A picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to social media. As the way we consume content continues to change, visual content is what helps grab your audience’s attention as they are doing their daily–or hourly–scroll.
However, you can’t use just any visual or graphical element on social media. It needs to be thoughtful and reflective of your brand and what you are portraying in the post.
Here are four key reasons why social media graphics might look unprofessional.
Incorrect Size for the Platform
You’re right -creating something once to use in multiple places is great. But that doesn’t really work with social media. Each platform has desired specs for graphics that optimizes the experience for that platform. For instance, Instagram favors squares while Twitter likes more landscape images. These specifications should be used so that your images don’t appear cropped or low quality.
Let’s take this one step farther. Not only do the graphic sizes differ from platform to platform, they also differ across devices. A graphic may look phenomenal on desktop and not so great on mobile. Remember, nothing is one-size-fits-all when it comes to social media content.
Too Much Text
With social media graphics, less is more. The graphics should highlight a statement, not tell a paragraph’s worth of a story. Too much text on a small space can be overwhelming for the reader (you want to keep their attention!) and hard to read on a mobile device.Play it safe and keep the text concise.
Now that we all have short attention spans, it’s important to get straight to the point. Use visual elements to grab attention, enough text to educate, and a CTA to keep the person coming back for more.
Not Enough Negative Space
Negative space is the empty space of an image or graphic and helps create more dynamic social media graphics. Use a margin to give the text room to breathe. If the text or other important graphical element is too close to the edge of the graphic, you risk it being cropped.
Negative space also gives the background some time to shine. The background of a graphic can be just as important as the text and photos used, and is the perfect area to use your company’s branding colors and elements.
Lack of Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy draws attention to what is most important. The key point, or hook, of the graphic should stand out the most to grab the viewer’s attention.
Creating a hierarchy on a social media graphic increases comprehension, providing more value for you and your audience. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. Try using colors and fonts that compliment the graphic as well as your brand.
When you plan out your social media content, take time to plan out the accompanying graphics, as well. Carefully creating top-notch social media graphics will not only help you stand out in the sea of social media content, but also provide purpose and impact.