written by
Carsten Pleiser

5 social media design tips—and how to put them to work in your next campaign

Graphic Design 5 min read

We’ve all felt the joy of discovering a new brand that fits your needs perfectly.

Whether it’s fashion, food, design, or professional development, you’ll probably have a quick look at their socials to check them out.

Within a few seconds, you’ll decide whether to follow or not. Yes, it’s that quick.

This decision is made so fast, we’re not consciously aware of the thought process.

Two factors play an essential role, however. Firstly, does this profile appeal visually? Secondly, am I interested in their content? If it’s a no to either, then it’s goodbye.

This split-second decision is why social media campaign design matters. It matters a lot.

Humans are inherently visual, and every post you create tells a story and contributes to your overall brand.

So, how can you utilise social media design to attract and keep your audience? Let’s start with the fundamentals.

Social media campaign design: the fundamentals

Our brains are hardwired to prioritise visual stimuli.

We have hundreds of millions of neurons devoted to visual processing, taking up around one-third of the cortex. This compares with just 8% for touch and 3% for hearing.

social media campaign design
Photographer: dole777 | Source: Unsplash

Graphic designers manage the complex interplay of visual elements, such as colour, movement, typography and compositional balance. They leverage the amazing power of images to tell your brand’s story.

Here are four foundational design principles, that should be considered in any social media campaign:

1. Colour

Did you know 75% of snap judgements about consumer products are based on colour?

Colour dictates your perception of a product or service. For instance, blue logos enhance feelings of trust and calmness, while yellow and red branding increases feelings of hunger and excitement.

social media campaign design
Photographer: Boxed Water Is Better | Source: Unsplash

Colour psychology is vital to marketing and graphic design, so think about the emotions you want to elicit and the personality you want to convey.

2. Balance

Think of each design element having a literal weight attached. Which way do you want the scales to tip?

social media campaign design tips
Photographer: Patrick Fore | Source: Unsplash

The size and proximity of each component is important, as well as the overall balance of your design.

There are four main types of balance in design: symmetrical, asymmetrical, radial and crystallographic.

While symmetrical compositions promote feelings of harmony, asymmetry is exciting because of the inherent instability. Radial designs draw the eye towards a single focal point, while crystallographic balance transforms “organised chaos” into a unified whole.

3. Line and Movement

Straight lines encourage feelings of order and control.

Curved or wobbly lines create movement and tension.

Photographer: Hulki Okan Tabak | Source: Unsplash

Consider where your lines draw the viewer’s gaze. Can you create a logical “path” or visual route?

Paying attention to line and movement (in conjunction with compositional balance and colour) will lead your audience along a road of visual discovery.

4. Typography and Hierarchy

Typography is an art form in itself.

When selecting typefaces, designers focus on readability, clarity and aesthetics.

social media campaign design tips
Photographer: Brett Jordan | Source: Unsplash

The number of different fonts should be kept to a minimum, generally using sans-serif fonts (which are quicker to read) across social media.

The hierarchy of messaging is also an important aspect of typography. Your key message should be established as a focal point, with secondary information arranged around this.

5 essential design tips for your social media content

Social media design refers to all aspects of the planning, research, development, design and publication of visual content across social media platforms.

Within this, visual design is one of the most important ways brands can build their audience and create a lasting first impression.

Here are five essential tips to supercharge your social media campaign design.

1. Optimise your images

In today’s social media age, brands must post regularly across a wide variety of platforms. This could include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest (to name just a few).

Each platform requires different image and video dimensions however, so make sure you’re optimising each and every image to each and every platform.

To save time, free tools such as Canva have useful social media templates.

2. Prioritise your profile

Remember your social media profile is often the first thing people see of your brand.

With this in mind, use your logo as your profile image, so consumers can easily recognise your brand.

An engaging cover photo should also complement your logo and visual identity, both in terms of content and colour palette.

3. Consistency is key

In social media campaign design, consistency and cohesion should be your watchwords.

They help with brand recognition and creating a loyal audience. So stick with a consistent style of images, strongly reflecting your brand and the story you want to tell.

Remember visual identity also incorporates any content you’re retweeting and sharing, so think carefully before endorsing another post or account.

4. Create variety and value

Don’t confuse consistency with publishing the same content over and over again!

Aim for value and variety (both in terms of design templates and content types), delivered in a visually coherent manner. Genuinely useful content results in more engagement and shares, so mix it up and see what works for your brand.

Whether it’s inspirational quotes, behind the scenes glimpses, infographics or industry tips, incessantly explore what interests your audience and keeps them engaging with your brand.

5. Invest in your imagery

We started this article with the four foundational principles of design because, well, they really make a difference!

The main goals of social media campaign design should always be creating visually appealing content that keeps your audience engaged. This takes time, focus and investment.

If you don’t have the time to dedicate yourself to this, consider working with graphic design professionals (like us at Design Buffs!) who’ll truly elevate your imagery.

From social media designs to digital ads, email templates and white papers, our dedicated team of expert graphic designers are here to help.

Design Buffs produce high-quality marketing designs without increasing your headcount or breaking the bank. Explore our services today and let us solve your marketing design needs, no matter how big or small.

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