Social media is the great battleground today for marketers and businesses. Why? Because everyone is literally there — your potential customers and target audience.
Worldwide in 2020, more than 3.6 billion people were using social networks. By 2025, usage is projected to reach 4.41 billion. Also, internet users averaged 144 minutes every day on social media apps and platforms.
You don’t want to miss the opportunity to reach them first and to engage them. Or else some others, like your competitors, could beat you to the punch.
One way to gain an advantage on social media is to apply good design to your content. It helps to brush up on your knowledge of the principles and elements of design.
More importantly, you need to level up your social media content designs and visuals. Here are reasons why you should do that.
1. First Impression Is Crucial
“The first impression is the last impression.” ~Ryan Serhant
The above quote is a favorite among salespersons and marketers. Rightly so, because when making a pitch you want to hit it off with your prospect right at the initial moment because a good impression will linger.
While you don’t assess someone or something without first knowing, it’s human nature — how things look and appear at the very first instance influences judgment.
It’s the same with websites and online content. Did you know one study on Web credibility found that 94% of first impressions are design-related? That speaks a lot on the critical role of good design to get the crucial first impression.
For your social media content, what can you do? Here a few simple steps:
- More visuals, less text — since online visitors just skim through pages, they are more likely to notice attractive, colorful visuals and graphics.
- Vary design content — mix up your regular postings with infographics, collages, videos, posters, illustrations, animation, digital art, etc.
- Play with typography — ordinary text is dull; use stylized type and use bright, bold colors in your banner text.
How you design your website and social media post determine if it gets noticed and is worth the time of your readers.
In the realm of social media where there are over three billion users, you need every tool in your playbook to engage as many people with your posts, pins, stories, ads, tweets, and such content. Good design can help you a lot in this area.
Make every effort to come up with visually-pleasing social media posts to get people to notice. With people easily distracted and so many other businesses jockeying for attention, you may miss out on the opportunity.
So put your best foot forward and make everything count, especially with that first impression.
2. Design Builds Brand Awareness
“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” ~Paul Rand
How well do customers remember your brand? If they can’t even recall your business name or logo, then you have some catching up to do.
Granted your website is just a tiny speck among the more than 1 billion websites today, that’s understandable.
But if your own customers or subscribers have a hard time remembering your brand, then a problem is at hand. Keep in mind that brand awareness results in customer loyalty, recognition, and visibility, as well as credibility.
A design solution is needed. Your online presence — website, online store, blog, social media content — needs a design reboot.
But let’s focus on your social media content because this is your important vehicle for marketing and promotion. What can you do?
- Always bring your logo — the logo is the most visible mark of your brand. If you’re creating one, follow the tips on effective logo design. Now banner that logo in all your social media posts, campaigns, ads, and announcements.
- Utilize all other branding assets — along with the logo, and continually apply corporate colors, patterns, fonts, and other brand elements in your social content.
- Come up with a custom design — create a custom design reflective of your business that can be formatted to fit various social platforms whether they be posts, pins, stories, tweets, or ads.
The key to all the above is the consistency of branding elements and design. Use them as frequently as you can on social media while varying content topics or subjects.
People respond to good design and will have it imprinted in their minds when they see it regularly.
3. People Love People-Centered Design
“People ignore designs that ignore people” ~Frank Chimero
In the same manner, people are attracted to designs that they can relate to and have a connection with.
Of the 15 types of content to post on social media, most if not all of them need to be designed one way or another. They must be visually pleasing, interesting, and people-focused regardless if the content is an infographic, an ad, event, greeting, or blog post.
It’s intrinsic for people to gravitate towards something user-friendly, familiar, and identifiable. Designs that incorporate images of people, family, and employees as well as human activities like playing, shopping, and working thug close to the heart.
Include people’s subjects and scenarios when designing social media posts. Be creative as much as possible since everyone else might be posting people’s pictures. Let your design set you apart from the crowd.
4. Design Boosts Visual Marketing
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories, you tell.” ~ Seth Godin
Marketers have a lot of choices on their menu for telling narratives on social media. Such visual stories can come in many forms and they need not be long.
They can be short accounts of your business or the inspiration behind your brand and product that can be presented in regular posts. These include:
- Visual Quotes
- Profile Stories
- Ads Series
- Photo Album
All the above and many others can be designed in such a way as to maximize visuals and graphics. If you’re gunning for more visitors and impressions, go the visual route.
The fact is that 94% more engagements and visits are garnered by posts with visuals than those without. Likewise, they also get on average 2X more comments.
The importance of visuals, images, and graphics in your social marketing can not be overlooked. It has proven to be an effective, practical, and essential strategy in today’s visually-focused digital economy.
5. The Message Is Much Clearer
“Seeing comes before words.” ~John Berger
While we are very dependent on our visual faculty, why is it that people prefer scrolling rather than reading content?
Well, reading takes time. Today’s pandemic and lockdowns actually gave people more time but still, it’s considered a luxury for people with better things to do.
It has been shown through research and statistics that 65% of people are the type called visual learners. Furthermore, people remember 80% of what they see but only 20% of what they read, and 10% of what they hear.
When scanning social media content, people will only have a passing glance on text but can perceive to a greater extent visual and imagery. We are hard-wired to immediately recognize shapes, forms, lines, outlines, and graphic elements.
That’s why we scroll instead of reading. And that’s the biggest lesson for businesses and brands — keep your messages clear by using imagery and your texts short and straight to the point.
6. Good Design Supports Good Content
“Every great design begins with an even greater story.” ~Lorinda Mamo
Design hinges on the story. It is dependent on the content. Bad content cannot be corrected by good design. In the same manner, a design can’t be good and will not cut it for a poorly crafted message.
Your social media content, message or story must first and foremost be relevant, relatable, and appealing. It must be well-composed and highlight the positive qualities of your brand.
A good story emanates good design ideas. And such design must contain some form of visuals and images. Consider these:
- On Facebook, posts with images garner 2.3X more engagements than those without.
- 35% of people who prefer Instagram Story formats say they engage most with those that have photos, videos, and text.
- On the kind of content, 41% of consumers want to see more social images from a business or brand they support.
From the above insights, you can create compelling copy and come up with an engaging design. The rule, thus, is simple — content first and design will naturally flow.
On social media today, competition is tough. If you do not innovate and level up, you’ll be trailing behind in visitors and followers. Those could be potential customers or clients.
What we’ve presented here focuses on design elements and how to utilize them on your social media content. Consider them as essential tools in your marketing arsenal. Remember, people like what they see as much as or even more than what they read.