absolutely crucial to the success of a design with that goal you just discovered.
It will come in handy when using colours in your social media content as this will guide your audience through the story.
Colour is also vital for creating contrast and balance within your social media graphic. Be aware of how certain hues or pairings influence someone’s perception.
Avoid colour combinations that are uncomfortable to see will help your brand in the long run.
When colours do not contrast they appear to bleed into one another and when they contrast too much they can cause a visual vibration.
Examples below will highlight the above.
Examples of colours bleeding into one another are visuals on the left and the middle – do you see how the green is hard to read against the purple and same with white against the yellow.
For colours that contrast too much is the visual on the right – you see how the orange against the blue strains your eyes a bit. This is where two bright colours cause a visual vibration.
Identifying Your Colour
Once you have picked your colour scheme ensure to stick with it throughout your posts. Write down the hex codes so you have the exact colour.
The last thing you want is to have your posts a shade or two off unless it is intentional i.e monochromatic.
You can find the exact colour of an image using any colour picker tool, which will give you a six-digit code that identifies an exact colour on the colour wheel.
Colour plays a major role in the final output of your overall social media graphic design. Colour affects a person’s psychology, emotions, and reactions to a design.
Therefore it is important to choose the right colour scheme that will create the right kind of reactions from your audience.
Bonus Tip: Since your social media designs are only going to be displayed on screen make sure the colour is always set to RGB NOT CMYK colours.
5. Branding design
Now we can focus our attention on brand identity and how to incorporate branding to elevate your business.
It will take about seven times of seeing or hearing about your brand for someone to recognise it.
This means that consistency and repetition of brand elements such as logo, colours and fonts is absolutely essential.
Make sure to include your logo in every image so people can associate it with your brand but making it half the size of the picture or more will come off as too cluttered.
The main purpose of creating graphic designs for your social media content is to tell a story and attract an audience and then direct them to your website.
And the whole effort becomes ineffective if your graphic has no branding. It does not have to be big and bold, just enough to let people know where it is from.
Negative space also referred to as white space is great way to make your image stand out. Contrast attracts the eye and can be applied with font, colours, alignment, size and more.
A simple way to implement contrast into your graphic design is through the use of colours.
Using white logo with a contrasting dark colour makes the content both readable and visually appealing.
The right balance can bring any social media graphic design content to life.
Ultimately text is an important part of contrast. Choosing text sizes that contrast well will help to make your graphic stand out.
Creating a flowing design by surrounding words with white space will allow the elements to breathe.
The use of space around text, shapes and other elements will make your design easier to read and also attract more attention than a cluttered design.
A point to note is if you have a dark coloured background then you should use a light font and vice versa.
7. Be Consistent
Consistency is key building block for your social media success. If your social media content looks and feels connected, your audience will form a clear understanding of your brand and its’ message.
Make sure all your content that you create is consistent with your brand. This will give your followers a chance to quickly recognise you on their feed.
Always post content in the same style so this will establish a strong brand identity which will be worthwhile going forward.
Social Media Consistency
When keeping up with consistency make sure that all your designs are close knit across all platforms.
These consistent elements will tie each post together and make your brand easily recognisable.
An easy way to keep consistency is to take the time to create templates for quick quotes, announcements, promotions or sales.
This will make it easy for you and your team to quickly create content. The important thing is that there needs to be consistency so that your followers will associate a certain style or type with you.
The idea for consistency is your audience will quickly be able to tell that a graphic is related to your brand.
8. Get Creative
Believe it or not creativity lives in everyone. Be creative when creating or curating your content will help you tie your brand and audience together and also make your company stand out.
Create a variety when posting for your social media content. There is an abundance of different types of graphics that you can share on social media.
Here are a few graphic design tips to get you started rolling:
- Quotes in engaging font & shape
- Behind the scenes
- Mesmerising Photos
- Infographics or Charts
- Themed days (Motivation Monday, Throwback Thursday, etc.)
Appealing social media pages are more likely to be shared and will ultimately increase engagement so do not be shy to be creative.
Make sure that your designs are consistent with your branding and are showcasing your products and community.
The most visually dominant feature in your design will be the important part of the message.
Experiment with something new, think outside the box, choose and combine different fonts, colours and pictures and see what works.
Try to avoid the latest trends and create designs that correspond with your style, leave your personal mark on your work. Get creative.
9. Platform Awareness
Planning ahead of time what works best with each platform will help visually with your audience and make things easier for you in the long run. Each platform is different.
Social Media Sizing
Here below listed are 8 social platforms and some tips for each.
- This is geared toward the older generation
- It makes great use of articles and promotions
- Sizing: 852 x 315 cover photo; 170 x 170 profile picture (desktop) and 128 x 128 (smart phones); 1,200 x 630 regular shared post
- Geared toward millennials
- Platform was built on lunch and selfies
- Sizing: 1080 x 1080 post; 1080 x 1920 stories; 1080 x 1350 portrait; 1080 x 566 landscape; 110 x 110 pixels profile picture.
- Excellent for engagement
- Especially for celebrities
- Sizing: 1500 x 500 header photo; 400 x 400 profile picture; 900 x 512 post
- Amazing for inspiration and new ideas
- This is great for people looking for new products
- Sizing: 600 x 1260 pins; 165 x 165 profile image
- Excellent for business.
- Especially for networking
- 1584 x 396 banner image, 400 x 400 company profile picture, 300 x 300 company logo and 60 x 60 square logo
- You Tube
- Excellent for marketing.
- Especially for generating more leads, customers and conversions
- 800 x 800 profile picture, 60 x 60 publication avatar, 1000 x 500 max logo image
- 128 x 128 profile picture size
- Tik Tok
- 200 x 200 profile picture size
You will have to resize each piece of content to fit the dimensions of every platform you plan to share a social media graphic design.
It may seem a bit tedious but a quick size check could make the difference.
With all the trends, graphics and going on – it is always best practice to keep it simple. When working with mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets and notepads – overcrowding happens too fast.
Here are some tips to ensure your content is keeping it simple:
- Limit font choices to 2 fonts
- Use white space to contrast with a bold element
- Utilise eye-catching graphics and illustrations
- Stick with 2-3 contrasting or complimentary colours
It is easy to get lost and carried away with so many graphics and fonts to choose from but by reducing clutter you will get your message across.
Simple is always best when it comes to graphic design. Ensure each design reflects the message you are trying to tell.
Conclusion - Now You Give It A Go!
Now that you have all your tips and hints – you are ready to create a better, more engaging and targeted graphic designs for your social media content.
If you do not feel like you have the creative juice in you? We have an entire design team that would love to transform your brand. Contact us today to make the images in your mind become an online reality.
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