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How to Create Eye-Catching Social Media Graphics


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STOPPING THE SCROLL WITH AMAZING SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS

There are 4.9 billion people using social media as of 2023. Let that sink in for a minute.

Over half of the entire population of the Earth is using social media.


This mind-boggling number shows the relevance and importance for businesses to maintain an active social media presence. At the same time, it highlights how difficult it is to stand out on social media.


With 4.9 billion people using social media and vying for others’ attention, the quality of your social media content is more important than ever. Precisely, the quality of your social media graphics matters. After all, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” doesn’t exist without reason.


The social media graphic is most likely the first thing people see of your post, so ensuring it’s eye-catching enough to stop people from scrolling past it is crucial.


WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

If you’re over low-quality social media graphics and want to step up your game, you’re in the right place.


In this article, we will cover 7 easy and actionable steps you can take to improve your social media graphics and make them stand out from the masses.


You won’t need fancy software or a graphic design background, either. These tips are meant for social media managers and business owners alike who are looking to improve their social media graphics without spending tons of hours (or dollars) on them.


THE BEST SOFTWARE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS

Now, I did say you don’t need any fancy software for amazing social media graphics, and I stand by that.

The easiest (and most popular way) to create graphics in 2023 is Canva.

Laptop mockup showing a design in Canva

I used the free Canva version for a long time before upgrading to the paid version.


The free version is a very powerful and intuitive tool to create amazing graphics for social media and will be your next best friend. Trust me on this!


You will be amazed by how quickly you have stunning results. Canva is a very easy and self-explaining tool designed to make the process of designing graphics easy and enjoyable for non-designers.


So, create your free account, and let’s get started!



BEST PRACTICES FOR EYE-CATCHING SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS

Okay friends, we’re coming to the good part. Here are the top actionable tips to help you create better social media graphics:


1. THE RIGHT DIMENSIONS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS

Each social media platform has its own recommended image sizes, so make sure you're creating graphics that fit those specifications.


This is important to ensure your post actually takes up enough space to be visible on people’s feeds as well as to guarantee your graphic doesn’t get cropped awkwardly.


If you’re using Canva Pro, an easy option is to use the Image Resize tool.

This tool allows you to resize the graphic you worked on to any other dimensions with a click of a button.

Graphic showing the optimal dimensions for Instagram, Tiktok and Pinterest

Be mindful that more often than not, you will still need to adjust the graphic to the new image size. Many elements like boxes and text don’t automatically adjust in size and your graphic might end up looking off. So, before you download the new resized graphic, make sure everything looks the way you intend it to, or make any necessary edits.


If you’re using the free Canva version, don’t worry! An easy alternative is to open a new file in the dimensions you need and copy your original design.

Hop into the new file and paste the design, then adjust it in size to fit the new dimensions. In my experience, this step doesn’t take much longer than the Image Resize tool does.


2. DESIGN ELEMENTS

When designing a graphic for social media, you have the following elements at your disposal:

  • color

  • text

  • photos

  • shapes

You can choose to use a single photo as your post, you can use a photo with text overlay, or you can use text only. The choice is entirely up to you and will depend on what you’re trying to achieve with the post. If you want to showcase a new product, you could choose to use a single photo or a photo with a text overlay. On the other hand, if you want to post a customer testimonial, text-only might be the way to go.


You always want to stay within your branding, but here are some tips to help your graphics stand out:

  • Use bold colors

  • Use clean, easily readable fonts

  • Use bold pictures

3. USE HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES

This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, I come across bad-quality photos all too often. When posting on social media, you need to use the highest-quality images you can.


No one wants to see grainy photos with bad lighting. We’re in 2023 and our standards are high.

3 iPhone Mockups Showing Common Photo Mistakes

Use a good quality camera or even your phone camera to take pictures. Don’t over-edit them and stay away from any and all filters - we are in 2023 after all, and filters are not EN VOGUE anymore.


If you don’t have high-quality photos, you can always use stock images.




Both the paid as well as free Canva plan offer a huge library of stock images on all types of topics.


The biggest benefit in my opinion is that all photos are commercially free to use, meaning you don’t need to purchase any licensing in order to use the photos.


