When it comes to social media, that old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer. Nailing social media graphic design is imperative in capturing people’s attention. Facebook posts with images or graphics will see twice as much engagement as those without. And Tweets with images will get 150% more retweets.
Your visual cortex might be a tiny part of your brain, but it processes visual information 60,000 times faster than your brain processes words. When people scan their social media feeds, they make lightning-fast decisions about what they’ll pay attention to. Your content must catch the eye of your target audience almost instantly, or they’ll scroll right on past.
The best way to slow the scroll—and therefore encourage engagement—is to add graphic design to your social media post. A recent study found that posts with compelling images average 94% more views than posts without them.
But graphics don’t just increase audience engagement—they boost understanding and retention too. Statistics have shown that people recall information 65% more efficiently when it’s paired with a relevant image.
When it comes to content creation, eye-catching visuals are probably the most important facet of your company’s social media marketing strategy. Check out the top 5 types of social media graphic design with tips on how to create your own below!
When you think about social media imagery, the first thing that probably comes to mind is photos. Visually striking photographs are particularly effective in activating associations in people’s minds. If you can evoke a mood, memory, or experience to your followers, you’ll convey meaning to them that goes well beyond words. You can reinforce your message even further by adding text or a graphic element to a photo.
"Remember: just because an image is on the internet doesn’t mean you have the right to use it!"
Chances are, someone owns the photos you find in a routine web search, and you’ll break copyright laws if you use them—or even alter them—unless the owner gives you express permission. For that reason, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
While photos are the go-to medium for social media imagery, digital illustrations or graphics are a great way to mix it up.
The key here is consistency. On average, it takes about five to seven impressions to establish brand recognition. When the graphics you use for your social media content feel cohesive, you’ll bolster your brand identity.
Programs like Adobe Spark and Canva allow you to integrate your brand ingredients, like your colors and logo, into your social media graphics so everything looks consistent, and perfectly professional, across the board.
Just because you’re creating an image for social media doesn’t mean words can’t be the main focus.
Images with inspirational quotes, or “quote cards,” for example, are highly shareable on social media. They evoke emotion, convey an atmosphere, and communicate your brand’s values. When your followers share an inspirational quote that resonates with them from your social media page with their friends and followers, your visibility will increase exponentially.
You can also create text-centric images to make announcements, share stats, facts or other educational content.
It doesn’t matter how well-written it is—a big block of text isn’t going to grab anyone’s attention. Using eye-catching infographics, diagrams or charts to present data in a visual format makes complex information easy as pie to digest. Infographics are liked and shared more often than other types of content.
There’s no better way to catch someone’s eye as they scroll mindlessly through their mostly-static feed than a moving image. Animated GIFs, or low-resolution video snippets that loop endlessly, are one of the best ways to add a little motion to your social media posts. They allow you to communicate a feeling or message to your followers in seconds. And, unlike video posts, they’re silent—no speakers or earbuds required.
Posting an animated GIF to your social media page is a powerful marketing strategy because it will literally “speak” to your followers. In a recent poll carried out by Time, almost two-thirds of millennials surveyed said that animated GIFs expressed their thoughts and feelings better than words. If your target audience can relate to the animations you post, they’ll be encouraged to further engage with your content.
Whether your business is big, or small, images are an integral part of social media marketing. In this age of visual overwhelm, one of your main goals is to make your target audience stop and look. That’s why one of the most important things you can do is to add eye-catching graphics to your content.
If you’re searching for some inspiration, our team puts a lot of thought into what images and visuals we use on social media. We’re continuously testing and trying new techniques. Check us out on Instagram, and send us a DM if you’re looking for some more tips or pointers!