Have you ever seen a company's social media feed that simply looks ugly? How did you feel about this company, did you trust its product or service?
Throughout an entire company, look and style are incredibly important. A product needs to look perfect, online or offline.
Think about it, most successful companies have a specific style that you can easily recognize, and that style is everywhere: In the company logo, their website, their packaging, and their social media channels.
If you run a business, have you thought of the look or your social media feed? Can your social media branding still use some improvement? In this blog we will look at the importance of social media design. We will explain why you need it and how you can create it for your brand.
As part of a digital marketing and social media strategy, companies usually design a ' branding style guide ' that's guiding for both their offline and online style, including their social media.
This style guide is essential in order to design the look of your social media pages, since social media needs to represent the rest of the company. If you don't have a branding style guide yet, we highly recommend you carefully create one before you start posting on social media at all. You don't want to engage with your audience while leaving an impression that you may regret after working on your design.
We are convinced that everyone who uses social media in a professional way, needs a social media design. This is important for many reasons, but in our opinion there are two main ones:
To start with, your social media design needs to match your branding style guide. If this doesn't match, your visitors and followers won't recognize your brand, and your social media will lose much of its effects. Remember, one of the main goals or social media is creating brand awareness. If users don't recognize your brand on social media, how can it generate this awareness?
Second, a social media design helps you as a content creator to know what to post. It is incredibly helpful to have some guidelines to follow when creating content, since it saves you a lot of time. The opportunities are endless already, and have some rules to follow you a lot of thinking. Instead of trying different fonts, you can just go for the branded one. Instead of trying different colors, you will already know which color to go for.
Want to get started with your social media design? We will list a few tips and tricks for you that will help you get your channels to look perfect.
To start with, as mentioned earlier, your branding style needs to be the base of your social media design. If you don't have a branding style yet, we advise you to create one first .
Once you've decided on the look of your brand, write down a few rules specifically for social media, help you get your social media styling goals clear. It can be very helpful to create a 'Social Media Design' document and include the following:
Can you think of more rules? The more rules you set for yourself, the better and more consistent your pages will look.
Have you defined the look of your pages carefully? Then it's time to start designing. We will talk you through a few of our favorite tools that will create a perfect social media design easy. Are you coming across more rules during the design process? For instance certain filters to use or avoid? Make sure to add all or them to the list or rules stated above.
Our number one favorite tool for creating designs with is Canva. With Canva you can easily design beautiful infographics, quotes, images with logos, cover pages, and whatever else you want to add to your social media feed. Canva offers a free version but has a paid option too, which includes a few extra options for creating brand-specific designs. The paid plans are great, but we think the free one is more than sufficient for most brands.
For a beautiful and consistent look on Instagram, it's essential to pre-plan the look of your feed. This helps you keep colors equally divided and allows you to create fun designs like a color pattern throughout your feed. Although there are many apps you can use, the following two apps seem to be among the most popular ones:
We use UNUM to pre-plan our Instagram feed. With UNUM's free plan, you can add 18 Instagram pictures to your grid or pre-designed images. Do you need more? Then you can go for one of their paid plans, which allow you to plan 36 or 54 posts. The app is easy to install on your phone and allows you to move your photos around quickly, and adjust them according to your style. The app also offers basic analytics.
Preview is another great app to plan your Instagram feed with. Preview is very similar to UNUM in many ways. However, the grid looks somewhat different, and with Preview's free plan you are not limited to 18 images.
Just like UNUM, Preview can adjust your pictures and provide you with basic analytics.
The choice between UNUM and Preview is a personal one; we advise you to test both or them out to see which one you like best.
If you would like to make all your images look perfect and consistent, you may want to edit them with a photoshop application. Or course, you can do your editing as advanced as you want but we like to use relatively simple tools to make our images fit our branding style guide nicely. There are many tools available to adjust your images with, but we decided to share only one of the best and easiest ones with you: Adobe Lightroom.
Lightroom is a photo editing tool with many possibilities for both complete beginners and more advanced editors. The tool has an incredibly easy to use mobile version, but can also be used on a desktop for a few more advanced options.
Are you looking for a consistent look among all your images? Then you can use Lightroom presets . With presets, you can easily copy the settings from one photo and paste them on to all your other photos you want to adjust. With the same settings, your photos will - often after some further adjustment - have a similar look, which creates a beautiful consistency. You can create your own presets or buy one online .
A last thing that we feel like we have to mention is that social media designs can change. Testing what works well is crucial, and experiments can lead to great improvements. If you notice that changing the color or your posts results in more engagement? Work on implementing this change in a way that people will still recognize as 'your brand'. Social media management is continuous learning, and improvement is always possible.