Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
Social media is constantly changing and evolving, making it difficult to stay on top of what works and what doesn’t. We have outlined four graphic design tips to improve your social media posts that you can implement today.
Here Are The Design Tips To Improve Your Social Media Posts
01. Stay Current And Contemporary
First and foremost, make sure that your posts match what your viewers expect like professional graphic designers do. In other words, make sure you post current and contemporary content.
This can be done in many ways. Every part of your post must make use of today’s fashion, jargon, and trends.
If you’re posting about a summer getaway trip to the best beaches in Europe, make sure your content portrays yourself wearing a classy and stylish bikini, rather than last year’s outdated fashion. If you’re posting a campaign for an outdoor company, include this year’s trendy gadgets in the post somewhere.
Stay up to date on the jargon and etiquette that is being used in social media post design, and make use of it in your posts. This is particularly relevant in respect to the varying styles in different social media platforms. For example, no one wants to see hash-tags or other irrelevant elements on Facebook post design.
If you’re aren’t up to speed, all you need to do is follow popular social media influencers, and watch what they’re doing while planning your social media page design. Don’t fall behind in social media and expect to succeed at it.
02. Get Better At Photography
At the end of the day, success on social media largely comes down to the images you use. While there is a lot more to mastering each specific channel, having amazing images is the baseline for success. Remember also that high quality of photos can make your Facebook cover design an attractive element for your visitors.
Most people posting on social media aren’t professional photographers, though. By following a few tips, you can dramatically improve the images you use:
i. Pay attention to your lighting. Shooting during the first hour of sunlight, or the last hour before sunset are the best times. The light is softer and more flattering to your subject.
ii. Don’t use your phone or camera’s flash unless you have to. Flash makes for images that are flat and dull.
iii. Learn how to edit your photos. In-phone apps like Snapseed have brought the powers of expensive photo editing software straight to your smart-phone. Adding a little bit of contrast and clarity to your images can really improve them.
iv. Spend a few minutes learning more about posing people so that they are flattering on camera. With just a few adjustments in how someone is positioned, they can look dramatically better.
There are a variety of online tutorials and classes that you can take for free to get better at photography. Don’t let bad images stop you from creating better images that can help your social media.
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03. Control Your Environment
Sometimes, no matter how good you get at photography, the environmental situations will work against you to make it impossible to get a good image. While you can’t control everything, there are some environmental elements that you can control.
For starters, spend some time creating a vision board of what you want your pictures to encompass. Find other images online that match your vision, and create a dream board of sorts where you can see all these samples together.
You could use a private Pinterest board for this. Or, if you prefer to have it printed, create a collage on your wall that you can look at.
Do you want images of a person wearing a product against a pretty sunset? Or, are you more focused on creating images of a dinner entrée against a stylish backdrop?
Make a list of all of the environments you need images from. Let this list be your guide for the types of images you want to shoot and build a database of.
04. Outdoor Images
Let’s be honest, it is very difficult to control any outdoor conditions. You’re at the whim of mother nature. But, with a little planning and research, you can adequately prepare yourself and give your shoot the best chance to succeed.
If your brand makes use of outdoor images, there are a couple of things to consider:
Pay attention to the preferred season so that you can time your photo shoot appropriately. Try to discover the best times of year for your shoot, based on what you need out of the image.
Bad weather isn’t necessarily bad for pictures. A clearing storm can make for dramatic photos, and a drab overcast day can be great for capturing flattering portraits. By knowing what you want out of the image, you’ll know what type of weather you need.
As we have already established earlier, the best times of the day for a photo shoot are morning and evening. However, that can vary depending on what you want. For example, a classic beach scene is probably best shot during the middle of the day, when the water and sand sparkle the most.
In the end, it is less about trying to control the environment, and more about being prepared for what it will throw at you.
05. Indoor Images
With indoor images, you have a lot more control over your environment. Depending on how much time and money you have, you can virtually achieve any scene you want indoors.
However, shooting indoors can be more challenging than taking pictures outdoors with natural light. Here are a few indoor photography tips:
Control your background as much as possible. Build your own DIY background or invest in one that suits your brand. A distracting background can ruin a good photo, but its relatively simple when it comes to eliminating such distractions.
Window lighting makes for the perfect scenario to light your image. If possible, find a north facing window, as it won’t create any adverse shadowing on your subject.
Make sure to research the type of angles that you might like well ahead of time, and try to mimic those as best as you can in your shoot. If you don’t research beforehand, you might get stuck during your shoot.
Indoor images can be achieved without needing a lot of extra lighting equipment. Focus on finding a great space with lots of natural light, and then make sure your background is flattering. You want your subject to pop off of the background, so shoot at an angle that accentuates your subject.
06. Copy Matters
If good images are the peanut butter of social media, then good copy is the jelly. The two go together so well, that without one, you don’t really have the complete package.
Copywriting is basically ordering and rearranging words so that they sell better. And make no mistake about it – you’re always trying to sell something on social media. Whether a product or just new followers, good copy helps sell your end objective.
Focus on writing about the benefits to the reader, rather than the features of the post. Referring to our European beach example from above, good copy will always manage to highlight all the benefits and emotions involved in the experience of enjoying a summer at the world’s best beaches.
Poor copy, on the other hand, would focus on outlining the details of the specific beach you’re at, the weather, and other factors that don’t really excite people.
Focus on eliciting emotion, and your copy will dramatically improve.
07. Test, Test, Test
In spite of all these recommendations, there is still no silver bullet when it comes to social media. Therefore, what works for one might not work for another. Every social media account is different. Each attracts its own unique audience. Because of this, you need to test everything you try.
You can perform a variety of tests on your social media accounts, such as:
i. Long copy vs short copy.
ii. Multiple images vs one image.
iii. Video vs photo.
iv. Action-oriented copy vs explanatory copy.
v. Selfies vs photos without people.
Before you begin any test, make sure to define the metric that you’re using to evaluate success. Some common metrics to use are views, likes, comments, and clicks.
For example, you do a series of posts that utilize videos, and then a series of posts that utilize photos. For your social media account, you might determine that comments are the most valuable metric, and likewise you could compare the total number of comments between the two types of posts.
One final piece of advice is to only test one thing at a time. For example, if you post long copy and multiple images one time, and then short copy and one image the other time, you won’t be able to utilize the results. You won’t know what influenced the change: the long copy, multiple images, or both.
Utilizing social media automation software can help to A / B test your different messages and images automatically. While they typically come with a monthly fee, they will do a lot of the leg work and give you good results.
There is no guaranteed silver bullet for how to improve your social media posts, but there are a few best practices. Focus on staying on top of the current culture while simultaneously improving your imagery and copy. Test everything and measure the results to create gains that will stick.