Keep in mind that if you use photos from any other website other than Canva, you will need to make sure you’re allowed to use the graphic for commercial use.


HINT: The vast majority of my own social media graphics is made with stock images.


4. CONSIDER DESIGN PRINCIPLES

Whenever you create a social media graphic, remember these basic design principles:


1. Alignment and balance

Arrange elements in your graphic to create a balanced visual distribution of space.

2. Hierarchy

You can use hierarchy within your design to create emphasis. This can be achieved through size, color, and positioning.

3. Contrast

Using opposing colors can help create contrast and highlight elements.

Basic design principles for social media graphics

4. Negative space

Remember that negative space is a powerful way to leave room for the elements that actually matter.



The goal of design is always to communicate.

So ask yourself, how can you best communicate what you want to say?


Will a simple graphic with minimal text be the right choice, or do you need more text and other elements to convey your message?


Keep it as simple as possible and remember that people will most likely see your graphic on a small phone screen.


5. STAY CONSISTENT IN YOUR BRANDING

We’ve touched on this point already, but it’s important enough to deserve its own space in this article. One of the most important tips is to stay consistent with your branding.


Staying true to your branding will ensure that your graphics are more recognizable and will create a uniform presence across social media and other marketing channels.


Remember, your social media profiles are part of your brand and should reflect the same vibe and aesthetics as your website, emails, and other marketing materials.


After all, the last thing you want is for people to be confused if your website and social media look more like distant cousins rather than siblings.


Use your brand colors, fonts, logos, and any other elements included in your branding whenever you design graphics for social media.


Canva actually makes it very easy to stay consistent in your branding with what they call your Brand Hub. This is where you can save fonts, colors, and logos for easy access.


6. ALWAYS ADJUST TEMPLATES

One of the biggest time savers when it comes to creating social media graphics is to use predesigned templates.


I told you at the beginning of this article that you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create amazing social media graphics, and that’s all thanks to templates.


Of course, as you develop a better understanding of design, you might choose to venture out on your own and design your own post from scratch, but especially in the beginning, templates are going to be your best friend.


When you use templates, you can have a stunning social media graphic within seconds. However, always make sure you adjust the template to your needs. Change the photo, adjust the colors and fonts to fit your branding, and add or remove any elements you need/don’t need.


Templates only work for you when you customize them. After all, the whole point of this article is to create eye-catching graphics for social media, and using a template without adjusting it is far from a fool-proof way to stand out.


7. USE TEXT STRATEGICALLY

If you’re using text, whether it’s as a text overlay or as the main part of your graphic, keep it short and concise.


Use a font that’s easily legible, and ensure the font size as well as the line space is appropriate.

Less is more, and it can often be beneficial to only highlight the key message or calls-to-actions of your post.


FAQ

1. What are the key elements of an eye-catching social media graphic?

The key elements of an eye-catching social media graphic are a high-quality photo, bold colors, and easy-to-read typography.


Elements like call-to-action buttons can also be helpful elements.


2. How can I choose the right fonts and typography for my social media graphics?

Always make sure you use your brand fonts, if applicable.


Ensure all fonts are easy to read on different devices (consider smaller phone screens).


Pairing contrasting fonts (such as a bold headline font with a clean, sans-serif body font) can add visual interest and hierarchy to your post.


3. What are some tools or software that can help me create professional-looking graphics?

There are many design tools available to help you create amazing social media graphics. My favorite is Canva for ease of use as well as price. Alternatives I enjoy are Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Express.


4. How can I incorporate branding elements into my social media graphics?

You can incorporate your brand’s color palette, fonts, logo and any other visual elements that represent your brand identity. Staying consistent across all your marketing efforts will create a strong brand presence and enforce recognition.


SUMMARY

Let’s summarize! In this article, we took a closer look at easy ways you can create eye-catching social media graphics in little time.


Important lessons we learned include:

  • USING THE RIGHT DIMENSIONS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS

  • DESIGN ELEMENTS

  • USING HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES

  • CONSIDERING DESIGN PRINCIPLES

  • STAYING CONSISTENT IN YOUR BRANDING

  • ALWAYS ADJUSTING TEMPLATES

  • USING TEXT STRATEGICALLY

So without further ado, get started now and always feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

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