No matter what you’re sharing on social media, it always performs best when paired with striking visuals. So here are some social media design tip best practices to help your content stand out amongst the crowd.
1. Determine Your Goal
Usually, the main goal when using social media is to grab user’s attention and get them to engage in some way. No piece of content will ever cater to all social media users, so the most important factor is figuring out what works for your audience. Here are some questions to get you started when determining the goal of your social media graphic:
- Who is my target audience?
- Which platforms are they using the most?
- Which devices are they on most frequently?
- What is the message I want to spread?
- What emotion am I trying to invoke?
- What action do I want my audience to take after seeing this graphic?
2. Be Consistent
You want to maintain consistency across all design elements and branded materials so that your target audience can clearly recognize who it’s coming from. Whatever graphics you create and share should essentially be an extension of the same brand they see on your website. Be sure to incorporate your brand’s colors and fonts into your designs and avoid anything content that doesn’t accurately reflect your brand.
3. Tell Your Message Visually
Majority of people scroll through social media slightly distracted and only for a few minutes at a time. Try to use visuals with minimal text to capture attention and get your message across as quickly as possible. Statistics have shown that people can recall information about 55% more efficiently when it’s paired with a relevant graphic. That’s why you want to choose visuals that evoke a specific emotion you want your audience to feel. Possibly a visual representation of a pain point you know your target audience is experiencing, or that pain point being solved or relieved.
4. Avoid Color Discord
Make sure you’re choosing colors that complement each other, avoiding color discord. Combine contrasting colors to make your graphic a scroll-stopper. The most eye-catching color combinations are those that oppose each other on the color wheel. You also want to avoid using colors that might clash with your own branding, as well as the branding of the social platform you’re using. For example, Facebook’s signature blue. When you’re already competing for attention with the color schemes of other ads, you don’t want to compete with the colors of the site itself.
5. Establish a Visual Hierarchy
It’s important to establish some sort of visual hierarchy throughout your design. A visual hierarchy is the use of size and color to emphasize one item over another to draw the viewer’s eye to a certain item above others. Basically, you want to give visual clues to what’s most important in the graphic. Emphasize your message by focusing on the most significant phrases. The title text should have the largest font size, then subtitles, body copy and so on. You should also highlight any sort of CTA that might be included as well.
6. Be Sure to Use Correct Sizing
Every social platform requires images with different sizes, specifications and image types. When creating your design you need to identify which platform(s) you’ll be sharing it on. You will most likely have to resize the graphic to fit the specific dimensions of every platform you’re planning on sharing it. This can seem like a tedious task, but this is important for optimization and to ensure important elements of your graphic aren’t cropped or distorted.
7. Keep it Simple
Because social gives designers a much smaller canvas to work with, overcrowding can happen fast. You want to avoid overcrowding because it hinders user experience and can make it difficult to get your message across. You can avoid this by:
- Using large illustrations
- Limiting typeface to 2 fonts
- Sticking with 2-3 colors
- Utilizing white space to contrast the main bold, colorful element
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