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HomeBlogSocial Media Marketing8 Best Practices for Visual Content in Social Media

8 Best Practices for Visual Content in Social Media

Let’s go back to when people started creating cave paintings. Imagine how advance we have reached the means to communicate. We now see digital images that are flashing on your screens. We can agree that “Visual content is king.

But “How,” you ask? For one simple reason, people are visual learners. Our brains consume visual content as quickly as possible. 90% of the information sent to our minds is visual, and we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

While social media plays a significant role in the current digital marketing world, the number of worldwide social media users will reach 2.95 billion or one-third of the global population.

And with the use of social media marketing, capturing the audience’s attention make it seem more difficult. Due to the fact of being an option or an add-on to social media marketing strategies, crafting eye-catching visual has become a must-have for social media marketers.

Before we get into how, let’s first go into the what.

Importance of visual content in social media

Today, social media plays a big role in the current digital marketing world. According to Statista, the number of worldwide social media users will reach 2.95 billion or around one-thirds of the world’s total population. With the rise of social media, more and more marketers use it for their brands and businesses. This makes capturing the audience’ attention harder. For this reason, from being an option or an add-on to social media marketing strategies, crafting eye-catching visual has become a must-have for social media marketers.

What makes visual content “better”?

Better visuals can have the capability for effective visual storytelling that can reach the target audience at a deeper level that is hard for text content to reach. As the famous saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and the same should go with your visual content. Whether it makes your audience laugh or cry, it should be able to connect to your audience.

In his book “Designing for Emotion,” Aaron Walter explained that emotion creates “an experience for users that makes them feel like there’s a person, not a machine, at the other end of the connection.” This would result to a stronger relationship with your audience and will result in higher engagement for your content.

You may already have the eye for or the skill to make visually-appealing graphics, but stepping it up to drive your brand’s growth is another story. So how do you make sure that your visual content falls into the “better” category instead of going to the mounting pile of usual, ordinary content?

Here are some practices that I have learned throughout my experience being a visual person in the digital marketing space.

Be consistent with your brand

First, make sure your visual content is in line with your brand. You can start with determining your brand’s defining element, may it be colors, fonts, and style of imagery. One great example of this is how Poten-Cee Gummies uses the color orange across its social media pages.

Be consistent with your brand
Some of Poten-cee Gummies’ sample social media posts shows the effective use of visual elements.
Photo taken from Poten-Cee Gummies’ Facebook Page

The consistent usage of certain elements like the color orange and sketchy illustrations made for a pleasing display of imagery when viewed in sequence. This tactic could also lead a brand’s target audience to recognize the brand when they see these elements because of the association that formed in their mind.

Another thing is to make sure that the overall feel of your visuals evoke the same emotions and core of the brand. Take a look at Alta Vista de Boracay’s social media pages. Alta Vista has always been about travel, adventure, and finding peace and serenity in a vacation like no other. Scrolling across their social media feed, whether you are someone in dire need of a break or someone who just loves hitting the beach for the sake of Instagram posts, you just couldn’t help but crave for that “worry-free” escape the brand promises.

Be consistent with your brand
Some of Alta Vista de Boracay’s social media posts are supported by fonts, color, and graphic style that suggest travel and adventure.
Photo taken from Alta Vista de Boracay’s Facebook Page

Follow the rules, then use it to your advantage

Most social media sites have their standards when it comes to visual content. Take Twitter’s inline images for instance. The default viewable portion of an inline image is 440 pixels wide by 220 pixels tall. Images outside this 2:1 ratio will risk getting cropped at inopportune places.

Be consistent with your brand
A sample post with the visual unexpectedly cropped at an unwanted frame because it did not meet the size requirement.
Photo by Propelrr

These rules make sure that your visual content delivers the message across at first glance, and can be viewed across different devices. Make sure you follow these standards for better viewability and audience consumption.

However, these rules shouldn’t be seen as limitations. As a matter of fact, it can be an opportunity for you to create visual content that stands out. An example of this is the recent trend on Facebook where you have to tap/click on the photo to reveal a seemingly complete image with an entirely new/enhanced meaning. This makes your content more engaging and may lead to more likes and shares.

