The dynamic world of social media demands the use of visuals that are powerful and effective in grabbing viewer attention. How can you achieve this? Good Design. Everyday. Out there. In your posts and marketing material. The answer is simple but the approach requires a bit of research and the application of some fundamental rules which also involve understanding the nature and identity of your brand.
Based on the popularity of your Facebook posts (likes, shares), Twitter pages (retweets), Pinterest (pins), the following parameters can help ensure a stable and successful Social Media presence – one filled with constant interaction and viewer appreciation.
1) Color Palette
Identify your brand’s color palette. These could be colors being used in the logo or simply colors that define the brand’s personality best. Choose the colors and stick to them. A consistent and strong color selection is a key element in aiding brand recognition and recall. High contrast in colors works very well. Thus a light background will offset well with dark text and vice-versa. Colors have specific codes that ensure you are using the same shade of color each time. These are called Hex codes and the format is #224b74. Hash tag followed by six alphanumeric characters. The correct color preset is RGB for online images as opposed to CMYK for print.
2) Array of Fonts
Choose a font that is consistent throughout the text usage. Choose a header font, subtitle font and body text font. Select a bold font that stands out in the header and simpler yet legible subtitle and body fonts. Make sure the fonts are reflective of your brand’s personality. Stick to the 2-3 fonts once selected. Similar appearance of the text aids in better brand recall.
3) Photo Filters
Images are extremely popular on Social Media. Good pictures deserve to see the light of day. But every picture may not have the same color quality and sharpness that you may hope for. It is important that all the images look consistently good. This is where a photo filter comes in. The use of the right filter to create a look and feel for the brand also helps make the posts more recognizable in the social media feeds. Viewers come to expect and associate certain kind of imagery with the brand. The filter selection will depend hugely on the brand’s personality. The ideal preset for an image is 72 dpi since it makes for fast loading.
4) Use of Templates & Sizing
Equipped with color, font and a suitable filter, you can create templates which incorporate all of the above. So each time you create new marketing material, be it for Facebook, Pinterest or even Google+, just reach out for the relevant template, make desired changes to the content and the post is ready. These templates are a collection of the pre-determined colors, font and size guidelines prescribed for each post, cover photo, profile picture by the Social media platform on which the content is displayed. Never rely on default resizing by the media. Instead make sure the content is sized appropriately as per the sizing guidelines available for each social media platform.
5) Logo Placement
An element which is a definite yes in all formats is the brand logo. It helps identify the origin of the post if it were to be displaced from its original source i.e. copied and placed elsewhere. An embedded logo always helps.
6) Less is More – Graphics and Text
The adage ‘Less is more’ applies to both the use of graphics and text. Keep it simple and clutter-free. The post should not be too text-heavy. Use hyperlinks / Google URL shortener to create links that lead to the actual landing page or content piece. The post should be simple and eye-catching. This can never be achieved with too many images or too much text.
7) Use Grids and Frames
Images are important to graphic design. It is important that they are showcased appropriately. Use grids or frames wherever possible. By adding some order to the images, the designs look sharp and crisp, giving your posts a professional edge.
8) Visual Hierarchy
You must organize words and images in a way that helps the viewer prioritize the message. It is imperative to ask yourself, ‘what is it that is grabbing my attention in this design?’ If the answer is the purpose of your design, then the organization of text and images is fine.
Social media, a brand’s personality, the tone of communication, language in use and the purpose of communication have come to dictate the design being devised around a brand. The character of a brand will determine the use of color, font, appearance of images and the overall look of what you put out there to represent your brand.
Following some simple guidelines around designing posts, cover photos and profile pictures will help you maintain a consistent look and establish a strong presence on Social Media. Brand recognition and recall are a direct result of these standard practices which ensure that the viewers respond enthusiastically and look forward to updates from your brand.