Most companies know that social media marketing is now mandatory to some degree — regardless of your industry or company size.
Everyone knows they need social media content now — but it shouldn’t stop there. Your social media strategy should also focus on the structure and visual aspect of every individual post.
We are long past the time when you could simply type up a post, add a generic image, maybe add a link, and then press post without a care. Your audience is looking for more out of your posts and social media presence, so, like all other marketing activities, you need to provide value with everything you do.
Don’t Dismiss the Power of Images
When it comes to preparing effective social media posts, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is no lie.
The image associated with a post is the first thing that your followers and target audience will see, and it’s also what your audience is most likely to remember. On average, people will retain 65 percent of the information they see in an image three days later opposed to only 10 percent of what they read (or hear). That’s why including high-quality graphic design in your social media program is very important. You should be posting images that are going to be remembered, not just plain stock images or anything else that you might find on Google.
Imagery should be on a schedule, planned out, and managed as much as the written portions of your content.
Follow Your Brand — And Your Art Director
Too many organizations think that social media is no-holds-barred territory — the idea being that the only goal is to make “an impression.” This approach will very often lead to the wrong impression.
Your organization’s brand guidelines are not just for print and your website. They should be the direction-setting documents for every visual aspect of your marketing, including the approach you take with your social media platforms and posts. Keeping your visual brand consistent on all mediums is not only a way to maintain a consistent image but also shows professionalism and creates the perception with your audience that you’ve taken great care with your company’s online presence.
Ultimately, your social media platforms and posts should be integrated with what the rest of your brand is doing. To do so, your design team needs to have creative input and oversight into the process as well.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
It would be a perfect situation if each social platform you could use had all the same standards for image sizing for posts, cover photos, etc., but alas, that is not the case. Many organizations assume you can write and design something once, and then take a carbon copy of it to every single platform.
This is half true. Yes, the same message, core content, and imagery can be used on all platforms, but tweaks to content must be made and finessing on imagery must be done — especially when it comes to photos. Creating unique image sizes and arrangements using the same visual elements is a must to ensure that you don’t upload images that can be pixelated or cut off. Again, perception is key. When something is great, people don’t often notice — but when something is wrong, they almost always do. Taking the time to customize visuals for each platform minimizes the chances of important information being missed and your imagery creating an off-brand impression.
Is That It?
In short, the design aspects of your social media efforts should be regarded as just as important as the content. Your target audience will notice brands that put serious effort into the content they share and their overall online presence. If your audience enjoys your presence, it will make it easier for you to make a lasting impression.