With not less than four billion users, social media marketing has become the new norm. Regardless of the niche, businesses use social media for valuable traffic, thorough customer engagement, and boosting sales. But being present on social media is not enough. Of course not!
In the United States today, 7 out of 10 people are using social media compared with only five percent back in 2005. Globally, more than 50 percent of the world’s population is using social media. Thus, you need to leverage these platforms to the maximum, especially since social media continues to revolutionize the marketing practice of businesses.
Did you know that strong illustrations and visual content on your social media can make or break your marketing strategy? It provides people reasons to like, comment, follow, and eventually purchase from you.
Thus, you cannot understate the importance of visual content creation for your social media. For instance, Google Doodle changes its look every day. In doing so, Google provides a reason for people to look in on its landing page and use its search engine. When you have strong visual content on your social media, you will gain the same effect.
Additionally, visuals tend to generate more of an impression. People are 65% more likely to recall details when they include images.
So, are you now convinced of the need for better visual content on your social media? If so, let us get visual and level up your creatives with these tips.
1. Set your objectives and goals
If you want to boost your social media strategy, you must recognize the importance of having a solid plan, objectives, and goals. If you are not sure what you want, it is highly likely that you also do not know how to achieve it. Likewise, if you do not have concrete goals to start with, you cannot evolve or measure your social media strategies over time.
There should be an alignment between your social media goals and your overall marketing endeavors. And if you want to reach your goals, it is paramount to write them down.
A study shows that you are 30 percent more likely to succeed if you have written down your goals. Other similar studies show that the likelihood is as high as 40 percent.
In setting your goals, be sure that they are attainable and broken down into smaller actionable steps. Here are some ways in setting achievable goals for your social media marketing strategy:
- Be quantifiable by using numbers such as “reaching 6000 followers on Instagram”
- Always designate deadlines
- Be specific with your goals and make them “SMART”
- Align your goals with your overall marketing strategy
2. Know your target audience
In present-day marketing, you must connect and engage with your audience to turn a profit. But you can only do this if you truly understand your target audience, and you must be capable of pinpointing what they need if you want to have an effective social media strategy.
Here are some ways to know better your audience:
- Survey to understand your audiences’ pain points better
- Look closely at your audiences’ demographics
- Be active in forums that are heavily attended by your target audience
- Be responsive to comments made on your blog and also comment on other blogs that share the same audience
- Reply to all questions and comments made on your social media channels
- Gather feedback by utilizing any available user feedback tool
The moment you feel that you already know your target audience, you will be better positioned to help them. Make them feel that you care since they would most likely deal with business entities who care, not just characterless brands.
3. Learn the basics of creative
If you cannot answer the question “What makes a brilliant visual?” then you must need to do a little studying. There is indeed no single way of creating a visual. However, there are some basic best practices that one should consider. Knowing these rules first will enable you to break or tweak them.
Below are some of the basic best practices for the creation of social media visuals:
- Having a clear subject. Usually, it is best to have one focal point in your visual.
- Following the rule of thirds. Whether posting an image or editing your Facebook cover photo, it is also best not to center your subject perfectly, although there are some exceptions.
- Not over editing it. Do not get tempted to press all the buttons. It is a good policy to maintain subtlety when it comes to features and filters. If there is a need to increase the saturation, do it with caution.
- Simplicity is key. Ensure that your visuals are not difficult to understand.
- Natural lighting can make a difference. It is difficult to see when your image is too dark. Take advantage of the natural light but make sure not to overexpose your pictures, too.
- Complimentary colors make better visuals. You can do this by being familiar with the color wheel.
- Having enough contrast. Contrast allows you to have balance and makes the visual easier to read. Contrast works superior in a black and white environment, and it is more accessible.
4. Make use of free resources and tools
You can search for some of the best design resources and tools. Lets say you are looking for wooden combs, you can use free stock photos resources, you can even use customizable Instagram Story templates, easy-to-use Instagram presents, templates for Facebook cover photos, and a lot more.
You should also try automating as much work as possible, such as scheduling your social media earlier by using SocialPilot, a social media scheduling tool. It auto-posts your updates across your various social accounts. It then evaluates the results by providing analytics.
