Visuals drive engagement on social. This isn’t news to anyone. According to our Q4 2014 Twitter study, photos made up 57% of all engagement.
However, even if you’re fortunate enough to have a marketing designer at your company, you know that these people are always swamped (just ask our designer, Matt Knorr). We work in social media. We didn’t get design degrees and we don’t have enough time to learn how to use Photoshop. Luckily, companies have flocked to solve this problem (my favorite being Canva). So now, you don’t necessarily need to be a Photoshop wiz or have an eye for design. I can’t even draw a straight line, but I can whip up an effective social image by just sticking to a few best practices.
1. Choose Your Colors Carefully
One of my favorite sessions at SXSW was a behavioral science lecture that explored the signals that ellicit reactions from most internet users. A major portion was dedicated to the application of certain colors in the buying / reading / sharing process. For example, blue signals trust, red encourages action, yellow activates excitement, etc. This psychology of color isn’t necessarily something that has to be followed to the T over-and-over, but it’s just something to keep in mind before you choose neon pink as the background for your social image. You can learn more about color psychology on social here.
2. Utilize Logos
Something we learned early on here at Simply Measured through trial and error is that the presence of a recognizable logo helps images perform better in terms of engagement. If you have the opportunity, include a logo in your image and watch your engagement skyrocket.
3. Keep it Consistent
Make sure the text on your image and the text in your Tweet copy are similar (if not identical). Keeping it consistent is crucial, especially since people choose whether to click through or not based on the text on an image. You want to make sure they know what they’re getting into by clicking to avoid high bounce rates.
4. Connect the Image to the Story
Similar to keeping the copy consistent, you also want to make sure that you include a relevant graphic. Think of your image as a story, you want to make sure that all the elements are in line with the message you’re trying to convey. For example, if I’m talking about social media analysis, there would be no reason for me to include a graphic of a magnifying glass. However, when we’re talking about finding the top social media jobs for March, it’s more applicable.
5. Minimal Text
The less text, the better. This is one I learned from our designer, Matt Knorr. Don’t bombard your clean and simple image with paragraphs of text. A picture is worth a thousand words after all!
Nothing looks worse than a Facebook size photo on Twitter. Each network has their respective image sizes and it’s crucial to adhere to them (yes, it is annoying but necessary). You can either create your own template or use a program like Canva, who serves you auto-sized templates for each network.
Now you’re set! Don’t push out that new blog post without an image. Sign up for Canva and follow these tips to quickly create engaging social media images.