Images can be a great way to emotionally connect to your audience. As you tell your brand’s story, the right image can evoke nostalgia, excitement, desire, and reflection. Coca Cola, for example, knows this, and has mastered the craft of storytelling with powerful imagery, whether it’s in the milestones of their rich history or a personal one between two people sharing a Coke.
Compelling images, now more than ever, are an integral part of successful social media engagement, and the presence of images in social media has become more and more prevalent in recent years.
Photos and images are the foundation of popular social platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, and especially Pinterest, which, at over 10 million unique visitors, is the fastest growing social network in history.
And, on Facebook and Twitter, images have become a reliable way to garner engagement. Tweets featuring images see 88% more retweets than tweets with links and 19% more retweets than those that are text only. Furthermore, Facebook posts with a photo typically see nearly 3 times more engagement than status updates. Facebook’s Timeline redesign and acquisition of Instagram also reflect Mark Zuckerberg’s affinity for the power of photos on the social network:
“You see the organic News Feed posts moving toward bigger pictures and rich media. The success of products like Instagram is because they’re so immersive on a small screen.” (Source)
Catering to the short attention spans of the social audience, images are quickly and effortlessly consumed on smartphone screens, making content easier to digest and share. With 57% of Facebook users now accessing the site via mobile device social media will likely become more and more mobile, making captivating images more crucial than ever.
With this emphasis on well-designed images, social media managers would be well-served to have a basic understanding of graphic design, especially design that works where your social audience spends most of their time: online and on mobile devices.
Designing for Social Media
Ideally, you will have access to an in-house design team that can create images for use on social media. In that instance, as social media manager, use the information presented in this series to provide your designers guidance, especially if they typically work in print or web media and aren’t as familiar with the needs of social media sites.
And, as social media often works quickly and reactively, you might not always be able to turn to your graphic design team to create the images you want. In these cases it can help to know the basics so you can make the images yourself.
In this series, we’ll cover the fundamentals, listed below, as well as provide instructional tutorials (with, and in some cases without, Photoshop).
- Photo Selection & Sizing: What to look for in a good photo & how to size and save your images so they display well on various social sites.
- Playing with Color: How to determine what colors to use to stand out, while staying on brand.
- Font Type & Lettering: The magic of combining text and photos, and how to select the right font.
- Composition: Putting it all together: how to compose an image that stands out, and how to create a collage.
- Examples & Inspiration: What are other brands are doing with images, and ideas you can implement immediately.
We hope you join us next week when we discuss how to choose a good photo and make sure it looks good on whichever social site you decide to share it to!