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What Makes The Perfect Social Image: An Interview With Our Design Team

Earlier this week, we published the post “A/B Test: Why You Need to Include Photos in Your Tweets,” which examined the power of visual content on Twitter. We found that Tweets including photos averaged a 123% increase in engagement. So, we know that photos positively impact engagement, but we wanted to explore why certain photos are more impactful than others.

Whether you’re working with designers or iStock images, knowing what makes a good visual can help you drive your engagement numbers even higher. To get to the bottom of what makes the perfect photo, we asked two of our designers, Matt Knorr and Devin Thomas, about how the visuals contributed to these top-performing Tweets’ performance.

Twitter Cards

This image was successful because it is an abstract point of view on Twitter’s New Website Card. As a designer, the goal is to find a way to connect a story artwork, but often creativity falls by the wayside. Instead of picturing the Twitter Card (as everyone else would), we decided to use a playing card. It’s an abstract take, but who hasn’t played a card game before? Playing cards are very recognizable and iconic.  –  DT


Profile Redesign



In all fairness, Twitter’s new layout announcement pretty much designed itself. This social image was created using a screenshot of Twitter’s own page, their iconic “twitter blue” color and their logo. Our goal was to be instantly apparent which brand the viewer is seeing (even if the new layout looks a lot like a Facebook timeline). By just using color and logos we can capture our audience’s attention and quickly show them what to expect. Images that are simple, clean and eye-catching often drive tons of engagement.  –  MK

Instagram Catching Twitter

One design style that has worked very well for us in the past is using a blurred photo background with illustrated graphics. The background photo gives context to the post as a race for brands on the two channels, while blurring and desaturation allows the chart and logos to pop off the screen. By keeping the graphic very simple, avoiding the use of text, and using photography as a background element on the page allows a viewer to instantly understand and engage with this image without needing to even read the title.  –  MK


Community Manager Appreciation Day



Like I mentioned above, using a graphic element in the foreground while pushing the photography into the background is one of our favorite ways to design our graphics. This approach allows the photo to subconsciously set the tone of the image (a bright, cheerful, and creative work environment) while the graphic pops off the screen. This graphic forces your eyes to the bright green conversation icon and by teasing the question we address in the post we are able to entice the viewer to interact with the Tweet.  –  MK

Top Brands on Instagram

This image was successful because it is simple and clean. Interesting photography without text can be very effective. In this instance, it was easier to explain the post with out text. As designers, we’re taught to opt for a powerful image rather than a ton of text. This keeps the image fresh, but powerful. For this post, a good choice of photo and a bold icon were the engaging elements we needed to make this pop.  –  DT

As a community manager who relies on images, I’m fortunate enough to work with a very talented design team who knows their stuff. Keep your images clean, simple and unique.

Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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