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Good Design & Social Media: How to keep up from a designers perspective

Design matters, regardless of who you are or what you do, in today’s digital age first impressions count for everything. Simply having a social media account was once the benchmark, now it’s no longer enough to just participate. Scrolling and swiping makes it easier than ever to find the next best thing, and if you’re not engaging your audience, you’ll be left in the dust.

So what does this mean for social media as it is one of (if not the) most successful marketing tools ever created? With attention spans decreasing and a new generation of “onto the nexters” emerging, how can good design keep you ahead of the curve?

Firstly, what does ‘good design’ mean and how does it help your social presence?
Your socials are an extension of your brand and, just like you would with advertising or print, it is important that the way you are posting and presenting yourself on your socials aligns with your brand in all other areas. Granted, social media is a place where you have a bit more freedom to have some fun and get creative, but you still want to be cohesive. A good way to ensure correct and consistent use of your brand elements across social media is to have an up-to-date brand guide.

A brand guide outlines how each element of your brand should be used; how and when to/not to use your logo, colour palette, imagery, fonts, and messaging. The guidelines are carefully thought out by designers and are crafted to ensure that your brand will always look its best. As attention spans grow shorter, capturing the eye of potential customers is hugely important. Most people are deciding within a split second whether to like, share or follow your posts and accounts.

Well-designed posts and graphics are far more likely to engage customers than rushed posts, they’re an example of the standards you set for your company, and people pick up on these visuals easily. Feel free to get in touch with us if you think you may need a brand guide.

There are many layers that make up ‘good design’ however, a lot of it comes down to language and messaging. Take some time to think about what story you want to tell and what do you believe in? Think about your tone of voice e.g. how do you want to feel and sound to your customers? Friendly? Formal? Fun? Professional? Brands are using social media platforms to tell their followers what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, why they’re doing it and who they’re doing it for. You can highlight your product or services, or draw attention to your office culture and the people who make your company a success. Whatever you’re trying to communicate, the point is to keep it consistent. It’s easy to get sucked into posting anything and everything or trying to keep up with trends, but what’s is more powerful than a trend is a brand that is steadfast and has a clear and concise message to share.

Having a social media strategy and plan can help you to keep on track, they give you a chance to take a step back and look at your accounts as a whole and clearly map out what you want to post and when. This is especially helpful when you have accounts on more than one social media platform, and you want your messaging to be consistent across all social media platforms.

Before you put together your social account/s, a good idea is to think about what each platform can do for you, what their appropriate uses are and what do you want your account on each platform to look like as a whole. Think about your target audience, where are they and what platforms are they using? Below are some popular social media platforms and what they mean from a design perspective:

  • LinkedIn: This is the preferred social media platform for professionals, think of it as an industry magazine. Your account allows you to have a cover image and a profile image, it’s a professional space used for networking and connecting with others in your industry as well as customers/clients. Most posts are text-heavy, but it is always good to have an image that conveys the theme of your post alongside.
  • Facebook: A little more image-focused than Linkedin but can also focus on text. Descriptive posts with one or two images at a time are appropriate here, think paragraph rather than page. Here people rarely look at your posts altogether and view them more on an individual basis, however they can scroll through your feed and view each post easily. Facebook is a little more casual than LinkedIn and can be a good place to post about your company’s social activities and people. This platform is similar to your daily newspaper and is where you will find mostly the 30+ age group.
  • Instagram: Here you only have a profile image to identify yourself, the platform is extremely image-focused and the only text that really matters are #hashtags and @tags. Instagram is a fun and arty space; your followers can see your posts individually or all together as part of an “album” of sorts so it’s a good idea to look at your account as a whole and develop more of a theme with your account. You can also post ‘stories’ which can be snapshots and video clips of day-to-day goings-on in your company. Stories are only visible for 24 hours and are more casual but far more engaging than a post. Think of Instagram as a glossy magazine; its users are a younger demographic (think 16-35) but the platform is becoming more and more popular with the 35-50 age bracket.

If you treat them right your socials can be a huge asset to your company. They can help you showcase and sell your product or service, engage your target audience, connect with new customers and clients, and network with like-minded professionals and organisations. However, as great as social media is, it can also be daunting, especially if you are not of the digital age, but this is no reason to avoid or discard socials. We’re here to help, and this stuff, it’s what we do.

So, if you’re not tech-savvy, you’re unsure what platforms are right for you, or if you need help designing some eye-catching and engaging social media content get in touch with the team, we’d love to help.

Just in case you didn’t quite follow all that….Glossary

  • Platform:- Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, these are all platforms.
  • Account/Profile:- This relates to your presence on the platform and can be directly edited by you. E.g. when you log in to Facebook or Instagram you are logging into your account.
  • Content:- For the purposes of this article, content relates to graphics and posts. The images that you upload to your social media account/s that grab your customer’s attention! However, it can also apply to articles, and text-heavy posts, basically anything that is filling a space on your account.
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