In today’s world of social media, visual elements are one of the biggest foundations to grab a viewer’s attention, since there are more than 50 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners. Facebook posts that contain compelling images get almost 40 percent more interactions than the standard text posts. Now, the choice is yours. Do you want to maximise your social media design efforts? Consider these 14 social media design tips for 2014, you can create images that accomplish your goal and attract your audience.
1. Distinguish Between Print and Social
When posting on social media, don’t post what’s meant for print directly to your networks. More often, the printed writing is very copy-heavy and the resolution is too high for web. Instead, repurpose parts of the printed piece and only share the most important elements.
2. Write Less Copy
When creating visual contents on social media, it’s better to write less detail, leaving the images to “describe themselves”. If you insist, your copy should be creative and short to grab the viewer’s attention. A link can be added for more information.
3. Search for Templates
One important factor for social media is making sure everything is created at the correct size. There are a lot of dimensions to know, but fortunately you don’t have memorise them! There are many cheat sheets out there with sizing for each of the different platforms.
4. Know The Guidelines
Be sure you are up-to-date on each network’s image guidelines. Currently, for Facebook Ads, only 20% of an image can be occupied by copy.
5. Specify Your Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy is extremely important in design. With content, your words and images need to be organised in a way that helps the viewer prioritise the message. The more important the message, the more contrast it should have.
6. Prioritise Typography
Typography is a big factor in visual design. With a good typography, there is a potential to go beyond just words. It elicits feelings and character about your brand. For headlines, make sure they are bold and easy to read. For body copy, maximise legibility by using the correct amount of leading and tracking. Lines should be large enough to read – the shorter the lines, the better.
7. Select a Good Imagery
Image selection is key. When choosing an image, try to answer this question: Is this something you would engage and/or share with your friends? Go with something that will evoke a reaction.
8. Use Creative Commons
When you are adding images and other content that you did not create to your social sites, it is important to make sure that you are not violating anyone’s copyright. Use Creative Commons and Public Domain images to be safe.
9. Never Forget To Attribute
Images from creative commons are okay to use but make sure you attribute the image with the author. Do not use images that you don’t own or that you don’t have permission to use. Just because the image is a result from a Google search, it doesn’t mean you can use it.
10. Consider a Logo
When creating your own imagery, you have the option of branding your visuals. While some prefer to have their logo prominent on every piece of creative, others prefer to ditch the logo. It’s your choice, so consider both options based on the the audience.
11. Use Easier Tools
While Adobe Photoshop is the best tool for designers, it can be overwhelming if you aren’t a professional. Pixlr and Gimp are free photoshop-like free online tools you can use. There are also many mobile applications that can help with design/layout including: Pic Stitch, Overgram, Studio.
12. Use Correct Presets
The proper color mode for online images is RGB. RGB images display better on screens, as opposed to CMYK, which is meant for ink printing. Basically, monitors emit light and paper absorbs light. When creating an image, set your image to 72 dpi (dots per inch). This will help for faster load time, and is the standard as opposed to print’s 300 dpi requirement.
13. Save for Web
When saving files out of Photoshop, use Photoshop’s “Save for Web” feature to create smaller images that are perfect for web and mobile.
14. Be Creative
Social media is a hub of design inspiration. Be creative and think outside of the box.