Simple Ways to Design Engaging Social Media Graphics - Part 1
In Social Media Marketing (SMM), graphic design is a decisive player of a successful content strategy. Without contextual visuals to grab people’s attention in between browsing, even the most relevant text is not enough to drive the message home. While showcasing a company’s story through graphics, it’s important to focus on the strategic goals applicable to a specific marketing channel. Depending on the business type, SMM can work for different purposes.
In this article, let us share a few simple ways you can design engaging social media graphics. You will also come to terms with how to use them to activate your audience, boost your brand, and meet viewer’s needs.
While your designers need to have certain creative freedom, some important guidelines need to be maintained. These are essential for a number of reasons. Graphics are more than elements of aesthetics, they contribute towards raising brand awareness and brand recognition.
Graphics should engage your customers, but it can connect with relevant customers only when they represent your appropriate business.
As a thumb rule, social media graphics need to:
have a certain level of consistency across all channels to ensure that your business and your brand are delivering all audiences the same overall message. Using completely unrelated graphics will affect the uniform representation of your brand and hamper your Brand Identity.
follow upon your brand’s existing image and complement your business identity. It is essential. Disrupting your customers’ familiar perception of your brand, may alienate them from your brand.
maintain an amount of flexibility so that they can blend as per different variables. A great visual for social media content promotion is one that can quickly and easily be adjusted to match the audience’s needs, the social media network, and the nature of the content itself.
Let’s start identifying the best ways to simplify the design process for social media.
Set a plan, develop a process and execute it
For a consistency in your design flow, planning in advance serves the best. Planning is paramount to match your available resources with the tasks ahead.
Some factors to focus upon include the following:
Your team’s existing design experience (or lack of it).
How much time can they allocate for these tasks?
How many different people are involved in the content production and promotion?
How many different social media networks you plan to cover?
Your marketing budget for social promotion.
Without sufficient collective design experience within your team, you couldn't rely on their ability to deliver awesome designs. Tools like Canva and Pablo are convenient for anybody to design social media graphics.
There are many completely free tools available over the web which charge only for advanced features. There are premium paid tools like Adobe Suite too.
Considering your budget before deciding whether you’ll be able to add paid tools to your workflow is necessary. Depending on your budget, you should also consider using sites like Freepik and Shutterstock besides paid tools, especially if you want to include vector graphics in your post. For standard photos, there are plenty of free stock image sites around.
If you are a small team of one or two, you can manage without any additional tools. However, if you have more than a few people working on content production and promotion, it’s better to ensure your internal and external communication networks and procedures are ready to deliver as per demand.
If you have multiple individual professionals involved, and you are producing multiple content pieces per month, it’s always worthwhile to use a project management tool in combination with a simple communication tool like Skype or Slack. This helps you to track the progress of every task, making it much more convenient to communicate minor changes.
To decide upon the number of social networks to cover, you have to know the natural social media preference of your audience. In a nutshell, before you start making any major plans, you need an in-depth target audience research, finding out which platforms your audience uses.
Lay out certain ground rules
Rules take away the designers’ flexibility to create great designs. Yet, rules are important and it’s a good practice to establish some ground rules early on.
‘Ground rules’ can include:
Colors — Maintain brand colors, or colors your business is associated with.
Logo — Subtly incorporating your logo helps in building brand awareness and makes it difficult for anybody else to steal your custom graphics.
Consistency — Using consistent design elements is an established way to develop your own unique, recognizable style.
There are no established norms. The colors you use, the size of your logo, and the consistent elements you choose can be anything as long as it makes sense and looks good.
Yet, there are a few ‘unspoken’ design rules and some interesting stats that might serve as a chart to what could work best for your business.
Stay tuned for the second part of the topic to know more about how to adjust your design as per your target audience and social media requirements. Use them in your business and emerge as a fast growing social media marketer.
If you’ve been thinking for a long time to get started with content production activities for your business then consider hiring the services of The Rolling Circle, now!!!