Social media has always been visually-led and the rise of platforms such as Instagram suggests the trend is continuing. It’s well-documented that posts across virtually all social networks perform better if they contain great imagery. There are several sources of good-quality, royalty-free images on the web but where businesses can excel is through bespoke, original images and graphics that draw engagement from their audience.
Graphic design for social media
Great graphics have several benefits to your social presence:
- Grabbing the attention of users in a busy social sphere
- Increasing engagement metrics
- Showcasing products effectively
- Adding to your company’s brand and character
- Demonstrating knowledge, quality and passion
- Improving the performance of paid advertising
Creating graphics for social media
The type of graphics your brand shares over social media is largely dictated by your audience and the kind of image you want to portray. For some brands, curating stock images, self-editing or producing graphics can work perfectly well.
For others, not so much.
However, the challenge for many brands is having a graphic designer on-hand to create engaging, timely, on-brand images to share on social media. If you don’t have the luxury of an in-house graphic design team, getting a response, quote and design made at a reasonable cost is a problem. It also means you are missing out on great exposure when relevant trending topics occur.
This is why JC Social Media has an in-house designer of social media-specific graphics. Having a graphics allowance as part of the social media management agreement adds great firepower and reach potential to the accounts. It enables us to put engaging, real-time content out on social before your competitors and when the emphasis is increasingly on original, timely content, this is a major win.
It also cannot be understated how much of an impact great graphics can have on getting the best results from paid Facebook advertising campaigns.
Using a headline graphic to launch a special offer or event helps to catch the eye on social media:
If educating your audience or inspiring them to take action, infographics still perform very well on most social media platforms. Here are two examples our Tom has made for clients:
Here are some more examples of graphics we’ve created for our clients:
Top tips for great social media graphics
Stay on brand
Just like the content and tone of your copy, your brand’s imagery needs to stay on brand at all times. This includes the colour palette, typeface and the subject of the image. Try creating a brand guidelines document, which could be as simple as listing your fonts and hex colours.
Remember, everything your audience sees scrolling your social profiles should tie in seamlessly with your company’s overall ethos and feel. Anything off-brand or off-topic can alienate an individual immediately.
Catch the eye
Well, duh? But whilst this should be completely obvious, it can be easy to use or produce humdrum material that fades into the Twitter-sphere or fails to fan the Facebook flames. Ensure there’s a focal point to the image, ideally, it is to the left of the centre of the image, which is where we look as we scan Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Bright colours or just a great image is enough to stop someone scanning and get them to take a closer look.
Don’t get too hung up on your products alone, think about what you’re really selling. If your product makes someone’s life easier, how does their new life look? Selling a car? What freedom are you giving the driver, what about the adventure?
Infographics are still a great way to engage and add value to an audience. Ensure they’re well-researched and will mean something to your audience. Don’t fall into the trap of making one just because you’ve seen one go viral, think about creating something of real interest or it’ll end up in the ever-growing pile of awful infographics lost in the ether.
… and by ‘good’ we mean really topical, genuinely funny, or both. Memes are a great example of something that big brands with loyal followings can get away with. Just because someone in the office saw something that they’ve not seen before and thought was hilarious, doesn’t mean the majority of your fans won’t be sat scratching their heads wondering if you’ve been hacked.
Meet our lead social media graphic designer
Tom is a multidisciplinary graphic designer and illustrator with over 7 years’ experience working across mediums in a variety of creative fields.
With equal focus on print and digital design, Tom’s portfolio covers everything from promotional materials for big brands and restaurants, to developing visual identities for grass roots businesses, to online advertising, publications, infographics, and animation and videography.
Tom is a creative thinker and problem solver and loves a challenge. He is fascinated with every aspect of design, from concept development through to final execution, and is passionate about producing innovative design solutions for our broad range of clients.