I’m a graphic designer, and the main goal of that job is designing information in a way that it is most easily understood, attracts attention and makes audience members do something. In the case of social media, the “design” of your content includes the words you use, number of words, punctuation, emojis, images, links and layout on a viewer’s screen.
Have you ever considered that the “design” of your social media posts affects whether or not they will be seen, understood and acted upon?
Here are five general tips for designing your social media posts for maximum impact:
1. Cut down on auto crossposting and craft each post for the site it’s going to be shown on.
Autoposting across multiple platforms can save time, but if you’re not careful and the content cuts off or otherwise doesn’t “look right,” it can give the impression you’re not really paying attention. Plus, you miss out on using the posting tools specific to each network.
2. Take advantage of the intricacies of each network.
Do you embed your images in your tweets, versus linking to them? Do you edit the title, description or preview image of the links you post on Facebook? Do you know the ideal images sizes for each network, and how your images are automatically cropped? These are considerations that may determine whether you’ll get a retweet, like, clickthrough, or nothing at all. More on these in future blog posts.
3. See things through the viewer’s eyes.
Just like a good advertisement designer tries to see how his or her ad will look among the clutter of a magazine or newspaper, you should try to think how your social media post will look among the clutter of the timeline or news feed. The best way to do this? Become personally active on each network and make note of the posts that catch your eye.
4. Experiment and test.
Create dummy social media accounts where you can test things every so often and learn the intricacies of each platform. If you’re using third party apps like Hootsuite, make sure you understand how using that app affects the way your posts look on each platform, versus using the platform directly. For example, unless you are paying for the Pro version of Hootsuite, any image you “upload” to post within a tweet will show up as a link, not as an embedded image.
5. But . . . don’t overthink it.
If you’re a perfectionist, it’s hard not to overanalyze your social media content. A hard lesson I am learning is “perfect is the enemy of good.” Don’t analyze so much that you don’t get the content out there because it isn’t perfect.
In future blog posts I’ll go over some of the different options for designing your posts for maximum impact on the “big two” networks, Facebook and Twitter.