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There are many kinds of content that can be shared on social media, from blog posts and case studies, to photographs of the products you sell.
The general rule for sharing content online is 80/20. This means that 20% of what you share should be direct selling of your product or services, while the other 80% is meant to be content that will interest, inform and engage your audience. This 80% can be blog posts from other sites, news articles that pertain to your brand values and other content from relevant sources.
Included in this 80% are the kinds of posts that will help your brand create a community and stay relevant. You can share quotes, ask questions, show comparisons or give tips. These are a few ideas that will make your followers stop scrolling and want to engage with you. This type of content needs to be shareable, and that is why it also needs to be branded. As your engaging content makes the rounds on social media, so does your logo and your brand, improving brand awareness.
Here is a handy infographic we created to sum up all the social media campaign ideas in this post. Or you can click here to skip ahead to read a detailed explanation of each content type:
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A branded social media graphic is a visual created specifically to share on social media which follows your brand’s visual style guidelines. The most common branded graphic is the blog post title graphic. This is the one used as a featured image inside your blog and therefore as the image that appears on social media when said blog post is shared. For this article, we will leave those aside and concentrate on all the other types of branded graphics that you can make for your brand.
No matter what type of content is used for the graphic, it needs to have your brand essentials. These include your color scheme, logo, fonts and general branding shapes. It’s very important that these graphics represent your brand. Not only in the message they relay but also in the way they look. Having a brand style guide will help your team create these graphics faster and easier.
When creating any kind of branded social media graphic, especially ones meant to make followers stop and engage, you have to make sure the message also meets your brand standards.
Read this article to learn how to create your brand style guide. It is a good idea to also add a section in your brand style guide about how to word content and which terms should be avoided. Include suggestions of how to form sentences and what tone to give the overall message. By having this clause included in your guide, it is easier to prevent any social media fails through bad wording or unintended offenses.
If you use Visme to create your graphics, you can use the brand kit to keep things organized for your team.
There are so many possibilities of what you can create for that important 80% of social media content! Here is a list of ideas we will look at in detail below. Of all the types of content listed, remember that they can be created as static images, videos, GIFs or presentations. After describing each type of content, we will look at where to best share them.
Are you already creating some of these? Do any of them grab your attention? Try one or two of these and see how your followers react.
When creating these graphics, look back at our guide on how to pair text with images for some practical tips.
This is an example of a branded tip post with illustrations that can be posted on Instagram or Facebook.
Using quotes is a great way to get a brand message across without being pushy. By using someone else’s words about something that pertains to your brand values, it gives the concept or idea an added amount of relevance. There are hundreds of resources online where you can find good quotes. They can be searched according to topic, making things even easier.
Try and use quotes that are not too long and that haven’t been overused. Always include the author of the quote! Also, if the name of the person who said the quote is well-known, it will help to attract more attention online.
Using a quote by a professional in your niche is a great choice. If your followers feel a connection to the quote and the graphic, they will share it, which is one of the goals of posting this type of content.
A great way to engage your followers is to ask a question. Remember to stay in the realm of your brand and what it represents. Don’t steer away from your values by asking something that your audience won't relate to.
Great questions to ask are the ones that will make your followers think for a second and want to answer. Try tying in current events, pop culture or trends within your niche topic. For example, if you own a company that organizes events, ask your followers a question like, “Do you love or hate theme parties?”
Another idea for question posts is to use an “answer with a GIF” prompt. These are pretty popular on Facebook, especially among bloggers.
Similar to a question post, a fill-in-the-blanks post prompts the reader to react and answer. These types of posts can be used simply to engage your followers or as a kind of competition. If they fill in the blank correctly, they could win a prize.
Giving practical tips on how to use your products or about something in real life that pertains to your brand are great ways to grab people’s attention. Try using photography or illustrations to make these graphics visually appealing. Make sure the tip you are giving actually works! When sharing a tip graphic, ask readers if they have any tips of their own about the same topic.
Topics work great as series, but more about that in the next section.
This type of graphic can be a comparison of two things that are part of your brand or a comparison of your brand to another. It can even be a comparison of something conceptual like a feeling or idea.
Common comparison graphics on social media are “expectation/reality” posts. They are mostly about baking but can be about anything really. Another type of comparison is a “before-and-after” post about any kind of process. A comparison graphic could even be a Venn Diagram.
Static and animated graphics that explain how to do something are some of the most popular types of content on social media. From recipes and crafts to complicated concepts explained simply, how-to instructions are a great way to teach something new to your followers.
Videos are the most common type of content when it comes to how-to instructions. Tech Insider, for example, has an entire YouTube Channel of videos of all kinds. There is a section called “Explainers” with lots of how-to videos. And yes, all their videos are branded.
How-to instructions can easily be turned into infographics or slideshows. This infographic gives step-by-step instructions on how to brand your email.
Sharing photos of your team and what happens in the office is a great way to connect with your customers and followers. Letting them have a look inside their beloved brand will make them feel closer to you and give them a sense of familiarity. Branding these photos can be done by adding a frame, watermark, a logo or even a little banner with some text.
You can also get creative with some speech bubbles. Another way of branding a behind-the-scenes photo is to include the logo or name of the company that is up on the wall.
GIF marketing is not a new concept but it’s one that can still be tapped into. Creating your own branded GIFs can be a great way of adding a bit of entertainment to your social media feeds. A GIF can be one of all the other types of content we mentioned previously. A GIF can be a quote writing itself as an animation, or a tip post that shows different sections one after the other. Comparisons can also be turned into GIFs for a more interesting approach.
