How social media graphics improve your campaign

These 3 steps are all you need to run a successful social media campaign. Start with planning to create your strategy, gather your content, and define your goals. Use the tips on designing social media graphics to make memorable and effective images. Finally, implement your campaign on the right channels to get the most engagement with your audience.

1. Planning a social media campaign

Social media graphics are a great way to engage with your audience on social media. The most effective graphics will boost your brand presence and drive more likes, shares, and business. A successful social media campaign is the result of a combination of factors that include marketing strategy, quality content, and great graphics.

Start with a goal

Your social media marketing campaign needs a goal to measure its effectiveness. Improving brand awareness, connecting with your audience, increasing website traffic, and driving sales are examples of social media campaign goals. Having 1-2 goals per graphic will be the most effective.

Research your competition

When planning your social media campaign, research your competition to see how they engage on social media. This may be an opportunity to see the type of social media that is effective in your industry. Develop a strategy that will work well and will resonate with your audience.

Know your audience

A great campaign will use social media graphics that catch your audience’s eye and spark their interest. Research your audience to learn more about their likes and dislikes. People engage with content they are most interested in and that provokes an emotion.

Post on a schedule

Be consistent and post social media graphics on a regular basis. This may be daily, weekly, or monthly, whatever you can do consistently. Choose the time of day to post when your audience may be most likely to see and engage with your campaign. In addition, run seasonal campaigns and posts that are relevant and timed with industry events.

2. Designing social media graphics

A well-designed graphic will represent your brand with original share-worthy content. As part of a creative and unique campaign, it will help you stand out from your competition and drive higher engagement. Here are a few guidelines to make great social media graphics.

Layout

A structured layout creates brand consistency. Put your logo in the same place and use the same fonts. Have a few layout templates to use for different messages or campaigns. Allow for space around your call to action to help bring attention to it. Keep it simple.

Images

Choose images that tell a story and appeal to your target audience. Images convey emotion and the right image will “speak the same language” as your message. Try Pexels and Unsplash for candid free photos. Shutterstock and iStockPhoto are great resources but have a stock photo feel. Try searching by color to find images with your brand colors.

Illustration

Graphic illustrations are shapes, form, and color that help tell a story. They can be basic visual elements or creative drawings that support the social media campaign and clarify the message. Illustrations help to make a memorable campaign with a deeper connection between your audience and products or service. Freepik is a great resource for creative illustrations and artwork while The Noun Project is great for icons.

Color

Use your brand colors in strategic and fun ways to make your content more recognizable. Be creative and pair an accent color with your main color. Be strategic and use the same colors consistently for calls to action, buttons, and text boxes. Make your headline and copy very readable with sufficient color contrast between foreground and background colors. Use a color contrast tool to test readability.

Fonts

Use the typeface associated with your brand for increased recognition. Using the same font consistently across social media campaigns and keeping to 1-2 fonts will keep your graphics on brand. If you want to use a different font, a new campaign may be an opportunity to match your message and improve communication.

Hierarchy

Use visual hierarchy to arrange design elements and text to draw attention to the most important part of your graphic. This helps your audience understand the content quickly and easily. Used effectively, hierarchy can make a complex message simple. Common elements of hierarchy include scale, color, contrast, space, and alignment.

This infographic, by Buffer, shows 11 design principles to enhance your social media images:

11 Design Principles to enhance Social Media Images

3. Implementing social media strategy

Keep it social on social media to build connections with your audience. As your audience engages with your content through shares, likes, and comments, your brand visibility increases. Engagement is an important and easy metric to track.

Social media tools

There are so many great options to choose from. Use your goals, number of channels, frequency, users, and audience to inform your decision. Tools enable you to schedule posts, monitor activity, analyze metrics, and measure ROI. I have used Buffer for years. Other great options are Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and HubSpot.

Social media channels

Start small with a few social media channels to improve your chances of success. Go where your audience is for the best engagement. Consider which channels fit best with your brand and industry, where your existing traffic sources are, the channels your competitors are active on, and your audience demographic. Popular choices are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Social media calendar

Planning social media content ahead leads to consistency on social media. Your audience will learn when to expect new content and you will avoid stretches without updates. It also helps to set a good ratio of original content versus sharing content from others; and allows time to comment and engage in the conversation.

Repurpose content for social media

Get the most mileage from your content by repurposing it across different channels. Existing marketing materials are a great source of content to draw from and divide into multiple social media posts and graphics. Client testimonies, awards, new hires, events, FAQs, and other news make great content for social media graphics.

Summary

These tips on planning a social media campaign, designing social media graphics, and implementing social media strategy will set you apart from your competitors and help you reach your goals.

Bonus Examples

Here are a few social media graphics I designed that implement the design principles introduced above.

Infographic style social media graphic
Conference speaker style social media graphic
Board member announcement or new hire style social media graphic

See how these design principles are applied across different forms of marketing on the graphic design page. Contact me to see how I can help you design great social media graphics for your next campaign.

About Amy Kvistad

Amy has 15 years of experience as a graphic designer and 10 years as a web designer and developer. She is a co-organizer for the Boston WordPress meetup group and WordCamp Boston.