It really is true that a picture can speak a thousand words, and in the cutthroat world of social media, with brands vying for attention in news streams, it’s vital to do your best to stand out amongst the crowd. An effectively designed image can help you do just this.
Okay, so you may think “but everyone uploads images to Facebook and Twitter?!” – Yes, this is completely right, but are they doing the job? Some will, some won’t. It’s all about how striking your graphic is, ensuring it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to, that it has a strategy behind it, and most importantly, it connects with your target audience.
When you design an image for the purpose of social media, you must have in mind that you are designing for the engagements of your followers, which can help you catapult the popularity of your brand, while also increasing conversions – which is what you want, right?
You may have written a blog about traveling on a student budget and are looking for ways to direct people from social media back to it, or perhaps you’re running a competition and you want to build awareness of it so that people enter. To do that, you’ll want to create something similar to the images below. They look great, and they also tell the user what they’re about in a couple of seconds.
Text is so 2 years ago
Now, reflect on the social media experience from your own point of view. You’re scrolling through Facebook or Twitter while relaxing on the sofa and you come across a post that is text only, you keep scrolling and you see one with a really eye-catching image that makes you stop and take it in. It’s obvious which one, in comparison, has a higher conversion rate, right?
I mean, when was the last time you saw a piece of text-only content on Facebook that went viral? Erm, never?
Okay, so how the hell do you go about creating a series of images that are consistent with your brand, that are on point and on message, and that don’t take all day to create? As a social media marketer, or even an owner of a small brand, you may not have 24 hour access to a design team or even a friend that is pretty decent on Photoshop. So, where do you start?
At Better, we love Canva for quickly mocking up images for social media, social media headers, blog titles, email marketing images and Facebook ads – all the things you definitely don’t need the design team for. It doesn’t take too much time and you have free templates and images to use at your fingertips.
Putting it bluntly, you don’t need to be a graphic design expert to get to grips with this great tool.
Canva can really help you to ramp up a social media campaign, as it will allow you to create stunning visual content that will purvey your brand and message, but also will help to establish your online identity.
What to remember
Canva is pretty good at signposting exactly where to go when you first sign up, with tutorials to access if needs be. But here’s a few handy things to remember when you’re creating images for social media. Follow these and you’ll be well on your way to making images that look good, and that work for you.
- Use templates for each social media platform – These are sized correctly so that they are most effective
- Don’t go wild – Remember that simplicity is key and less is always more. Make sure you design something that will attract people straight away. A simple and powerful message with no distractions.
- Easy to read – Yes, that font may look fancy, but is it easy to read? Make sure it’s clear because if it’s not, it will be missed in the sea of other messages it’s swimming in!
We use this programme because it’s super easier for the Digital Marketing team to work their own design magic in a matter of minutes without having to pester the designers who may be working on an important big branding project for a client with a tight deadline. The templates and layouts are already there for you, expertly designed by their amazing in-house designers.
It’s not difficult to create a good looking social media campaign with little or no budget with Canva, as you have access to a massive library of free images, layouts and also premium stock photography for as little as 1 dollar per image. Oh, and you can also upload your own brand assets to Canva such as logos and fonts. Amazing!
Here’s a few examples of images we have created in Canva for various social media campaigns for our clients…
Free UK delivery campaign for Britannia Metador:
Social media competition for The House:
Various social media campaigns surrounding healthcare awareness days in the UK for NECS:
Facebook advertising campaign for a recruitment drive at NECS:
Social media image for a Halloween themed blog for Playscheme:
Recruitment for a Digital Marketing Intern at Better:
Note that you can also create alternative images for Facebook and Instagram advertising to test out which is more successful and that drives the most engagement. Once run, you can take a look at your analytics to see which one more users tended to click on. This kind of data will shape your online marketing campaigns going forward.
See the other version we used below, and if you’re interested, the second one actually gained more traction and garnered more clicks than the one above. This allowed us to tailor our messaging on later campaigns, knowing that simple and short text drives more engagement in the long run. We would always recommend using different versions of adverts for social media advertising anyway however, as let’s face it, not everyone likes the same thing!
Looking for more expert advice on social media marketing and strategy? Want to know the best ways in which to bolster engagement from your posts? Subscribe to our blog or give us a call on 01642 989158.