Social media marketing is crucial for any business to increase their reach and grow their brand. Social media marketing is a great way to achieve business growth and make more people aware of your products and service. If your business is not currently engaging on social media you are missing out on reaching a potentially huge audience.
Everyone’s social media feeds are literally saturated with posts. You have to make sure your content stands out and grabs the attention of your audience. Both the text content and the images you use are important.
Write Copy That Gets Clicks
Every post that you create on social media should have a purpose. The purpose may be to sell your products or services, to provide information or to entice people to get in touch with you. Your posts should always be attention grabbing otherwise people will simply scroll past. Here are a few simple tips:
Keep Your Posts Clear and Concise
People aren’t scrolling through social media expecting to read huge, long winded paragraphs. You have a limited amount of time to grab someone’s attention. Get straight to the point with no fluff or waffle. Keep it short and simple.
Showcase Your Brand and Personality
Don’t be too formal, be conversational. Showcase your personality, use colloquial language, be funny if that’s your brand, be serious if that’s more your thing but don’t be too ‘stiff’ with your content. People buy from people. A more conversational and less formal approach tends to generate more attention than anything overly corporate. Don’t forget to use emojis and hashtags where it makes sense, but don’t overdo it. (Too many emojis can be overkill and distract from the message of the post!) Likewise, with hashtags, use them where necessary but don’t overuse them.
Talk Directly To Your Ideal Client / Customer
Make sure you know who your audience is and create content specifically for them. Be specific with exactly who you are aiming to attract and create content that resonates with them. Don’t forget to ask questions, be approachable and invite them to share, engage and comment.
Include Call To Actions
Some of your posts may simply be informational and there will be nothing in particular that you want the reader to ‘do’ other than reading it. However, you should be aiming for a specific outcome with the majority of your posts (even if its just engagement you are looking for rather than directing people to a link). Every post should have a goal which is reflected in the copy. Do you want the reader to click on a link to a website or landing page, do you want them to get in touch or send you a message? Do you want them to simply engage with you? Make sure your call to actions are clear and make sure each post has a specific purpose.
People get to know a brand through their social media content. It’s unlikely that people will buy from you the second they first become aware of you. They need time to learn more about you and your business. Social media provides you with a platform for people to become more familiar with you and your business. Your voice, personality and overall message and values must be consistent across social media in order to increase awareness and build trust.
Create Eye Catching Images
Content alone isn’t enough for social media. Images are incredibly important too. With everyone’s feed crammed with graphics, images and videos, it’s important for your posts to stand out to get noticed. Simply writing a tweet or a post isn’t going to cut it anymore and with the rise in popularity of visual based social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest, its more important than ever that your images stand out.
Luckily, there are various tools available to help you create the perfect social media images for your campaigns and there are also plenty of websites where you can get stock photos to use for free.
Canva is my favourite tool for creating social media images, I use it A LOT. There are a variety of pre made templates that you can edit at the click of a button. There are also a vast amount of images, graphics, shapes, backgrounds and layouts that you can use to create your posts. Canva has a very simple drag and drop interface, you can create your design using custom dimensions or choose from a selection of pre made sizes based on the type of post you want to create. Canva gives you the correct size images based on which social media channel you wish to post to. Many of the elements in Canva are free to use, premium elements are available to purchase from only $1. You can also upload your own images to use within your designs. Canva isn’t just limited to social media, you can also create posters, flyers, leaflets, certificates, resumes and much more.
PicMonkey is an online photo editing tool that has a variety of uses. I use it to edit photos as well as create images for social media. Like Canva, there are a selection of pre made templates that you can easily edit to suit your needs. PicMonkey has some great photo editing options which are really simple for a none designer to use. You can add text and graphics to your images, as well as background effects and overlays. There are also some really useful touch up tools and visual effects.
Snappa is a graphic creation tool for creating eye catching social media images. You can choose which social media platform you wish to create a design for and it will automatically size the image correctly for you or you can set your own custom dimensions. Snappa also gives you the correct sized templates for various display ad’s. Like Canva, there are pre made templates available, you can change and edit every element quickly and easily. You can also create your own designs from scratch, Snappa has a built in library of images, graphics, shapes and font options. You can use Snappa for free, there is a lot of content available for free users, premium options start from $10 a month. Premium users have access to more templates and elements.
Pablo is an online tool that you can use to create images with a text overlay. The tool is completely free to use. Pablo has a large selection of background images as well as a library of inspirational quotes which you can overlay on top of the images. You can add filters to the images, add your own text and upload your own graphic or logo.