There is no need to be present on all social media platforms, and what matters is that you are creating an influence on the platform you are presently on. Probably, this is one of the best tips there is for social media marketing.
You must understand that quality matters more than quantity. Posting substandard visual content will only worsen things. Instead, you have to conduct research and planning for your social media presence that aligns with your established goals and attracts your target audience. Look at your target demographic and focus on the platforms that they prefer.
6. Take advantage of video content in your strategy
Unless you are not exposed to the changing times, you must know how powerful video content creation has become, especially in social media marketing. So if you are not yet taking advantage of video creation, it is high time to jump on that bandwagon as soon as possible.
You can choose from a lot of ways to use video content in your social media strategy. But nowadays, live videos such as Facebook Live seem to be the trend. Facebook live videos enable you to communicate with your target audience, which you cannot do in other content formats.
Also, your live videos can be repurposed as needed. According to Facebook, engagement and interaction are six times greater with live video. However, you must combine live videos with periodically recorded videos.
7. Create overwhelmingly impressive images
When it comes to social media, the creation of mind-blowing visuals should be a top priority. But you do not have to be a graphic designer to do this. You can use tools such as Designstripe in crafting beautiful visuals to wow your audience. There is also an option to outsource the work, just like many bloggers and business owners are doing.
You have to create graphics for the following:
- Posts on Facebook and Twitter
- Cover photos for each of your social media
- Pinterest graphics
- Images for your opt-in freebies
- Instagram images Infographics
You must be aware of the specific dimensions for each of the above graphics since they change over time. Do your research before creating these to have the correct sizes for your social media visuals.
Although every business’ graphics and images will vary, you must consider making them cohesive with your brand. Of course, always make sure that they are consistently eye-catching.
8. Be aesthetically pleasing with text
Regardless of whether you plan to make stylized typography, quote images, or text overlays, bear in mind that when it comes to word count, less is always more.
When using text in visuals, it should always be legible, bold, concise, and straightforward. There must always be enough contrast between those texts and their background so that it is readable.
According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCGA) recommendation, you must use a contrast of 4.5 to 1. You can utilize any of the available free contrast checkers if you are unsure about this.
The best image-to-text ratio will vary, and there are exceptions. But in general, Facebook suggests that visuals with not more than 20% text usually fare better. There is an available text-to-image checker on Facebook for those interested.
If you are using text as an overlay, you have to see that the visual leaves room for it. You can also make use of a solid background.
Bear in mind that the text should serve to improve and not to obscure your visual content creation. Make sure it adds value to the message you want to convey. When the text is just communicating the obvious or explaining the visual, drop it.
9. When appropriate, add your logo
If your visuals are intended to be shared, it is better to include your logo. Take, for instance, Pinterest. Since you can repin anything pinned, if the visual does not contain a logo, it can easily be forgotten where it originated. Also, Pinterest claims that pins with subtle branding tend to perform exceptionally better than those without it.
By good branding, we mean that it should be recognizable but not loud or intrusive. In particular, it is placing a small logo in the outer frame or corner of the visual. For example, choose a neutral or grayscale version if your logo’s color is over your graphic. Otherwise, it makes the visual overblown.
10. Check the latest trends and changes
In social media marketing, you must stay ahead of the curve by being aware of the latest trends and changes. Although they are ever-changing and algorithms are being transformed left and right, it is your job to stay on top of these modifications.
You can do this by reading up social media statistics in general and on the latest statistics for the social platforms that you are using. You can maximize your social media strategy by staying on top of these algorithm alterations and trends. We all know that what was trendy last year may no longer be effective today.
The business’ overall marketing plan should include an effective social media marketing strategy. And social media marketing can be a challenging task, and it must utilize unconventional methods of interacting with the audience to improve its outreach. However complex the work can be, you cannot ignore its benefits.
In particular, you must take the visual content creation for your social media seriously. Taking it lightly can result in missing out on leads, online visibility, customers, and, of course, sales.
Feel free to use the social media marketing tips outlined above to adjust your strategy until you finally have a winning one. Remember that you are conversing with your audience on social networks, so you have to make them your top priority. Advantageous results will naturally follow.