10 Social Media Design Tips to Stand Out on the Feed

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As increasingly platforms transfer in the direction of visible content material, social media design has grow to be more and more essential. Positive, your content material is what actually issues, but when your posts are visually unappealing or lack any form of design consistency, they’re going to be misplaced in the combine.

However what for those who don’t have an in-house designer? What for those who don’t have any formal design background in any respect? Worry not–listed below are 10 social media design ideas to assist your posts stand out on the feed.

Bonus: Get the always-up-to-date social media picture measurement cheat sheet. The free useful resource consists of advisable photograph dimensions for each kind of picture on each main community.

What’s social media design?

Social media design is the observe of making visuals for social media platforms akin to Instagram, Fb, TikTok, Twitter, and extra. This consists of posts, tales, profile photographs, graphics, and different visuals to assist help your content strategy.

Social media design is important because it helps create brand recognition and adds to the overall aesthetic of a page or profile. It can also be used to make posts stand out in a crowded feed or to capture the attention of potential followers.

For example, a travel brand might use a combination of high-quality photos and professional graphics that feature bold colors to create visually appealing posts. Or a bakery might rely on bright and colorful visuals like pastel frosted donuts or cupcakes with creative typography overlays.

10 important social media design tips

When creating your own social media design, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Build a clear visual strategy

Great visuals are only as good as the social strategy that supports them. Your social media design may follow best practices, but without purpose, narrative, timing, and other strategic elements, you’ll be doing your art department a disservice.

Whether you know it or not, all companies have a brand identity and visual language on social—some are just more fluent on social than others. A social media style guide can help with this.

Every visual strategy should include the following:

  • Audience research. Do some background on your audience’s interests and think about what type of visual content they’d like to see.
  • A mood board. Add content, color palettes, and other visuals that will help shape your direction.
  • Themes. Mix things up with recurring themes or pillars. Air France’s Instagram feed, for example, includes a combination of destination shots and airplane photos.
  • Platform. Consider how you should adapt your visual strategy for each social channel.
  • Timing. Make sure to post visuals on social at peak times. But think big picture, too. Will you need more visual content around certain holidays? Planning ahead will help you better manage your budget and production calendar.

2. Know your design basics

What makes a great social media post design? If you can’t answer this question, a little studying may be in order.

Sure, there’s not one good way to create a social media post. But, there are some basic best practices to take into consideration:

  • Have a clear subject. It’s usually best to have a single focal point in your image.
  • Remember the rule of thirds. With some exceptions, it’s best not to center your subject perfectly.
  • Use natural light. If your image is too dark, it’s harder to see. But don’t overexpose your images, either.
  • Make sure there’s enough contrast. Contrast provides balance, is easier to read, works better in black-and-white environments, and is more accessible.
  • Choose complementary colors. Get familiar with a color wheel.
  • Keep it simple. Make sure your visual is easy to understand.
  • Don’t over-edit. Resist the temptation to press all the buttons. Subtly is a good policy when it comes to filters and features. Increase saturation with caution.

Here’s a primer on how to take good Instagram photos—but the same rules apply to all types of social media photos.

3. Take advantage of free tools and resources

It’s almost always best to hire a photographer or graphic designer to create custom content for your brand. But if your budget is tight, or you’re in need of a few extra tools, there are countless resources available to help you create eye-catching social media designs.

Here are some of the best social media design resources and tools:

4. Watch out for copyright

Sourcing images for social media isn’t always easy—especially when it comes to understanding image copyright. But it’s important, especially since there are serious consequences for misuse.

Read all the fine print when using stock photos, templates, and illustrations. If anything is unclear, inquire with the image owner or site for more detail.

The same goes for licensing and contracting. When drawing up contracts with artists, it should be clear where you intend to use creative, who owns the rights to it, etc.

When it’s called for (which is often), be sure to give credit where credit is due. That’s also true if you plan to repost or share user-generated content.

5. Size images to spec

One of the biggest crimes you can commit when creating social media designs is using the wrong image size.

Images with the wrong aspect ratio or low resolutions can be stretched, cropped, and crunched out of proportion—all of which reflects poorly on your brand.

Every platform has its own specifications, and you should tailor your content accordingly. We’ve assembled a social media image size guide to help you.

A few social media image sizing hacks:

  • Optimize horizontal Stories. Want to share a horizontal photo in a Story? Create a background or use a template, so it doesn’t look small and sad.
  • Consider all devices. Stories and other vertical content display differently depending on the device being used. Check your analytics to see what devices your audience uses. If there’s a trend, size accordingly.
  • Pay attention to pixels. Don’t put anything important in the upper and lower 250-310 pixels.
  • Preview before posting. Preview how Instagram will crop a vertical photo on your grid by looking at the filter thumbnails before you publish.

