Social Media is such a big part of our lives now. It’s everywhere and almost everybody is on some sort of social media network.

But social media is even more important for your business and these days if you don’t have a social media presence then your business does not exist.

Having a presence on social media is one thing, generating the buzz for your business is another – and this is what drives engagement, increases leads and creates new customers.

So how do you create this buzz? – By posting interesting social media posts of course! And if you have been doing this for a while then you know how time-consuming and confusing it can be to design social media posts that actually work.

 

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And if you have been doing this for a while then you know how time-consuming and confusing it can be to design social media posts that actually work.

If you are struggling with various aspects of designing social media posts for the many social media platforms out there, then don’t fuss and fret!This post is all about making your life easier and your designs snazzier.

This post is all about making your life easier and your designs snazzier.

So let’s take a look at some of the most important BEST PRACTICES for designing a social media post.

BRAND GUIDELINES

As a business, you should have established brand guidelines for everything in your business. If you haven’t already done that it’s not too late to get started.

You brand guidelines should include your primary and secondary color schemes, typography and fonts you will primarily use and the type of images you will use for most of your marketing.

You will use your brand guidelines to design all your social media posts so that you project consistency in your branding even on social networks.

SOCIAL MEDIA SIZES

Every social media platform works differently – you know that by now. You’ve also realised that your social media posts have to be cropped or enlarged to create the perfect fit for a particular platform

But sometimes this doesn’t work and you may end up cropping parts of an image you didn’t want to or having too much white space on the horizontal or vertical borders. And that can be frustrating especially when you are all set to create beautiful posts.

Before you start designing you must know the ideal sizes of your posts for a particular social network and that means knowing the height, width and orientation.

Here are the sizes for some of the popular social media platforms:

Facebook Timeline:

Shared photos or images: Recommended upload size 1200 x 630 pixels.

Shared Link: Recommended upload size: 1200x 627 pixels. Although when you share a link Facebook will automatically generate a preview which is scales to fit a box of 476 x 246. You have the option to replace this image.

Video: Recommended upload size: 1200x 675 pixels.

It’s best to check Facebook Advert’s guide for all advertisement sizes.

Twitter In-stream:

Tweet images: Minimum 440 x 220 pixels with a 2:1 aspect ratio. Optimal size is1024 x 512 pixels as photos can be expanded by clicking on them.

Maximum file size is 5MB for photos and 3MB for animated GIFs.

Visit Advertiser creative specifications for various sizes and specification for advertisements or Twitter cards.

Pinterest:

Pin sizes: 600 x 900 pixels with a 2:3 aspect ratio

Pin display: On boards and in preview pins will display at 236 pixels wide, at a scaled height.

Promoted Pins: 600 x 900 pixels with an aspect ratio from 2:3 to 1:3.5.

Instagram In-stream:

Landscape images: Width of at least 1080 pixels with an aspect ratio of up to 1.91:1

Portrait images: Width of at least 1080 pixels with and an aspect ratio up to 4:5

Visit Instagram links for advertisement sizes

LinkedIn:

Shared photos: 698 x 400 pixels (ideal size), but any image you upload directly to LinkedIn will appear at a maximum width of 350 pixels.

Thumbnail photos will display at a maximum of 180 x 110 pixels.

Ad spec and guidelines will give you all the sizes for LinkedIn advertisements.

Google +:

Shared images: Minimum width is 497 pixels. Shared images will display at 426 pixels wide and at a scaled height.

The thumbnail image of a shared link displays at 150 x 150 pixels.

 

TEMPLATES

Creating templates for all your posts is the most productive way to manage your time spent on social media marketing.

Refer to your brand guidelines and other marketing that you have already done when creating these templates.

This process takes time initially so allow yourself the time and space to design and create winning templates for your social media marketing.

 

IMAGES AND PHOTOS

Social media posts are more engaging when they are presented visually – with images, charts, infographics, videos and photos.

In fact, according to this HubSpot post, Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images and Facebook posts with images see 2.3 X more engagement than those without images.

