Be Square: Graphic Design Tips for Social Media
It is tempting when writing about social media to refer to them as ‘new’. But Twitter and Facebook are both now in their teenage years. Posting popular posts on social media is something of an art. Companies can use social media to market themselves (or pay a digital marketing firm to do it for them). For maximum impact, you have to make sure that your images are well-composed and your comments are relevant and on-message without coming across too salesy. Here are our tips for making sure your company looks good on its social media posts.
General Posting Etiquette
Before we go into more detail about design considerations for your social media posts and profiles, let’s kick off with some good general habits.
• Don’t overpost. You may be tempted to update your social media accounts constantly with news of what your company is up to. However, this level of oversharing can be annoying. 15-20 Facebook posts a month should be the maximum.
• Post engaging content. Don’t post for posting’s sake. Only post relevant and engaging content.
• Share reviews. Let people know what others thought of your products and services.
• Be reactive. Social media is a conversation. Had a bad (or a good) review? Respond!
• Theme your posts across media. Make sure that your online content supports your real-world activities. Appearing at a trade fair? Tweet about it! Displaying special offer posters in store? Make sure you have matching content on your Facebook page.
Images and Video
Smartphone technology has made it easier than ever to shoot pictures and videos. And social media has made it easier than ever to share them. We can’t make you an expert photographer or videographer – we suggest you employ a professional – but here are some tips for making sure that images that you share look great on all devices.
• Image sizes. Unhelpfully, social media platforms frequently change their layouts. Facebook is the worst culprit here. Luckily there is a helpful website that tracks the changes and can give you up-to-date information. Checking this guide will make sure you don’t end up with pixelated images. Of course, image proportions may also determine the choice of composition of your photo or design.
• Be square. The main point of an image should be centred. On Twitter only part of an image is displayed in the timeline and you need to expand the tweet to see the full image. Square images with the main point centred work best.
• Facebook’s 20% rule. Facebook likes its ads to look like the rest of the unsponsored content on the site. To this end, they used to enforce a rule that text may occupy no more than 20% of an advertisement image. They have relaxed this a little now, but ads with a text component larger than 20% still get less reach than ads that stay within the limit.
• Profile pic. If you are a company, your profile pic should be your logo. A lovely picture of your office building with your logo tastefully in one corner might look great full-screen. But when it is shrunk to the size of a 5p piece on someone’s smartphone your logo will disappear. Many companies are simplifying their logos so that they look great at all sizes. Others have designed ‘fluid’ logos that display differently at different sizes.
• Video killed the Twitterati. Now that it is easy to upload filmed content, we are seeing another sea-change. Moving images are everywhere and social media is starting to resemble the Daily Prophet. Cover images – at the top of your Facebook profile – are the best place for filmed content to be displayed.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful. At RWD Design, we can help you out with design concepts that have to work online and in the real world. For more information, call us on 01603 409060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org