Within a second or two, a visitor to any given social media page will have decided whether to delve deeper into the material or abandon it entirely. The determining factor lies squarely with design. Layout, colour choice, symmetry and hierarchies of importance — all these factors play a decisive role in how much a prospect is willing to engage. Strong design elements will stimulate curiosity, whereas dull, text-heavy material with few visual elements will stifle it.
Due to the rapid growth of social media, consumers are exposed to a barrage of content on the web, and it takes only a simple click for people to move to a better and more engaging option.
Social media design plays an increasingly important role in building brand awareness and attracting customers’ attention. An eye-catching social media design is a great way to reflect your brand, boost engagement, and create new followers and customers.
In this article, we discuss the importance of social media design and share helpful tips to create a solid graphic design plan to pique your target audience’s interest.
Let’s dive right in!
What Is Social Media Design?
Social media design refers to the planning, developing and posting of visual content on social media platforms, including top tips, client testimonials, facts, statistics and more. Think of these as a digital equivalent of a business card with your unique personality shining through, which your customers won’t miss as they navigate your posts.
Brands invest in social media design to build brand consistency across various marketing platforms and stand out among competitors. Social media design is particularly important when it comes to the platforms that prioritise visuals, such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
With people scrolling feeds throughout the day, posting content with eye-catching and customer-focused graphics will connect your brand with your followers and customers, create brand awareness, and boost your chances of getting more likes, shares and reactions from your target audience.
10 Tips To Get Started With Social Media Design
Here are the top 10 social media design tips to boost your social media presence right away.
Determine Colour Palette for Your Brand
Colours have a significant impact on the way customers perceive your brand. Determine the colour palette for your brand carefully and pick the colours that reflect your brand. For example, many popular brands use bright colours in their logos to capture customers’ attention.
There are many ways to incorporate colours in your social media design to reflect your brand identity. You can use bright colours and colour contrasts and highlight certain colours to stand out. For example, LinkedIn and Facebook use blue colour, which is not only pleasing to the eyes but also immediately captures attention.
Optimise Your Images for Different Social Media Platforms
Optimising your images for different social media platforms is critical to improving visibility, generating more impressions and achieving your marketing goals. Each social media platform has its dimension and aspect ratio requirements, and social media algorithms tend to prioritise images that are optimised by the recommended formats.
There are many online tools you can use to create a custom template or choose from the wide selection of professionally designed templates already formatted to the optimum size for each platform.
Ensure Your Profile Image and Cover Photo Complement Each Other
Your profile and cover photos are the first elements people notice on your profile, and they present a basis for your audience to quickly form an impression about your brand. Matching your profile image and cover photo will make your account look more professional and lead to an increased engagement rate and more likes.
Be it colour, mood, brand elements or text, make sure both pictures complement each other and align with your brand. Try uploading different images to see how they are against each other, and use filters to create colour harmony.
Create Social Media Design Templates
Every social media platform has its own set of design requirements. The scale, proportion and resolution of any given image must be optimised to meet the platform’s specifics. Familiarity with the exact requirements for a Facebook banner, for example, will ensure that images are not cropped, off-centre or blurry.
Having a notebook listing the measurements and file types/sizes for every major platform will make your workflow much faster and more efficient.
Though it is tempting to use pre-made templates downloaded from the internet, the convenience of using them comes at the expense of projecting a brand’s singular identity. Stock templates will not inspire interest, only a feint sense of déjà vu. Freshness and dynamism should be the goal here.
To present your brand professionally, you need appealing social media templates. Consequently, you should create your own social media design templates that match your brand’s elements and have some unique feel to them. Make sure to use different templates for different types of content, such as videos, social media posts and infographics.
Aim for Consistent Branding
Consistency is the key factor to building brand recognition and success. Imagine a brand that changes its logo and brand colours every time you visit its profile. What would it feel like? Rather strange, right? Customers will never build a connection with it, and they will likely confuse it with another brand or even forget it.
Consistent branding can be achieved by using the same images, fonts and colour schemes in all your social media designs, as well as the type of content you want to post on your social media platforms.
However, consistency does not mean rigidity. A particular design element, like a logo, may work very well on Instagram but not so well elsewhere. Occasionally, a subtle re-design is called for. As long as the fundamental characteristics of a brand’s identity remain intact, there is room for adaptation. But if you stray too far from the original design, you run the risk of obfuscating your brand’s identity.
Include Alt-Text Descriptions
Make sure to include alt-text descriptions on your social media posts to make them accessible to a wider audience, especially people with vision problems. The description box of alt text should describe the image first and then the additional information if required.
The best way is to start the description with “This photo/image shows”, “This image describes”, or “This photo has”. If there’s text overlapping the image, include it in your alt text to make it easily readable.
Make Images Share-Worthy
The human brain processes images substantially faster than text (neuroscientists from MIT have found that images viewed for only 13 milliseconds can be processed by the human brain), which means that before your customers even read any of your social media posts, they form an opinion based on visual cues.
Using share-worthy images can help you pique your customers’ interest and lure them in. It is important to monitor social media analytics and other similar pages to determine what kind of images are getting the most engagement. Based on that, you can edit your photos to improve the quality and add a call to action to make it easy for the users to share the images.
Use Your Logo as Your Profile Image
Your brand logo is the face of your business and the image that people associate with your brand. Using it in your profile picture is a general rule of thumb to help the customers instantly recognise your brand.
Simplicity is key to enhancing the recognition of a brand logo. A logo that communicates its theme and function with as little detail as possible is impactful (for example, consider Twitter’s logo). In contrast, a logo with lots of unnecessary decals dilutes the impact and creates more work for the eye to decipher. Less is always more.
If you want to strengthen your presence on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, use your logo as your profile picture to spread further across the web and create credibility and authority.
Keep Up to Date with the Latest Design Trends
Competition for digital presence is fierce, and it is crucial to keep up with the latest design trends and use them to stand out among your competitors. There are many latest design trends inspired by different elements, including inclusive visuals, retro graphics, asymmetric shapes, twisted typography, monochrome effects and Y2K nostalgia, that will help you design eye-catchy social media posts.
Sometimes, working against current trends also offers an interesting possibility. There is no need to strictly adhere to modern trends, but simply having an awareness of them provides a useful reference point when envisioning a new design strategy.
Consult Graphic Design Professionals
When it comes to creating professional social media design, including illustrations, infographics and logo design, it is best to rely on graphic design professionals who specialise in creating high-quality graphic content. They can also guide you through the creative process and suggest how to improve your design further.
We live in a digital age, and almost every business needs a robust social media presence to reach its target audience and attract more customers. Graphics are a crucial element of your social media strategy and can help you revitalise your social media marketing efforts and drive better growth for your business. The social media design tips listed in this article can help you improve your branding and increase social selling by making your products and services visible to your potential buyers in an engaging way.
The Altlier team produces eye-catchy and share-worthy graphic design content, including social media images, infographics, logos, banners, posters and flyers. To find out how we can help your business, check our services page or get in touch.