Standing out from the social media crowd is a challenge all businesses face. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Twitter, choosing the best platforms to reach your audience, and then engaging them with meaningful and memorable content, has to be an intentional process for your team.

Social media marketing goes beyond just posting photos occasionally -- a successful social media marketing plan hinges on relevant, branded content that’s delivered consistently and visually. The right graphics can enrich an otherwise dry topic, or add depth to your company’s message. Creating a signature visual style for your social media posts not only grabs your audience’s attention, but grows their familiarity with your brand and creates trust over time.

To take your visual strategy to the next level, use the following four methods to establish a memorable and effective presence in your target audience’s social media news feeds.

1. Create a Consistent Look to Your Social Media Graphics and Posts

From your profile avatars to daily posts, aim for your visual presence on social media that’s uniform and consistent. Use your brand’s colors, fonts, and style to make certain your viewers immediately recognize your page’s posts and can easily identify them in their social media streams.

Here are a handful of key tips for making your brand stand out visually on social media:

Color

Construct a color palette that reflects your business brand, and weave it into your social media posts. Using both graphic design elements and images with your color palette already present (a trademark green tractor, for example), create a strong sense of brand with intentional hues and tones.

Consider how certain colors reflect emotions and values related to your products or services (for example, soft pastels for a warm brand, or monochromatic tones for a classic brand).

Text Overlays

While fonts for your posts’ content are set per platform, you can use your brand’s stylized fonts in image layovers and graphic designs. Have your creative team choose one or two fonts to use as text layovers in posts, and stick with them.

Image Quality

Make sure your images are large enough for all your social media platforms, and that they don’t come across as fuzzy or pixelated. Though sizing requirements vary for each social media channel, it’s generally best practice to stick with at least 1000 x 1000 pixels for all.

Photo Filters

Use filters tastefully and sparingly, if at all. If you do choose to make photo filters a part of your brand, choose just one or two and stick with them regularly. Using too many photo filters can make your profile look inconsistent and erratic.

Be consistent with your social media post topics, too, and publish with regularity. A good place to start is identifying your social media goals (which should align with your overall strategic business goals), and then creating a calendar of posting topics to help you reach your objectives.

Consider how often your team can comfortably post, and then stick with a schedule that can be maintained. Remember: quality takes precedence over quantity. If your marketing team can’t deliver a quality post each time, then it may be a good idea to back down on your posting frequency and give yourself more time to create posts that reflect your brand accurately and memorably.

Consistency on social media doesn’t have to mean “dry” — aim to keep your posts trustworthy and familiar.

Your viewers should recognize your brand quickly each time they see your posts, and think to themselves, “This sounds like the same person talking to me each time.”

2. Send a Clear Message on Social Media

Don’t crowd your social media posts with too much information. In your followers’ jam-packed social media feeds, deliver your message quickly and effectively, with details that can be digested in a matter of seconds.

Rather than stuff your visuals with data, keep your design clean, simple, and easily recognizable. Sometimes, this may mean separating posting topics into several individual posts. For example, create one social media post about each of your core values (ex: five total if you have five core values). Or perhaps create a product series with just one of your product’s features in each post.

Separating your posts into clear, easily-digestible topics ensures your audience absorbs the full message each time, and also helps to fill out your social media content calendar with relevant posting themes.

3. Turn Data into Visuals

Take written information about your company or products and present it in a way that’s visually appealing. Rather than create a wall of text for your followers to read, give them a quick visual snapshot of the information you’re trying to deliver. Add credibility to your data by presenting it in a way that’s professional and effectual.

Examples of data visuals include quotes, infographics, technical sheets or testimonials. Using your chosen color palette and fonts, create graphics that stand out and deliver your message in a branded way. Remember to use fonts and sizes that are easy to read on small mobile screens.

If you have a creative team that can design templates for visuals, these can be reused with new data or content each time. Your audience will learn to recognize certain layouts for customer reviews, for example, while another layout may always signify product features.

4. Tell a Story on Social Media

Since social media is inherently visual, your profiles become a great venue to show—not just tell—what your product or service can do for your audience. Think of the messages you want to deliver to your customers, and then create related visuals that educate and entertain them.

In a fast-paced social media stream, a visual is not only worth a thousand words - visual content is more likely to be shared, liked and remembered by your followers.

A great place to start with any social media strategy is first identifying your target audience. Once you’re clear on your ideal customers’ wants and needs, you can then tell a story that shows how your product can enhance their lifestyles in some way.

Can your product eliminate an obstacle, or make a process easier? If so, how? Use visuals to create a memorable experience that resonates with your target market, and leaves an emotional and lasting impression. (Video is an immensely powerful story telling tool. If you have the opportunity to create original video content, you will increase your audience engagement.)

Remember, using visual content in your social strategy leads to better engagement, and encourages positive associations with your brand. Be intentional with your posts, and don’t work against your business brand by delivering graphics and images that don’t showcase your strengths and unique value propositions. Your business story is yours alone, and an excellent visual strategy with help you share it to the world.

Develop a strategic visual plan that supports your business goals, and you’ll find social media can be an excellent platform for fostering relationships with your customers, attracting new ones, and enhancing your overall, goal-driven marketing plan. Ready to grow your social media presence? Our Harvest Media team specializes in designing graphics that help tell your business’s unique story. Contact us to learn more.