Want your brand to be loud and known in the social media game? Social media design is one way to effectively increase brand awareness and grow followers’ engagement. Visual design is a powerful tool anyone can use to create brand recognition and connect your target audience with your business and services.

Consumer reports that users immediately associate the credibility of a site with visual cues compared to its actual content. The same can be applied to social media when promoting a service or product per se.

Never underestimate a good social media design, follow these tips to see how you can build a strong social media presence today:

1. Image Sizing

Let’s get technical.

A good start is to keep a reference of the content sizes and dimensions for each social media platform as it plays an important role in informing the key message. Every platform has different sizing and content guidelines.

Below is a list of recommended dimensions you can use for different social media platforms:

  • Instagram Static: 1080 x 1350px
  • Instagram Reels/Stories: 1080 x 1920px
  • Instagram Videos/GIFs: 1080 x 1080 px 
  • Facebook Static: 1080 x 1350px
  • Facebook Stories: 1080 x 1920px
  • Facebook Videos/GIFs: 1080 x 1080 px 
  • TikTok Videos: 1080 x 1920px 
  • YouTube Videos: 1920 x 1080px

At Plexxie, we use a 4:5 ratio for static and 1:1 for GIFs or videos. You want to avoid having content with black sidebars, as that isn’t visually appealing. This ensures optimal results, also allowing ample space to experiment with and decide how your design can look on the feed.

(Design safe zone image source Marigold PeelFresh)

Understanding how your design looks on the social media feed can be easily used to your advantage. For example, knowing that the Instagram feed is meant to be in a 1:1 ratio – You can strategically place your key message in the center of the visual, which acts as your safe zone. All text and important key visuals should be in the safe zone.

Alternatively, you can place it outside of the safe zone to give it a “Click Me To See More” direction. This encourages users to interact with your post and ultimately generate engagement. However, it’s best not to use it for all of your designs and use it wisely and in an impactful manner.

Following these guidelines will make your content more likely to perform well.

2. Create your designs in RGB color

Why do you need to know the difference between RGB (red, green, blue) & CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) in your social media design? Both are very different color models with their own limitations. Understanding the difference and knowing how to prevent color problems is key to successful graphic design.

(RGB vs CMYK image source AshworthCreative)

RGB is an additive color model, while CMYK is subtractive.

In consensus, always use RGB for digital designs. Failing to do so, will lead to users viewing your design in a lackluster color on their screens, and we want to avoid that as much as possible. Color in itself plays an important role in branding and storytelling. An inconsistency in color can affect the users’ understanding of the branding.

3. Strategize Your Design

Plan, plan, plan

Before you begin, brainstorm your social media strategy. At Plexxie, the Creatives work hand in hand with our Social Media Executives to plan monthly contents for our clients. We focus on reaching the right target audience and increasing engagement.

(redONE 1App SG Launch GIF image source redONE Mobile)

As creatives, we should be looking at our design assets and how we can maximize them. Take account of promotions, launches, special features and most importantly, trends! Review the month’s assets and plan out your designs based on these factors.

4. Branding

A strong branding means a user can easily associate a brand with a certain element. Hence, visual consistency is your best bet for successful brand recognition. 

Elements such as color palettes, logos, tones, typography and imagery can establish visual cohesiveness across all platforms. Your goal is to ensure that the brand identity speaks for itself and that the brand looks whole despite being on different platforms and mediums.

(D’Addario brand identity source image D’Addario and Co Asia)

Plexxie takes brand identity seriously – like seriously. We study our brands closely and study the branding assets while comparing with their competitors to ensure that they stand out. 

Over time, we will also review their branding elements and improve the brand identity as they grow.

5. Visual Consistency

Normalize using design templates, this is the easiest way to ensure consistency with your brand. However, it isn’t best to use templates for every post as it tends to get dry overtime. It’s good to use templates for a certain series of posts relating to the same topic.

(Fun Facts About Our Bibendum series image source Michelin Asia)

Having a theme in your designs can also help in indicating users of a certain campaign that is happening within the brand. Treat it like a dress-up party for your brand while still enforcing the company branding.

Additionally, visual consistency can also be maintained by using brand identity elements despite having different designs. Hence, the importance of branding.

6. The Power Of Space

Do you sometimes feel suffocated when looking at a design? Oftentimes this happens when you try to compress all the information into one post. This does more harm than good especially when it comes to important promotions or campaigns.

Users tend to look away when they see something too compact with information.  

(D’Addario Giveaway image source D’Addario and Co Asia)

So keep it clean, straight-forward & create breathing space for your users to digest the information.

7. Useful Design

You must have a variety and useful content that your users can share with others. The more useful your content is, the more audiences it can reach, driving more people to your platform. 

People are interested in trends, news, memes, giveaways, and promotions. They will interact with your content as long as it feeds their needs.

Want to put out news? Infographics are one way to get lengthy informational content across in a concise and direct manner. People process information faster through visual cues so use simple imagery and illustrations.

(Paper is Eco Friendly image source Stryve Digital Marketing)

Trends are the moving forces of social media. Never be afraid to jump on the bandwagon and put your own twist on it! Have fun and let loose, people take in your content easier and it will leave a lasting impression of the brand. 

(redONE Services meme image source redONE Mobile)

8. Keep Your Audience Engaged

Find new designs to incorporate onto your platform. The common misconception we have about new design styles, is that it normally gives the impression of straying away from the company’s branding.That’s not necessarily the case. We can still maintain branding, and visual consistency while still having variety.

If your goal is for your platform to reach more people, have different contents made for different people. You might earn yourself a new follower this way!

Having new designs also keeps your users on their toes, allowing them to anticipate refreshing content every time. The uncertainty makes your users want to know what’s next, hence retaining your existing followers. 

(Marigold PeelFresh Feed image source Marigold PeelFresh)

Now go forth and try it for yourself, Social Media designs are an influential and significant tool of any social media strategy. Overall, ensure you have the mindset that you are informing the users of your key message effectively while not boring them. Have variety and quality and it will convert to engagements, interactions and follows.


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