A social media post from Revite showing a sample of “tap-to-reveal” content. Photo from Revite’s Facebook Page.

Create engaging content

Visuals are there to help your audience understand your content better. Make sure you create visuals that are relevant and seamlessly connected to your caption and helps it more understandable for your audience.

Create engaging content
Some of Poten-cee Gummies’ sample social media posts show the effective use of visual elements.
Photo taken from Poten-Cee Gummies’ Facebook Page

Here’s some examples from Poten-Cee Gummies’ social media pages. Even with one-liners and simple pictures, you can see that both the captions and the visuals complement and support each other and make the post/tweet work and serve its purpose.

Allow your audience to help you with your content

When it comes to building the trust of your audience and developing brand identity, nothing beats real stories from real people who have consumed your product/service. According to a recent study by Olapic, 53% of millennials say user-generated content influences their product purchases. By leveraging on user-generated content, you get more credibility and extended reach because of the feeling of authenticity it creates.

One brand that does this greatly is BMW. By using the hashtag #BMWRepost, BMW was able to encourage their proud and loyal customers to humbly brag about their sexy vehicles.

Allow your audience to help you with your content
BMW’s Instagram page features photos from its users.
Photo from BMW’s Instagram Page

Letting your customers share about their experience helps suggest customer satisfaction and makes others want your product.

Let data drive your visual content

In Propelrr, we’ve always been data driven. Data could give you more insights than what you might imagine to help you create highly engaging and shareable visual content. Data could help you make decisions like what type of visual is more effective. Is it a video, a still image or a link?

Let data drive your visual content
Facebook’s data showing which content format performs best in terms of reach and engagement
Photo from Facebook

For this example, we can clearly see that videos and photos are the type of posts with the most engagement and reach.

Let data drive your visual content
Facebook’s data showing which specific post performs best in terms of reach and engagement
Photo from Facebook

You could also see what post performed best. With this information, you’ll know what topics your audience is more interested in.

Aside from helping you on your content decisions, your data can give you a grasp of who your audience is and what topic they like most. By constantly churning out visual content fueled by meaningful data, you are sure to hit your strategic goals.

Captivate Audience with Stories

Boost your social media presence by incorporating stories that speak about your brand and calling it uniquely yours. A touch of videos, images, gifs can go a long way. These targeted audiences are more engaged when they can resonate to the brand’s ideals. Jollibee is an excellent example with its Kwentong Jollibee campaign series of 2019, #HaveFaithInLove. It premiered heartwarming videos that broke the Internet, with their short film“Choice,” it has been viewed by over 5 million social media users on YouTube.

Captivate Audience with Stories
Facebook’s data showing how utilizing stories helps the brand’s engagement.
Photo from Jollibee’s Facebook Page.

With these types of visuals, it will surely help your brand grow into the hearts and minds of the netizens.

Flavor it with Humor

As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Adding humor can give life to a brand. But fun visual content experiences are even better. Always consider your market when creating content. Humor should be used sparingly while it can make or break your brand. Take Palawan Pawnshop as an example. The facebook video below garnered more than 400,000 views. It utilizes lighthearted comedy for a difficult subject like finance.

Flavor it with Humor
Facebook’s data showing the specific post perform by adding comedy and visuals into the content.
Photo from Palawan Pawnshop - Palawan Express Pera Padala’s Facebook Page.

Utilize humor for your next brands’ visual content and see your impressions soar up on the Internet.

Check-off goals with your Visuals

Creating visuals isn’t just for the sake of making them. Using visuals can help your business too. What is it that you want to target? Expand market reach? Hitting better sales target? Create a workflow that can help pinpoint those objectives to make sure it connects with your marketing strategy.

And that’s it! Just keep these tips in mind, and your audience will keep coming back to get a glimpse of your visual content.

And that’s it! Just keep these tips in mind, and your audience will keep coming back to get a glimpse of your visual content.

If you want to create stunning visual content for social media, then why not send us an email? We’re a digital marketing company in the Philippines that can provide you data-driven, creative, and strategic content that can help your business be ahead of the digital game.

Ready to drive digital differently? Feel free to message us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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The Factory Phnom Penh No 1159,
National Road No.2, Chak Angre Leu,
Mean Chey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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