Venngage is a handy application for making infographics. Infographics are a great way to visually represent information, they are useful for social media as they are eye catching and far more interesting than simply posting the information. You can easily create your own charts and visual designs as well as display information and data and in an easy to understand graphic. Venngage has numerous built in templates and there are various price plans depending on your needs.
Fotor is an online image editing application, there are a vast amount of built in effects as well as useful editing and retouching tools. There are also a considerable amount of frames, stickers and font options. Fotor is free to use, however there is also a premium version which unlocks further options and effects.
These tools are really useful and time saving, they are intuitive and operate via a drag and drop interface. They are all free to use although the premium versions do provide more advanced options. Canva, Picmonkey, Snappa and Fotor all have mobile apps so you can create your images on the go.
Stock Photo Websites
Now you have everything you need to create your social media graphics, but what if you don’t have any images or photos to use? If you can take your own photos to use that’s great but that’s not always possible. The following websites provide a huge selection of stock photos, images and graphics that you can use for your business. There are lots of free options as well as premium sites. Quite often you can find what you need on the free sites so it’s worth having a browse there first, however, the premium sites provide more options as well as more video footage, graphics and vectors.
- ISO Republic
- Adobe Stock
These websites all have a good selection of images to use, some also contain vectors, graphics and videos. The sites listed as free do contain free images but there may also be some paid options, you should also check each site for the licensing information relating to each image.
Selecting the right images and the best tools to use to quickly create eye catching social media images is only part of the process. Making your designs look good is crucial in order to create social media posts that attract attention.
Using vector icons is a really good way to convey a particular message and make your posts more interesting. You can find a range of vectors and icons online, some of the applications mentioned above also contain many vectors that you can include in your images.
Be Creative With Fonts
You don’t have to stick to a single font, combining multiple fonts is a great way to create visual impact. A simple font along with a more decorative font is generally a good combination.
Sometimes keeping it simple is most effective. You don’t have to fill your images with content. A design doesn’t have to be jam packed with elements to be eye catching. Having some empty space is a useful technique to draw attention to your text.
Experiment With Colour
Don’t be afraid to be bold. Bright colours can be really effective and help your posts stand out. Experiment with different colour combinations and be creative with your colour choices.
An Overlay can be very effective when you want to use a background image as well as text. By using a transparent overlay, you can use any background image you want whilst still being able to easily read the text.
Not all of your social media posts have to be images, make sure video is a part of your social strategy too! Videos tend to get more engagement as they are more immersive than a simple post. Live video in particular enables you to interact with your audience, showcase what you do and even hold masterclasses to provide useful info and engage with your followers.
Videos don’t have to be live, you can record and edit them in advance. Loom is a really useful tool that will help you capture and record your screen whilst you are talking. It’s great for creating informational videos and is really simple to use.
Lumen 5 is also a really helpful tool. It’s great for creating promotional videos. With Lumen 5, you can transform your blog posts into engaging, content rich videos.
Don’t overthink your videos and don’t worry about recording yourself. Nobody is expecting you to be perfect. Be real, be authentic, be yourself. Your videos don’t have to be super polished or of professional quality.
Here are some additional things to be aware of when creating your social media posts:
Create Different Posts for Each Platform
Whilst you can post the same content across all of your social channels, it can be more effective to devise a separate content strategy for each. If people are following you on multiple platforms, you don’t want to be showing them the same content repeatedly. People often interact with the content differently on different social media networks so you should alter your content accordingly.
Use the Correct Image Size
Applications such as Canva and Snappa provide the correct sized template based on the type of post you are creating and the platform you wish to post to. If you are designing your images from scratch, make sure you use the correct dimensions. Here is a useful guide detailing the most popular social media image sizes.
Be Aware of Ad Restrictions
If you are creating visual posts for social media to use as Ad’s, make sure you check for any specific requirements or restrictions. A Facebook ad for example should only contain a certain amount of text. You can use facebooks text checker tool to check if your text to image ratio is too high.
Other Useful Tools
- Hootsuite – Useful for scheduling posts in advance.
- Buffer – Another tool for scheduling your posts across multiple platforms.
- Later – Specifically for scheduling and planning Instagram posts.
- Tiny PNG – Easily compress large images to smaller file sizes.
- Infogr.am – Create infographics, charts, reports and social media visuals.
- Pic Collage – Create images directly from your phone, add fonts, stickers and backgrounds.
- Pixlr – An online editing tool for creating and retouching images.
- Meme Generator – Create and customise social media memes.
- Boomerang – An app from Instagram to create and share looping videos.
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