Harnessing graphic design for social media
Which social media platforms are you most active on?
No, seriously. Which of them do you use the most?
Let me clarify – I’m specifically referring to business use.
If the last 14 months have taught us nothing except to be visible on social media, it has taught us a lot. Yes?
The world is slowly but surely returning to bricks and mortar businesses, but online is here to stay for the long term. Not just for the immediate term, but for the long term.
In fact, forEVER!
How do we harness graphic design for social media?
Wait, what? Shouldn’t we harness social media first for business?
Not necessary, we’ve been doing business online for the last 14 PLUS months, so we already harness it for business.
Many more businesses are now vying for visual space on social media.
Some are resorting to paid advertising because the visual world has become so busy and noisy.
If you’re anything like me, you’d first be seeing whether your product or service can manage with organic marketing.
Organic visual marketing is not just for the desperately struggling business owner.
Every online business owner can use a well-designed piece of visual content quite effectively for marketing. Note, I mention EVERY online business owner, not just the select few who can afford a highly-paid graphic designer.
Canva makes it easy for us all to use self-designed visual content for our social media platforms.
Using Canva is free, for always and ever unless you opt to pay for the premium offering, they have. So, even the most cash-strapped business owner can create their own designs.
So, how exactly do we harness graphic design (Canva design) for social media?
It’s not as daunting as it may sound.
Designing your own visual content for social media gives people a reason to not only follow you but to also like and comment on your posts and to eventually buy from you.
Keeping just this one paragraph in mind should already be compelling reason enough to get designing – or hire a designer (my email address if you need help) if you’re not inclined to do so yourself.
Vision trumps all other senses! 65% of scrollers are more likely to remember information if it includes an image.
Instagram has already revolutionised visual content. With over 500 million active users you cannot post (for love or money) on Instagram without sharing a piece of visual content.
With Instagram dominated by visual imagery, LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter is not far behind.
You’d agree with me then that social media is now dominated by eye-catching visuals, gorgeous photographs, and all-out laugh-till-you-cry memes.
It’s sad though, that not more people realise the strength and therefore importance of the power of graphics, images, and videos.
If you’re uncomfortable with starting off with your own designs, simply share a photo/image that compliments the contents of your post. However, it is crucial to always use high-quality, eye-catching, brand-flattering images.
It stands to reason then that you’d be making visuals part of your social media marketing strategy.
Your strategy should include (it really is only a suggestion):
Do Audience Research
Do some background on your audience’s interests and think about what type of visuals they’d like to see.
If I can also just add here – LinkedIn is no longer the boring online CV that you remember it to be from when you first registered. It is now a buzzing professional network where you are encouraged to getting to know your audience and likewise, they, you.
Create a Brand Kit
Add content, colour palettes, and other visuals that will help shape your direction. Branding is not only your logo, colours & fonts. It is absolutely everything YOU! Especially since you are your brand.
Just so you know, over time you change and so should your brand kit. Allow it to continuously grow with you.
Considered Using Themes
Mix things up with recurring themes or pillars. Consider that each week of the month or day of the week for that matter, may have its own theme and build rapport with your audience in that way.
Mix up the content that you post daily around these recurring themes.
Using Various Platforms
Now that you’ve taken into consideration the above 3 points, where are you going to be posting your visuals?
When you’re creating designs for social media, each platform has its own individual size and I suggest to you that size matters! The wrong layout will do you absolutely no favours when your audience (scroller) have to enlarge or pinch to make smaller on that design which you may have overlooked in sizing properly. Chances are that they will move along, and you’ve lost a potential sale!
I use these sizes for my social media designs:
- Facebook : 1280 X 720 px
- LinkedIn : 1280 X 720 px
- Twitter : 1280 X 720 px
- Instagram : 1080 X 1080 px
- YouTube (thumbnail) : 1280 X 720 px
- Pinterest : 600 X 900 px
- Stories : 1080 X 1920 px
Of course, just because I use these sizes do not mean that you have to also. But these are the sizes that require the least amount of “work” from our audiences/scrollers to see what’s on the design.
Social media is probably the ONE place where your followers and your fans can always find you.
Making sure they recognise you by your branded imagery is a massive step in the right direction.
Now, I know design is not for everyone and sometimes you need a little help to get you going.
The creme-de-la-creme is of course for you to sign up to the 12-week 1:1 Become Your Own Expert Designer with Canva program.
Every now and then I also add a Canva video tutorial to my YouTube channel for you to access completely free of charge.
As I mentioned earlier, Canva is easy, what I didn’t say is that designing is not. I can give you a bit of help with Design Mistakes to Avoid – a free download.
I’d love to hear back from you about how you’re getting on with designing, so please drop me a line – I’m always happy to hear from you.