Design 101: 3 Tips to Creating the Most Liked Social Images on All Social Media Platforms

Best Practices, Design 101

If you want to build up your social presence online, using social images is an essential part of doing that. Social media sites get millions of viewers every day and content with images get twice as many views than those without. People are visual and social images will get viewers engaged with your content and want to know more about your business. It can be challenging knowing where or how to start, so here are some tips and tricks to creating and sharing social images.

When you’re done learning how to create social images, learn how to make amazing social media cover photos, here!

Know Why People Share

There are certain reasons people share images on social media. People are drawn to visual content more than ever before. Knowing why people share images is important for coming up with what images to post. The top reasons why people share are because the images are funny, relatable, useful or inspiring.  

Funny

These images are probably the top shared ones. These are the type of images that I share the most. When an image can make me smile or laugh out loud, I instantly want to share them with others.

funny pinterest image

(photo credit: Pinterest)

Relatable

When you can look at an image and think “that’s definitely me,” you are more likely to share with someone else. These types of photos usually include some sort of humor which can attract viewers as well.

harry potter pinterest image

(photo credit: Pinterest)

Useful/Informational

Useful tips and quotes are usually shared for the purpose of trying out that tip. It could also be shared with a friend that you think it applies to or could help them.

drinking water pinterest image

(photo credit: Pinterest)

Inspiring

Inspiring quotes are one of the most shareable images. Using beautiful photos or a quote by a famous person in history will attract users.

albert einstein pinterest quote image(photo credit: Pinterest)

“Shareable images are small and manageable, and they visually convey a straightforward bit of information that is easy to digest. They instantly reveal something that we recognize, love and feel compelled to share with others—no fuss, no muss.” – Karla Lant, 99Designs (@99designs)

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Know Your Platforms

Social images can differ from each platform. Images that are posted on Facebook might not work on LinkedIn or Twitter. Figure out what users on each platform are looking for in a social image. Here are some examples:

Facebook

  • Most images shared are humorous or emotional. Since Facebook is a place where people typically network with friends, images usually display relatable content and emotionally striking content. Since Facebook has more than just a “like” option, don’t miss your opportunity to give users voting capabilities with your image by utilizing the icons in the social image. For example, see this image I created for one of our clients below.
triage medical staffing facebook post

Instagram

  • People are looking for vivid images that catch their eye. They want images that inspire or engage. Most love to show off their photographic skills. A great tip to know is that images with people get great engagement.

Twitter

  • Users are looking for quick, informational images. This typically includes information about sports, politics or fun facts. Users can also search or tweet with hashtags (that work like keywords) to connect and engage with other users. This gives you a great opportunity to use hashtags in social images. See the image below I created utilizing a hashtag.
cybergrants twitter image

LinkedIn

  • People want connections and use this site for business purposes. Most people on LinkedIn will usually share information about their job, something in their workplace or company culture happening in their office. It’s a great place to customize your profile to showcase your talents, education, etc.

Speaking of LinkedIn, did you know they just did a complete overhaul in 2017? Check it out, here!

On all social media platforms, images must be eye-catching no matter what it is about. Users tend to scroll fast until they see something that catches their eye or interests them.

Want to set off your #socialmediamarketing? Learn to create social images in this #design101 article! Click To Tweet

Know How to Design Images

There are guidelines to follow when designing a social image. You should consider balance, color, hierarchy, direction, scale, typography, photos and icons when designing. You also need to know the dimensions as well. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:

Balance

For balance you should think about how you want the image set up. Whether you want it symmetrical or asymmetrical, everything should fit together well. There is a lot to consider when it comes to color. Colors can bring on different emotions to a viewer, so knowing what colors to use can be hard to figure out. Just by simply researching what emotions certain colors have is a good place to start. You may have clients that have color branding already. If this is the case, then you need to see how you can play around with those colors to make the image engaging.

Hierarchy

Hierarchy is needed for what you want the viewers to see first. Figure out what is the most important part of the social image and arrange it in a way that the viewer’s eye would go directly to that one thing first. This will create a good flow and natural path for the eyes to follow.

Direction

Direction is similar to hierarchy in which you want to consider how the viewer’s eye travels across the image. This helps with using hierarchy to see what you want the viewer to look at first, second, third, etc. Most people read left to right, so the most important details should be placed accordingly.

Scale & Icons

Using scale in an image is important when thinking about shapes and typefaces. You want to use a variety of scaling to make sure everything is balanced. Typography is a big part of a social image. Most people on social media sites scroll quickly down the page, so in order for people to stop and look at your image, you need to make the content big enough to catch their attention. Lastly, icons can be used to help fill space and add something visual to your image. If you have smaller content such as “Happy National Payday” then adding an icon can help fill up extra space.

Photos

Photos are the main part of a social image. Use photos that match your content. When choosing stock photography, make sure to select vibrant and natural imagery. This means choosing imagery that doesn’t have the generic “stock” feel, and instead choosing imagery that shows people not posed and not looking at the camera, in actual work or outside environments and shows a lot of diversity.

Dimensions

Though there are specific dimensions for each platform, the universal dimensions for social images is 800×800. These dimensions are a safe size to use if you’d like to use the same image on every one of your social channels.

Now that you have a better sense of how to create and use social images, it’s time to start building your social presence. Having a social presence on social media can help promote your business. There are millions of people who use social media and check it daily. Use these tips and tricks so you can get more likes, shares and follows!

Now that you’ve learned how to create amazing social images, the next step is knowing what Adobe program to use for each of your individual projects. Learn how, here!

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