[Infographic] How to Design for Social Media in 2020

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“Good design is good business.” – Thomas Watson Jr.

Imagery & design is intimately connected to the way people perceive life. Humans are wired to process visuals in any shape or form they might come. From petroglyphs to seeing bits and pieces of the world in clouds or stars, we crave to see, to be in awe of our surroundings and to find tokens of our lives around us.

According to John Medina from Brain Rules, if a person hears a piece of information, after three days they will only remember about 10% of it. Information conveyed through pictures, however, will resurface at about 65%.

But there’s even more to this. According to a study published in Springer, a learning experience based on text and illustrations will be 323% more efficient than one that excludes visual elements.

How does this translate into social media strategies? It’s simple: the better your visuals, the more impressive your content will be. Engaging content attracts leads and these will ultimately convert into customers.

Take Pinterest, for example. In this social paradise of visual content, 80% of pins get repinned and 88% of pinned products are eventually purchased (Jeff Bullas).

As you can see, integrating attention-grabbing visuals into your social media marketing campaigns is not optional anymore, but rather, essential.

In order to define your brand identity, you can either choose to work with a graphic design agency or start experimenting yourself. If you’re wondering how to use design in order to achieve a strong online presence, we have prepared a series of tips and tricks to help you get started.

The team from Graphic Rhythm has put together an amazing infographic to emphasize visually some of the tips and tricks found below.

#1 Get Your Branding Right

96cea206 6c32 414c 86b6 4e106d99af76 Social Bee Infographic 03

Image by Graphic Rhythm – See the full Infographic here.

Having a strong visual identity goes beyond design alone. It’s actually about creating a unique brand experience. By staying consistent, your brand will stand out and this will increase the rate of engagements and conversions.

Building a memorable brand identity is no easy task. These days, you need to go beyond just a logo and color codes. Here’s what you can do to make sure that your branding idea is just right.

Curate a mood board

A mood board is a collection of visual assets meant to convey your brand’s identity beyond words alone. It’s a cohesion of different elements that work together as a whole.

scandinavian mood board

Mood board by livetteswallpaper

A mood board generally includes images, colors, patterns, shapes, text, quotes, typography, or branding elements. It all depends on what you’re trying to convey, of course. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

mood board heymaca

Moodboard by HeyMaca

There are several tools you can use to create your own mood board for social media.

  • Canva is one of the greatest tools to use when it comes to visuals. They have a drag and drop editor that allows you to create stunning boards.
  • Gomoodboard is another free app you can use. It doesn’t even require an account and you can either start from scratch or by using one of their templates.
  • Milanote is yet another flexible editor that can help you get a better grasp on your visuals. It’s the ‘Evernote for Creatives’ as a testimonial proudly states.
  • Pinterest might actually be the most obvious choice when it comes to creating vision boards. It’s often associated with DYI hacks and matching outfits, but if your target audience is compatible with this social channel, then it might be the place to be.

Create a style guide

A style guide is a rule book that defines how your brand should be presented to the world. It describes both who you are, and who you’re not.

Take MailChimp for example, they offer a very detailed style guide, one of the chapters being especially dedicated to social media usage.

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Source: https://styleguide.mailchimp.com/writing-for-social-media/

After detailing what they generally post on each social channel, they go even further by outlining the best post length for each platform.

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Source: https://styleguide.mailchimp.com/writing-for-social-media/

Consider going through MailChimp’s style guide before putting one together for your brand. It will help you to better understand where to start and what to look for.

If you’ll end up looking for more inspiration along the way, then you’ll be very happy to hear that Venngage and HubSpot have also put together a detailed ebook about how to create an effective brand style guide.

#2 Keep Your Fonts And Colors Consistent

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Image by Graphic Rhythm – See the full Infographic here.

Consistency is the key to brand recognition. You don’t want to end up changing your fonts and colors each time you create a post, so it’s better to decide on which ones to use from the very beginning.

Typography

Typography is an important part of your visual identity. One of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a representative font for your business is readability, but that’s not all there is to it.

Fonts can be serious, playful, casual, modern, elegant, or clean. With so many choices out there, which one should you pick?

Consider using a font choosing tool like Wordmark to help you easily compare fonts and determine which ones would work best for you.

font picking wordmark

Source: https://wordmark.it/

You should also keep in mind that bold typefaces with round terminals might look cheaper compared to lightweight, contrasting fonts.

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Color choice

Choosing a specific set of colors will also affect the audience’s perception, as hues have a huge impact on attitude and emotions. Here’s a basic symbolism of colors that you can use as a starting point.

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There are also several tools you can use to make sure your colors match properly, like Canva’s color wheel. This tool allows you to find the perfect balance by generating complementary, monochromatic, analogous, triadic, or tetradic color combinations.

In case you’re looking for color palette ideas, there’s another great resource offered by Canva which you can find here. This particular tool allows you to upload photos and use them to generate a color palette that fits your brand perfectly.

canva color palette

Canva’s color palette generator

A color picker extension like ColorZilla might also be a good choice if you’re looking for colorful inspiration.

