Tips for Creating Effective Social Media Graphics

It’s no secret that in today’s world digital marketing is becoming increasingly visually-oriented. In order to succeed, brands absolutely need stellar social media graphics, including infographics — photos and memes just to name a few. Research consistently shows that great visuals on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter increase engagement, improve brand recognition, and drive traffic. Of course, creating great graphics for social media is easier said than done. How can you be sure to create effective social media graphics? The key is to keep the following tips in mind.

Take the Time to Align Your Content and Visual Content Strategies  

Social media graphics should complement the other types of content you post. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your content and visual content strategies are aligned. The themes should coalesce and the different streams of content should all tie together to send the same messages to your target audience. You don’t want your visual content competing with other types of content for your audience’s attention or sending different messages.

Invest in Creating Quality, Authentic Content

Brands are increasingly leveraging the power of visual content to narrate their brands’ stories on social media sites. This can be a great idea and a powerful tactic, but to do this you need to invest in creating content that is both high-quality and unique. In other words, you should definitely avoid stock photos at all costs. Customers want an authentic look at your brand. They don’t want to see a smattering of generic stock photos.

“The last thing you want is a bunch of photos of people posed in awkward positions when, in fact, everyone in your audience can tell they're models,” Angela Ruth warned in Forbes. “Instead, thanks to the clarity and incredible technology that goes into smartphone cameras, take your own candid snaps of your team and company and use these on your website and social media platforms to tell your story. Make them natural rather than posed to show them what you are really about.”

Keep Your Audience’s Interest

It may go without saying, but the most effective social media graphics are the most interesting. Particularly when it comes to photography, brands often make the mistake of assuming they can just throw up a photo of a product or a group picture of their staff and expect results. The truth is that you need to be a bit more creative.

“High-quality, crisp images that viewers can quickly understand will get the best results. Brands with experienced photographers on staff or established audiences can take a few more liberties, but don’t bore your followers with uninteresting product photography that anyone can find on your website,” Ulrik Bo Larsen explained in Adweek. “Beyond crisp resolution, every element of the shot needs to work together as a whole to evoke a mood or feeling. Don’t rely too heavily on selfies or big, smiling group shots: Instead, try to capture a moment that doesn’t look like it was taken at a studio.”

The more time you take into thinking through how you can develop social media graphics that are truly interesting and engaging, the more successful you will be.

Make Sure You Use a Consistent Color Palette

Take a look at the visual content of almost any major brand and you will see that they consistently use the same colors over and over again, including in their social media images. When one of their images goes viral, customers automatically associate the content with the brand, providing an instant boost to brand recognition. Cadbury, for example, always uses its iconic white and purple across all of its imagery, text, and logos, and sticks to this color palette when publishing visual content on social media.

When creating graphics for social media, it is therefore a wise idea to choose somewhere between two and four colors and consistently use them throughout all of your marketing content, including your social media graphics. Ideally, these colors should reflect your brand’s personality. For example, bold, bright colors are great for youthful brands, while cooler pastel colors can be great for creating a vibe that is soothing and relaxing.

Choose a Font that Matches Your Brand’s Personality  

When creating social media graphics, it can be helpful to add a bit of text. When doing so, however, you need to choose the font carefully. Similar to your color palette, any font used when creating social media graphics needs to echo your brand’s overarching personality. Do you want a font that is bold and vibrant? One that is simple? One that is sophisticated and elegant? Make sure you choose something that coalesces well with the overall aesthetic of your brand so that it doesn’t disrupt your visual content. 

Add Appropriate Filters

Filters are a must when it comes to creating effective social media graphics, but it is crucial to filter wisely. Specifically, you want to use a filter that coalesces with the overall feel of your brand, and you should strive to be somewhat consistent in your filter usage. Corona, for example, uses a sun-drenched filter for all of its social media graphics to give things a summery and fun feel. This lends all images a visual consistency that lends to better brand recognition. You don’t always need to use the same filter, but you should strive for some level of congruency. Don’t randomly alternate between stark black and white filters and warm, sun-kissed tones.

Tailor Graphics to Fit Different Platforms

While you can recycle social media graphics between different social media platforms, don’t take a default one-size-fits-all approach. You may need to slightly tweak images as you upload them to different platforms.

“Make sure to use social platform-specific visual tactics. With the number of social platforms consumers are using today, it’s safe to say that one size does not fit all. Instagram profile grids, the act of taking one single image and sharing it as a grid of several broken images to create a big picture when viewed on the main user profile, might work well on Instagram but lose their effectiveness on Twitter and Snapchat,” the Young Entrepreneur Council advises. “Know your community and apply the best visuals that work within the confines of the different social platforms.”

The bottom line is that when developing social media graphics, you don’t need to spend a fortune. You do, however, need to put some thought into how you can strategically develop great graphics that will improve brand visibility and drive engagement. In today’s world, social media graphics are a key element of any digital marketing strategy, so your success in developing effective graphics is bound to reap rewards. 10twelve can help your company with your social media and graphics that will boost your engagement. Contact us today!