6. Be tasteful with text

Whether you plan to create quote images, stylized typography, or use text overlays, less is always more when it comes to word count.

Text in social media design should always be bold, legible, straightforward, and concise. Make sure there’s enough contrast between the text and background so that it’s readable. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCGA) recommend using a contrast of 4.5 to 1. There are several free contrast checkers available if you’re not sure how to do this.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when including text in images:

  • Spell-check. Triple-check spelling and grammar. Tools like Grammarly and Google Docs can make this easy.
  • Choose the type wisely. Font can affect both tone and legibility.
  • Mix fonts carefully. If you need to mix fonts, pair a serif with a sans serif.
  • Be color savvy. Avoid green and red or blue and yellow color combos. According to WCAG, they’re more difficult to read.
  • KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Keep line length short.
  • Look out for orphan words. Leaving one word on the last line can look odd.
  • Get moving. Animate text to make it stand out.

7. Be mindful of representation

Do the people in your creative reflect the diversity of your audience? Are you reinforcing gender or racial stereotypes with your visuals? Do you promote body positivity?

These are a few of the questions you should be asking when making your next social media graphic design.

Doing so is not just socially responsible; it’s smart. It’s much easier for someone to imagine themselves using a product or service if they see someone that looks like them doing it. Look at your audience analytics or the demographics of your desired market, and factor them into your creative process.

Representation should be about more than just optics. If you have the means to diversify your team, do it. Hire women and creators of color. Bring as many perspectives to the table as you can.

At the very least, try to get feedback from as many voices as possible before sending your creative off into the world.

Here are a few inclusive stock photo libraries you can pull from:

8. Prioritize accessibility

Not everyone experiences visual content the same way.

When producing your social media designs, make them accessible to as many people and contexts as possible. Accessible content allows you to reach a broad audience and possibly edge out non-inclusive competitors in the process.

More importantly, it helps you earn respect and loyalty from customers.

Accessible social media designs can include:

  • Alt-text descriptions. Alt-text allows the visually impaired to appreciate images. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram now provide fields for alt-text image descriptions. Here are some tips for writing descriptive alt-text.
  • Subtitles. All social videos should include captions. Not only are they crucial for hearing-impaired viewers, but they also help in sound-off environments as well. Language learners also benefit from subtitles. Plus, people who watch videos with captions are more likely to remember what they saw.
  • Descriptive transcripts. Unlike captions, these transcripts describe the important sights and sounds that aren’t spoken or obvious. Descriptive audio and live-described video are other options.

9. Optimize for SEO

Yes, your social media designs can and should be optimized for search engine optimization (SEO), too. Social media SEO involves adding keywords, title tags, and image alt text to improve the visibility of your posts in search results.

Consider using keywords when designing social media graphics and creating captions for posts. Additionally, make sure to use descriptive language that relates to topics associated with your post and brand. This will help people find your content on social platforms by typing it into a search bar or clicking on related hashtags.

For example, if you are designing social media graphics for a clothing store, you might consider using keywords such as “fashion,” “style,” and “clothing” in the captions and titles. Use hashtags associated with your content to increase visibility on social platforms.

10. Be creative

Pshhh, easy, right?

But seriously. Forget the awards; creative work is always rewarded by customers with likes, comments, shares, and sales. And it has to power to earn new followers, too.

Having trouble coming up with social media post design ideas? Here’s a little inspiration for you.

Venmo uses social media graphic design to create a hypnotizing motion graphic.

Meow Wolf uses a creative carousel to tell a story beyond the caption.

Bon Apetit Mag uses bold, colorful designs to announce its latest best-new restaurant winners.

The Washington Post adapts listicles for the Instagram carousel.

All Birds takes a design-forward approach to static social media graphics.

National Geographic uses simple text on images to attract user attention on a busy Twitter feed.

5 social media design instruments

Now that you just’ve seen examples of social media graphic design in motion, let’s check out some instruments you need to use to create participating visuals.

Canva for Hootsuite

Canva for Hootsuite is a superb choice for creating on-brand designs proper out of your Hootsuite dashboard. You possibly can view not too long ago created designs as a content material supply, and add beforehand created designs out of your Canva folders. When you’re executed, connect your social media design to the Hootsuite Composer and publish it straight to your accounts.

Plus, leverage Canva’s library of lovely social media design templates with out ever leaving Hootsuite. This implies you possibly can shortly create gorgeous visuals that adhere to your model’s tips and save time whereas creating lovely content material.


social media design template shown in canva

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a software to make professional-level social media graphics, look no additional than Canva. With its easy drag-and-drop interface, you possibly can create high-quality visuals in simply minutes. Select from hundreds of templates, or begin with a clean canvas to design posts that match your model’s aesthetic.