Read our article about GIF marketing to find out more about how to use GIFs in your social media campaign ideas.
Apart from marketing and humorous GIFs, there are also data GIFs. The purpose of data GIFs is to show data in an innovative way. It can display a change or progress, or it can be about how something influences an outcome. Creating a branded data GIF is much like creating any kind of GIF, just that the information is a bit more formal and informative.
Lena Groeger put together a collection of data GIFs and displayed them on her website. They are all great examples of well-made data GIFs.
There are infographics and then there are mini-content infographics. This style of graphic is an infographic but with a minimal amount of information displayed. These can be displayed either as pieces of a larger infographic or standalone graphics.
Graphics with statistics are perfect for brands and non-profits that can use numbers to get a point across. Smaller brands can also use statistics graphics if they need to show change or growth.
A great way to attract more attention to your social media content is to create a series or theme to unify a set of posts. By doing this, you can create a bit of hype for the next post, therefore creating momentum for your content. After creating and posting these collections, they can be turned into a blog post, or an entirely new page on your site, or even a downloadable PDF.
Life Hacks created a collection of 1000 life hacks and designed a graphic for every single one. This is easily the largest series of tips on social media.
Now that we have looked at some options in terms of what kind of social media graphics you can create, let’s do a quick step-by-step on how to actually make them. We will concentrate on the steps that need to be taken for any kind of graphic, be it static or video or anything else. The type of graphic you create can all follow these basic steps.
What are you new graphics for? To inspire, to question, to engage? Define the purpose of your graphic by asking yourself what you need most out of your content. If you are looking to inspire, use quotes and tips. If you want to engage, then ask questions and create fill-in-the-blanks prompts.
Once you know what you want your graphic to do, pick a relevant topic for it. Always stay on brand or as close to it as possible with the topic. You might even go a little off-topic as long as it relates directly to yours. If you sell kids’ toys, choosing a topic related to mom’s tiredness is okay, but choosing a topic about running a business is not (unless it’s about a mom running a business with kids in the house). Always think of your clients first!
Before you start designing, organize your assets. Search for quotes or ideas for questions. Look for hashtags on social media that are relevant to your brand and see what other people are sharing. Take some notes and sketch a few ideas. Have your images or illustrations handy in a special folder. Remember that you can also create a series.
Now that you are ready to start designing your branded social media graphic, brush up on your skills at adding text to images with our special guide. Use your text, quote, question or tip and pair it with the right kind of background or image. If you are doubting your design skills, just use a template! Don’t forget to stay on brand.
Before the graphic leaves your computer, double check for typos and proofread all the text. Depending on the style of branded graphic you just created, start sharing it on social media. In the next section, we will go through all the possibilities and what social media channel fits each style of graphic best.
The most obvious places to share your new graphics are Facebook Pages, Instagram Feeds, Twitter and Pinterest. But we can’t forget about Facebook and Instagram Stories or even Facebook chatbots.
On Instagram, you can share the classic square shaped graphics, either as a static image or a GIF in video format. But the part of Instagram that is really making waves is Instagram stories. You can create branded social media graphics for Instagram Stories just like you would for any other social media channel.
The perfect size for an Instagram Story graphic is 1080 x 1920. Stories can be grouped into Highlights now so that they don’t disappear like they used to. Using themes for Highlights will keep a unified look to them. Consider creating a branded cover for your Highlights as well.
A good thing about Instagram stories is that your brand name shows up on the top left corner so when you post behind-the-scenes photos, it’s not really necessary to include a logo or watermark. For a branded graphic, though, it's best to stay on brand.
Branded social media graphics can be used on Facebook in lots of different ways. They can be used as general posts on profiles and pages, but you can also use them as headers, ads (following the Facebook ad guidelines), Stories and inside Facebook messenger bot messages.
Posting on Twitter is easy when you can automatically send a tweet from Instagram and even from Facebook. Instagram is good for all sorts of branded posts, graphics, GIFs and videos. Posting regularly on Twitter is good practice. You never know who will find you via a tweet.
— Branded3 (@Branded_3) March 20, 2018
Posting branded content on Pinterest usually means infographics. Since Pinterest is mostly a vertical visual channel, just make sure the graphic you are creating for Pinterest follows that shape.
Posting on LinkedIn is important if you are an entrepreneur or freelancer. Getting your content seen on LinkedIn will improve your professional status and might land you a new job opportunity. The best formats for LinkedIn are square or rectangular shaped and very to the point.
Photos, GIFs and videos are what most people use as part of their social media campaigns. Nonetheless, with the growth in popularity of Stories and Live Video, there are plenty of other ways you can brand your online content.
Facebook live can be branded with an overlay of your logo and a decorative frame. Any user with a Facebook Page can create a Facebook camera frame for photos, stories and live video. All you need to do is use the Frame Studio provided by Facebook. Thing is, that once you use your frame on a photo or a live video, it will become available for anyone to use on Facebook messenger and profile photos.
In terms of marketing and brand awareness, this is still quite new and brands are just getting into it. If you don’t want people using your logo in their photo or live video, then this might not be the best approach for your brand. If on the other hand you are a recognizable brand like the artist Murakami, then having your frames available to everyone is a good thing.
What innovative social media campaign ideas have you thought of lately? Do you always make sure that whatever you share is branded and can be traced back to you? Tell us what you think in the comments below.