When you work in social media, you can easily become wrapped up in the world of targeting, custom audiences, ROAS and tracking. All very strategic, but essential, elements of paid social media. However the beauty of social media marketing is that it is equal parts strategy and creativity. You can have the most targeted, expertly built campaigns, but if you don’t meet Facebook’s high quality standards and manage to capture your audience’s attention, unfortunately you are set to fail. This means, it’s time to step up your social media design skills.

It’s all about video

Every social media platform prefers video to still images for one very simple reason, it is the most engaging. Social media is all about what it says on the tin, being social. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, even newbies like TikTok, want you to stay on the platform, and the best way to get users to do that is if they are engaged. But that doesn’t mean to say that any old video will do. To get the best possible results out of your video it needs to be three things:

  1. Vertical
  2. Short (less than 15 seconds)
  3. Enjoyable without sound

The more quick transitions, the better. If you can create an eye catching vertical video that’s less than 15 seconds long and gets the point across without sound, you’re onto a winner. The premise behind this is simple – people have a very short attention span when they’re browsing on their phones.

When working in social media, it helps to have basic Adobe Premiere skills as a minimum. It will save you a lot of time when it comes to optimising videos for social media. If you have a videographer or content creator in your team, even better, but it’s still handy to have a couple of tricks up your own sleeve.

 

Invest in a design tool

As effective as video is for social media adverts, it’s not always available or applicable. The next best thing is incredible imagery. Depending on your brand this could mean brightly coloured photos showing ingredients, or informative graphics, or everything in between. One key thing is to invest in a good design tool. At Embryo, our social media team use Canva or Photoshop frequently. With Canva, it’s important to use the paid version, as it includes so many amazing design features, however you can start off on the free plan and work up.

Of course, design tools still require skill. Photoshop can be difficult for a novice to get their head around, but there are plenty of YouTube tutorials you can use to understand simple editing functions. Canva is more of a drag-and-drop platform, but it can still be tricky if you really lack design experience or inspiration.

If those tools don’t work for you and you don’t have an in house designer, try signing up for a service like Design Cloud, where you effectively hire a graphic designer to do the work for you. You get unlimited designs for a flat rate fee, so it can be really useful if you have a lot of ad creatives to design.

Stay on top of trends

The best thing that you can do when running social media adverts is to keep an eye on the ads that you are served. In the office we have a Slack channel for the best adverts that we get targeted with, so we can keep an eye on new trends, features or cool ways of using carousels that we hadn’t thought of before. It’s important to remember that there are always new features being released, so try not to get left behind in the social ad creative world.

Strategically Creative

With all things considered, it is important to not get sidetracked from the purpose of your advert. Stay relevant, be eye catching, and creative, but most importantly, be engaging. Be strategically creative.

 

Some of my favourite social media designs inspirations:

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