 

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But with so many competing posts out there it becomes imperative to stand out in the crowd and the way to do this is by creating good designs.

A few tricks to help you create outstanding social media post designs are:

Be consistent in your designs by using your brand colors and styles consistently in all your designs. This makes your social media post stand out and your audience will come to recognize your posts because of it.

But it does not mean that all your social media posts need to look the same.

You may want to create a series of posts just for a particular campaign. It’s important to be consistent in your layout and design for that particular campaign but it should also tie in with your overall brand guidelines for your business.

Use your logo consistently in all your posts. Your logo should not be over-bearing and take over your design so it’s important to maintain a particular size which is not too big nor too small.

The positioning of your logo on the post should also be consistent across most of your posts. Although for some posts you may have to play around with the position to suit your overall design.

Place text in open copy space areas of the image where it won’t interfere with most of the image used in your design. Copy space is that part of the image which is empty and by placing your text in this area, will make it more clear and legible.

 

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Use text over image overlays if you don’t have much copy space in your image. However, always give priority to your image and visual first and keep text to the minimum as we already know that posts which are more visual engage better than ones that are not.

You can also minimise text by using icons strategically to replace certain words and to help convey your message better.

In some cases, your images are enough as they convey the message and you just don’t need any text to supplement it.

ONLINE TOOLS

There are many online tools which you can use to create your social media posts. You don’t really need to invest in any expensive software.
Tools like Canva, PicMonkey and Adobe Spark provide a lot of design options on their free plans and are a great way to create your templates and some eye-catching post design.

In fact, there are tools for everything – infographics, charts, quotes, memes and image editors – all existing in the digital space to get you started.

However, if you don’t have the time, the inclination or are looking for a professional design job, you can hire a designer or a content creator to work on your designs.

TYPES OF POSTS

To generate the kind of buzz you need to get your social media marketing on track to success, you need to create posts which are engaging and make people want to share it.

Social media is not about sharing only your content, but there should be a mix of social media posts to generate interests.

These are a few types of social media posts you can create depending on the type of business you’re in, your marketing objectives and the circumstances surrounding the post:
Inspirational Content is a good way to inspire your audience and make them feel good about themselves. This can be in the form of inspiring stories, thoughtful opinions that you have on a social issue or in the form of quotes – which are extremely popular on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

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Posts that educate your audience, is another way to generate engagement. This can be in the form of sharing a blog, article or a link to an interesting post written by an expert or sharing something that your business is offering in terms of providing value and adding to the knowledge base of your audience.

Funny or clever posts work well to break the ice and get your audience in a positive frame of mind. However, funny posts work for certain businesses and not all of them and while some may find your humor funny, others may not.

Promotional content promotes your business. This is where you share your news, blog posts, articles, photographs and videos – everything pertaining to your business. But it’s important not to overdo this. Use the 1:5 ratio where if you promote yourself once (with your content), promote something else (other’s content) 5 times.

Conversational starters are an amazing way to engage with your audience more interactively. These kinds of posts will ask a question or share information which is topical and in the mind of your audience at that moment, like news about the election or a new law which will affect the community. These posts give you the opportunity to directly engage with your audience in the form of comments.

CRAFT YOUR MESSAGE

A complete social media post includes the message you’re trying to convey. Crafting this message appropriately is what will drive the buzz. Although you should let the images and visual do most of the talking and there should really not be too much written content supplementing your post.

 

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What works is a few buzz words like “Surprising” or “How to -”, catchy or unfinished headlines, recommendations on another piece of information which is not yours, questions or a powerful message from your content.

Use appropriate hashtags, tag relevant people, use powerful words and perfect your punctuations – all important practices to create strong messages.

Designing your social media posts should be a fun and creative activity but also one which used the guidelines mentioned in this post. After all the aim of your post design is to engage and make a powerful impact on your audience.

To do this – be creative but most of all keep your posts simple.

If you have any other suggestions on creating winning social media post designs, do comment below and let me know.