I’m of that rare age group that remembers life before social media but has also spent much of my adult life, especially my professional life, engaging with it and leveraging it for my clients and my own business. If you’re reading this blog, chances are it’s because you found it through a post I created for social media. And what do you think was one of the most important aspects of this blog, and its corresponding social post, for me?
Social media images. It turns out, they really do matter. As social media has evolved (and infiltrated our lives), so has its audience’s discernment. Gone are the days when a stock image slapped onto an Instagram account every other day with a sentence-long caption will suffice. And gone are the days when social media, and its graphics, can get away with being a second thought for business’ marketing efforts.
If you want to make an impact in today’s digital landscape, you need to be putting out content that has both a good message and a good graphic. And no, I don’t mean something you found of generic people smiling on Shutterstock that you downloaded and simply reposted. A good social graphic will grab attention, draw the viewer in, and establish a look and feel among your audience that will lead to greater brand awareness overall.
Here are some tips on how to achieve that:
- Don’t just tell a story, tell your brand story: Your social media images and graphics should be connected to the brand story you’re telling. How do the images and words you use support the broader brand story that should be a part of every piece of marketing and communications that goes out with your business’ name on it?
- Differentiate yourself: Don’t be afraid to stand out and look different. When people are scrolling on social media, they are bombarded with images and will often have an attention span that only lasts a second. So, in order to catch their eye and stand out, your posts should have a little flare. This, of course, depends on your brand and its subsequent guidelines, but if you’re going to have fun and play around with imagery and graphics anywhere, social media is a great place to do it.
- Start with stock but make it yours: I understand it’s not always possible to hire a photographer and create your own images for your brand. In fact, more often than not it’s not possible. There’s a reason stock photo sites are so popular. Heck, we use them often. But it’s what we do with the images after we track down the right one that makes the difference. We spend time creating a design system that we can easily apply to stock images, making generic images look like they’re not stock. Below are a few examples from our own portfolio:
- Manage your time: While you shouldn’t just slap an unedited generic photo on your next social post, you also shouldn’t spend an entire day putting one post together. Your social posts shouldn’t be masterpieces, especially if you’re creating a lot of content. Putting a design system in place to create cool, different, yet consistent posts together without spending an arm and a leg to do so is going to be one of the best things you can do for yourself. While it will take some time up front, it will save you tenfold down the road.
The average person spends nearly two and a half hours on social media every day, but attention spans mean someone may view a post for mere seconds. How are you making sure yours stands out?
If you’d like to learn more or discuss how Sublime Designs Media can help you create a design system for your social images, email us at [email protected].