Social Media Design, What Is It?

picture hand on phone with pink background

Every day, every person on social media is bombarded by posts (tweets, text and images) on their digital devices. A typical post is viewed in seconds. Yes … SECONDS! So, where does that leave YOUR social media image, especially if it’s something YOU would scroll over?

So, what is it?

Social media design is visual content design for digital marketing. In other words, digital marketing for ANY of your social platforms Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, to name but a few, where-ever you may find yourself.

Visual Digital Marketing

Images are processed around 60 000 times faster than text. So, that saying of: a picture is worth a thousand words, suddenly makes a whole lot of sense!

Posting with a well-thought-out image really does make a difference to the content you place on YOUR own channel/platform.

Social media images help your brand by presenting to it a VISUAL presentation where words may not give the same value. Your audience wants a GOOD first impression. A first impression that is appealing, that is attention-grabbing and makes them WANT to know more about you.

The question: But how does social media help, begs to be asked.

There are, of course, any number of way that social media can help you and your brand message.

Consistency Across Social Media

Creating images that are consistent across your social media platforms creates brand recognition. If you were able to monetize it, how much value can you place on being recognizable across ALL your social media platforms?

A consistently visual brand “sticks” better in the brain than mere words. People learn better with images than with words alone. The chances that your brand will remain “locked-in” with a visually appealing image is far greater than advertising with only words.

Company logo and graphic design go hand in hand with the brand image. A well-designed graphic should STIR your audience to acting. If it doesn’t stir them, it needs revision.

How would you know that your image is “doing something” for your audience? Will you agree with me that sometimes your audience is the best educator you could have?

Engaging them in the decision-making process, especially if you’re considering re-branding, remains an option for consideration. There is absolutely NOTHING that stops you from doing just that.

I would imagine that it would help you, your message and your brand to cement itself in their periphery.

Then we look at what should be used in social media design.

Using High-Quality Photos (as background imagery)

Getting the most out of your graphic design starts with using high-quality photos. I have said it before, and I say it again, stock images have their place, but it MUST be adding value to your message. The image should grab attention and aid your brand.

Don’t be afraid to show photos of yourself. Now, I’m not saying you must post your drunken party photos or those risqué moments captured on film.

Show your team, show yourself at work, or even relaxing. We want to see what you look like. More importantly, because people do business with PEOPLE, they want to know who you are when you’re not your company.

The added benefit to using your own photos would be that there’s  copyright to consider.

Using Quotes & Stories

Have you ever thought to use a quote to attract attention to your message? What about story telling?

People relate to stories.

Our brains are hard-wired to relate to stories, rather than just facts. We’ve been listening to stories from a very young age. If you’re a reader of any printed material, you would know that stories have value.

Stories build anticipation while you’re sharing your personal experiences. Those in the know suggest that you keep your stories short and to the point. Perhaps not precis style, but get to the point without writing a novel.

A quote leading to a story may not work in every social media image, but you would know what your audience require. Be led by them!

Using Testimonials as social media images

As I’ve said above, people do business with people. What I should add here is: people do business with people they KNOW, TRUST and LIKE!

The best way to build up trust is by showcasing your testimonials or recommendations. After all, your clients won’t be singing your praises if you’re crap at what you do.

Making your recommendation into an image to add to your social media platform is a VISUAL way of bringing to the fore the reason THAT specific client finds your offering/service/product that much more appealing over that of your competitors.

Remember – consistency is key!

Social Media Loves Fonts & Colours

Two previous blogs have been written on FONTS and COLOURS and cannot be emphasized enough on the importance these two key elements have in social media design.

Again, consistency is key – keep the same pattern flowing throughout.

Sizing your images for social media

Social media images vary in sizes. From my experience, only Facebook and LinkedIn use the same size image. Pinterest and Twitter images are HUGELY different. It requires element juggling to be consistent with the LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram images that are created. Don’t be afraid to experiment though.

Knowing the size of the image you want to have designed is certainly a step in the right direction. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to read the copy in an image when the designer did not take into consideration the platform the image is being designed for.

I’d like to ask a favour, please. Please tell your designer whether they are designing in px, inch, cm etc. as it will save a lot of time later on down the line when it comes to editing an image that was wrongly sized.


You’re the designer and you know best what it is your audience & clients want to see.

Designing to me is like a toy-box full of possibilities and I love playing in this specific toy-box.

If you’re new to design and want to start using Canva as your platform for design, you can sign up here and use the Pro features (the same I use for my designs) for 30 days absolutely free of charge.

If you want to go ahead and try your hand at design and need some guidance, you can download my free guide to the perfect social media design here. If you need a little more help, I can assist you using Zoom – which we’ll record so you can keep referring back to our session. This link here will get us connected for an hour to walk you through your challenges.

All the best