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Why social media campaigns need great design

Using social media is a great way to market and advance your business. An often-overlooked aspect of this form of online marketing is graphic design.
Graphic design plays an essential role in brand awareness and recognition as well as attracting and keeping the attention of potential customers. By understanding how it works, social media managers can use graphic design to engage and interest their company's social audience.

Grabbing their attention

Computers and smartphones are no longer just the way of the future, but are currently part of our way of life. Most modern business' potential client lists are from the digital native generation. These customers have become so accustomed to the wonders of digital technology that they no longer consider them "wonders".

Consequently, it takes a little more than having a Facebook page to grab their attention. Essentially, graphic design tools can be used to enhance and enrich your social media presence.

Eye-catching imagery and striking visual representations of your products or services for example, when used over a variety of social media platforms, can result in repeated views by customers and eventual brand recognition. Generally, consumers are more likely to remember something they saw rather than something they may have heard or read somewhere. For example, tweets featuring images generally see 88% more retweets than tweets with links and 19% more retweets than those containing text only. In addition to this, Facebook posts that have a photo attached are seen almost three times more than status updates. (Source: Social Media Practice at Adobe)

Getting a lock on the logo

Although social media can be a great marketing platform, how you use it is more important than just using it.

The way you choose to incorporate graphic design into your social media avenues, will largely affect how any product or service you are marketing is perceived by potential clients and customers.

Your logo in particular will represent your brand and an appealing but crafty logo will help build a level of trust with the consumer and make your business seem somewhat larger and more important than it is. For example, if a consumer comes across your company blog and is impressed by it and the general appearance of your website, they may choose to share the link on their social media pages with others that may be interested in what you are offering; thereby directing potential customers back to the company's main website or, if they are all very impressed, starting a viral campaign that will essentially have unlimited potential.

Size does matter

You may have an amazing graphic but if no one can see it, it really defeats the purpose of having it in the first place. Visuals should be large and detailed enough to ensure that visitors are able to recognise any images but it should not be so massive that it adds to the loading time of the page - making users more inclined to lose interest as the page is still opening.

Typefaces and lettering should not overwhelm the page but rather compliment it - all in relation to your target audience. This is particularly pertinent with the rise of the smartphone that has led to 57% of Facebook users now accessing the site using mobile devices. (Source: Social Media Practice at Adobe)

Furthermore, how much you show of the company is just as important. A mere glimpse of a business' Facebook page or website can help a user determine what kind of company culture is at play. The right composition of visual effects and designs can create a page that both welcomes customers and permits interactivity and engagement with the business.

Knowing which way to go

Because social media is such a vast and expanding field, it is that much easier to fall into the trap of wanting to do everything everywhere. As a result, in order to have success on these platforms, you should always know how to use social media in the context of your business goals. That is to say, knowing what you want to do will help you determine how to do it.

The same way in which companies can use social media to collect feedback about their products and services (how to improve, what to keep doing etc.) can also be used to get reactions to and possibly receive advice on how the company is appearing to its current and potential consumers.

Simplicity is key

Another misconception of how to attract the attention of consumers is having intricate and elaborate visuals and interactive aspects. Although you may think it looks sophisticated, it may in fact just confuse visitors on your site or page.

Simplicity is important in ensuring that all the elements of your brand are recognisable regardless of where they are or what size they are. For example, a simple logo with a clever catch phrase in a chic typeface as your profile picture can be just as effective as a 3D virtual tour through your company when done correctly. You can garner many likes, retweets and followers by being shrewd rather than extravagant.

Some fundamental aspects that should be considered include:
  • Photo selection and sizing;
  • Playing with colour;
  • Font type and lettering; and
  • Composition
It is always important to remember that social media marketing will help you attract the attention of a social audience, meaning your content and design should be easy to digest and share in order for your campaign to be a success.

About Yvonne Nhuta

Yvonne Nhuta is Editorial Content Developer at GetSmarter, an online education company, where she has co-written the part-time University of Cape Town Occupational Health and Safety short course, and assists with the writing of numerous other short courses. Contact details: tel +27 (0) 21 447 7565 | website

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