In a world where the attention span of consumers is less than that of a gold fish, creating branding, social media posts, and promotions that catch the eye of your target audience is critical. Many businesses have quality content, but without a striking, relevant image attached to it, consumers are quick to scroll past. Images don’t just make people stop to see what you have to say, they create a visual memory. In fact, people remember 65% of information after three days when a relevant image is included with text. Additionally, Facebook posts that include an image receive triple the number of shares, while Twitter posts receive double the number of shares compared to posts without an image.

Now that you understand the importance of a visual campaign, the next step is to begin creating graphics and finding images that generate engagement while representing your brand and attracting your target audience. For many small businesses that can’t afford to hire a graphic designer, this can feel like a daunting task. Luckily, there are several easy and free tools you can use. Here’s a guide for how to create the best graphics for your social media posts:

Find the Right Tools

When your budget for graphic design is tight, take advantage of the plethora of free tools available. Some of the most popular online tools include:

  • Canva – provides templates for social media platforms.
  • Adobe Spark – creates simple but modern designs.
  • Pablo by Buffer – custom images that are quick and easy to create.
  • Desyner – able to design on a mobile device or computer.
  • Snappa – creates quick text designs.
  • Gravit Designer – more advanced graphic designing.

Use High Quality, High Resolution Images

For businesses that don’t have the time or resources to take and edit high quality photos, stock images come in handy. There are several sites that provide free, high resolution images you can use including:

  • Unsplash – photos from a community of photographers with no attribution required.
  • Pixabay – photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and more.
  • Pexels – personal and commercial use with no attribution required.
  • Burst – images for website and commercial use.

Mix Up Your Images

While striking photos can catch the eye of the consumer, you’ll want to shake things up and use a variety of graphics. These could include candid pictures of employees in the office or at an event, infographics, interactive graphics, giveaway posts featuring products, submissions from customers, or illustrations. As long as your visuals are relevant to your brand and the purpose of your post or campaign, you can experiment with a mix of images to keep things fresh and see what works best with your target audience.

Stay Consistent Across Platforms

When creating graphics for your posts and make sure you stay consistent across the channels you are using by incorporating your logo and branding appropriately to represent your business. The font and colors should be legible on the graphic and remain consistent, so consumers can easily recognize that it belongs to your brand.

A visual social campaign can help build brand awareness and identity, increase organic engagement, and make a lasting impression. With some free tools and a little creativity, any business can level up in the social media game.

Contact Union Leader for help creating an effective and visual social media marketing strategy.