Historically, much of public relations has orbited around written word. PR professionals are used to churning out hundreds to thousands of words every day through crafting press releases, social media posts, blogs, pitches, emails, newsletters, case studies – you get the point. But as the world’s digital footprint grows, the ways in which we consume information changes. And it’s no secret that in a world dominated by media, words are getting buried under flashy images and videos of cute puppies.
According to SocialPilot, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than any other media type, and tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks than those that forego images. So what should you do if you have information to share without a natural photo opp? Before you hit up a royalty-free stock photo site, consider creating your own graphic.
I know what you’re thinking: You don’t have a single ounce of graphic design knowledge in your brain. But designing eye-grabbing graphics to share on social media isn’t something that’s limited to designers with the highest-grade software on the market. Follow the tips below and you’ll be on your way to conjuring up bold and shareable graphics that would make any designer proud!
It’s no secret that in a world dominated by media, words are getting buried under flashy images and videos of cute puppies.
Choosing a format
Before making it to the drawing board, you’ll need to decide what kind of graphic will best suit your needs. Do you have numbers or statistics that might be best shown through a chart? Maybe you want to explain your sales cycle to your customers through an infographic. Or, maybe you have a blog post you want to share and just need some sort of visual to go with it.
Try simply putting the title of your blog over an eye-grabbing image, or combining premade icons with text and a colorful background. Use drag-and-drop templates from free sites like Venngage, Canva or Adobe Spark to speed up the process. Surprisingly, even arranging content on a PowerPoint slide and saving it as an image can make for a quick and appealing visual. On social channels that are already busy with images, sometimes simplicity is a good thing!
If you want your audience to retain the information you’re sharing, try to limit your graphic to one key point. Instead of creating one long infographic that shares all of the results of a recent employee survey, break it up into several graphics that each contain one result and can be shared over the course of a few weeks. You can play around with making keywords a focus of the visual, but don’t make it too text-heavy. Try pasting it into a Word document with several other images and scrolling past it to see if it catches your attention.
As with anything on social media, graphics should be able to display their main point with a quick glance. Anything that takes longer than five seconds to read or understand will most likely be ignored.
Spicing it up
Use bold and eccentric color combinations to naturally catch your audience’s eye. Try adding animation to your images to draw attention. There are plenty of free apps that can help you do this in seconds, such as Legend, which lets users animate text over a still photo. Try changing the size, speed and direction of moving text to see what might make it more noticeable.
Creating simple graphics is a great way for PR professionals to add flavor to their written materials, and avoiding the same go-to stock photos that you see on just about every social media page will help show your audience that you truly care about the content you’re sharing.
What tips would you share with non-designers? Let us know in the comments below!