#3 Depict Information In A Visual Way

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Image by Graphic RhythmSee the full Infographic here.

Charts and graphs for numbers are the usual best practice, but what if you could take creativity even further down the line?

Download Free Social Media Templates!

Get a swipe file of inspirational posts, social media sizing templates for various channels, several PSD file templates that you can use to create posts.

Use creative graphs to show statistics

Information transmitted in a visual form is more striking than numbers. Take a look at how Tim Urban from Wait But Why visually portrayed the average human lifespan.

wbw

Source: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html

The way he manages to convey that life is short through a simple, yet powerful visual representation is extraordinary.

Consider using Venngage to create beautiful graphs for your audiences. It will allow you to present your data in a way that’s more visually appealing and engaging.

venngage

Source: https://venngage.com/

Use emojis as a way of communicating emotions

A properly used emoji can make the difference between an engaging post and one that’s less so.

The ten most popular emojis are considered to be:

👉👇😉 🎉🤔👏🚀🔥🎄 👀

You can get your daily pick of emojis by heading over to Emojipedia. The site allows you to make your searches more efficient, as you can browse by category, name, or platform.

Did you know that some emojis have meanings you’ve never even heard about? For example:

🐐  GOAT is actually an acronym standing for Greatest Of All Time

🥑 is for someone who appears to be basic and follows trends blindly.

🐍 is used to highlight a person’s duplicitous nature.

❄️ is generally used for people that are easy to offend and seemingly fragile.

While they’re generally inserted at the end of a message, it’s not unusual for emojis to be found midway 👉 to complete ideas, or even at the beginning of posts in order to capture the reader’s attention. They can even be used to replace words, like in this case: “Hit the ▶️ button!”

The great thing about emojis is how universal they are. It doesn’t matter where people come from and what their mother tongue is, emojis are for everyone.

Choose a mascot or create custom illustrations

Brand characters act as ambassadors for companies or products. They’re easier to be remembered and engaged with. Audiences will interact with mascots in a more emotional way than with your typical visual content.

Custom illustrations can also be used to deepen the emotional connection with your audience. Look at how Asana manages to appeal to the audience’s needs by using illustrations that are highly specific to their brand.

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Creating custom illustrations might seem like an incredible challenge, especially when you’re not an illustrator. However, there are several free resources and tools that can aid your journey of creation even if you’ve never done it before.

You can find beautiful icons and illustrations at Drawkit and Icons8, with the mention that the latter also includes a Vector Creator tool you can use to get everything together.

vector creator

Vector Creator by Icons8

#4 Use Hierarchy To Establish A Focal Point

Social media designs typically include multiple elements. While all of them might be important to convey your overall message, a hierarchy will allow you to highlight the most important part of your message first.

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Before deciding on a hierarchy for your design, however, it’s essential to understand where your aim is. What is the focal point of your content? What needs to stand out the most?

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Always keep in mind that in order to establish the best design hierarchy you must:

  • Choose the most important idea of your message,
  • Highlight it, preferably by using negative space and contrast.

If you’re still unsure about how your message should come across, you can always consider using social media templates that will help keep your text in line with your ideas.

#5 Get Creative With Photos

Personal outreach has become the golden rule of marketing. Stock photos are handy to have around, however, whenever possible you should try to include original materials.

There are several types of images that you can use instead, like original infographics or photos of your employees and offices.

You can also try going for a few different approaches that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Use linear storytelling

Both Subway and Sunergos Coffee used Instagram’s carousel feature to get the best out of picture-perfect storytelling. One image can boost your engagement, but a whole carousel? Priceless.

Use panoramas

Splitting long images into pieces is another great way of creating outstanding visual content on social media. Take a look at this stunning panorama by David Coleman.

pasted image 0 4Source: https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/instagram-panorama-tiles/

Move beyond 2D

With a pinch of Photoshop skills and a little imagination, you can turn your 2D photos into amazing 3D creations.

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Curious to find out how to create such a stunning effect for your social media posts? You can find a tutorial here.

Final Note

Think about big brands like Coca-Cola, Spotify, or Dropbox. There are specific images and logos involuntarily resurfacing inside your head just by reading the brand’s name. This is because their consistency turned them memorable.

Social media is all about visual engagement, so coming up with a good design is essential. To get the best out of your marketing campaigns, we asked the design team at Graphic Rhythm to make this even easier. They’ve created a series of social media templates to help you maintain brand consistency in an easier and more efficient manner.

Click on the link below to access an amazing collection of sizing templates, post templates and inspirational swipe files.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover what works best for you before making the final decision on how your brand should look and feel like. Also, in case you don’t have the time to do all of it, The SocialBee Team can help you out with our Concierge Services that will make your brand stand out and make a difference online.

And last but not least ask yourself: If people remember 65% of what they see, what do you want to be remembered for?

Table of Contents

Download Free Social Media Templates!

Get a swipe file of inspirational posts, social media sizing templates for various channels, several PSD file templates that you can use to create posts.