Regardless of your design wants, Canva has you lined. You possibly can create the whole lot from gorgeous social media submit designs to full-fledged graphic layouts for a variety of functions. To make issues even simpler, Canva additionally gives entry to its library of inventory pictures and illustrations, so that you don’t have to hunt for photographs elsewhere.


easelly social media design templates in editor

Bored with spending hours designing good social media designs? If that’s the case, Easelly could also be the design software for you. This free platform is designed to assist customers create lovely infographics in a matter of minutes. From selecting from ready-made templates to customizing your individual designs, Easelly can help with virtually any graphic design undertaking.

Easelly additionally has a variety of social media design templates you possibly can customise to match your model’s aesthetic. All you want to do is choose a template, add your photographs and textual content, and voila! You possibly can have an attention grabbing social media submit design very quickly.

Adobe Specific

adobe spark social media design templates

Is Photoshop too superior for you, however you continue to need to create gorgeous social media graphic designs? Adobe Specific could also be the resolution. This design software provides over 34,000 templates that may be custom-made utilizing its easy drag-and-drop editor. Plus, you too can add your individual photographs and icons to personalize your designs additional.

On prime of providing easy-to-use templates for graphic design, Adobe Specific additionally permits you to create lovely video content material for social media. By choosing from their library of social media-specific templates, you possibly can have an attention grabbing video prepared very quickly.


pixlr social media design templates

Designing for social media doesn’t have to be difficult. With Pixlr, you possibly can create lovely social media submit designs with ease. This photograph editor doubles up as a design software and provides options akin to collages, photograph filters, and layers that allow you to shortly remodel your photographs into gorgeous artistic endeavors. Moreover, it additionally comes with numerous pre-made templates and results that make designing for social media fast and straightforward.

How to rent a social media designer

Okay, so perhaps you don’t have the time or the expertise to design a social media submit your self. That doesn’t imply you possibly can’t get your palms on some incredible designs in your social media channels. Fortuitously, there are many proficient graphic designers on the market who specialise in creating customized graphics for social media profiles.

When on the lookout for a social media designer, search for one who has a eager eye for aesthetics and is aware of how to use colours and graphics to create an attention grabbing picture or video. You must also discover somebody with expertise in creating graphics which can be optimized for the platform you’re focusing on (Instagram, Fb, Twitter, and so forth.).

When it comes to pricing, most graphic designers cost an hourly price for his or her work. Relying on the complexity of your undertaking, you possibly can anticipate to pay anyplace from $50-$100 per hour (or extra). Some designers provide bundle offers that embrace a number of social media graphics for a hard and fast price.

If you happen to’re trying to create a long-lasting visible aesthetic in your feed, ask your designer if they will make you a set of customized Canva templates. These templates will prevent time and make it simpler to submit persistently on social media.

Hootsuite Instagram page

When choosing a graphic designer, try their portfolio to get an concept of their design fashion. In the event that they specialise in creating visuals for social media, they need to have the opportunity to present earlier examples which can be optimized for the platform you’re focusing on. Don’t neglect to additionally take a look at their critiques to see if different shoppers have had constructive experiences with them.

Social media design FAQs

What makes good social media design?

Good social media design is visually interesting and crowd pleasing whereas additionally conveying a transparent message. It must be simple to perceive and optimized for the platform you’re posting on. Your social media designs must also adhere to your model fashion information in order that viewers can establish them instantly as belonging to you or your online business.

Why is social media design essential?

Social media design is essential as a result of it helps to set up a constant visible id and messaging in your model. It will possibly additionally assist you stand out from the competitors and enhance engagement together with your posts. A superb social media design technique may also assist you construct belief and loyalty with followers, in addition to develop your attain and visibility on-line.

What are the various kinds of social media design providers?

Social media design providers can embrace creating graphics for posts, designing web page layouts, producing video content material, and creating infographics. It will possibly additionally contain creating customized designs for adverts, creating a method information in your model’s social media accounts, and optimizing posts for max engagement. Skilled designers who specialize on this space sometimes have in depth expertise in graphic design, advertising, and branding.

What ought to I put together for my social media designer?

When hiring a social media designer, it’s best to have a transparent concept of what sort of content material and design you might be on the lookout for. You must also present any and all related data, akin to model tips, current logos or icons, messaging briefs, and examples of comparable work that they will draw inspiration from. Moreover, it’s essential to focus on your finances upfront.

Wanting to stand out on-line? Social media design is simply the begin. Create, schedule, monitor, and optimize your content material all on the Hootsuite platform. Attempt it free at this time!

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