As another year of the pandemic rolls over for businesses, having a digital footprint has become more indispensable than ever. While there’s a variety of social media platforms to engage on, these spaces are highly competitive and are constantly flooded with endless streams of content. Where small businesses can stand out with the best first impression amidst the noise, is through effective and informative design. 

Vista Australia has found in a survey with small business owners that although they have to wear multiple hats, regularly fulfilling up to five job roles; design and branding is often not part of their skillset. Mastering different kinds of social media graphics has become an essential learning journey to attract new audiences and boost brand credibility. 

Here are some golden rules for small business owners to keep in mind to create eye-catching social media design.

Make the most out of each platform

Social media is highly visual and with so many platforms audiences are now using, each network can serve a key purpose in your overall marketing strategy. To really engage with your target demographic, a sound understanding of each platform will help inform a social media strategy, keeping your business top of mind and recognisable amidst the boundless scrolling habits of consumers.

Depending on your marketing strategy and aims, each social media platform can help you achieve certain goals and present different ways to engage audiences. For example:

  • Facebook – The algorithm tends to favour videos as well as informative links, so for sharing blog posts, Facebook is your go-to. 
  • Instagram – Undoubtedly the most visual platform, aesthetic and aspirational imagery does very well on Instagram. Stories and Reels are also becoming a great way to increase audience engagement.
  • TikTok – Great for dynamic short form videos and presenting bite sized information like behind the scenes snapshots. TikTok is also highly dependent on trends, so keep an eye out to jump on trending sounds or videos and adapt them to your brand.
  • YouTube – A staple for how-to’s, tutorials, unboxings, interviews or in depth behind the scenes content, YouTube is your go-to for long form videos.

Roadmap and plan ahead

We all know content is king on social media, but it’s also important to map out how you plan on presenting it to your audience. While you may have great assets to share, flooding consumers with similar content gets repetitive and doesn’t show much brand personality. Think of your business values and consider sharing a range of posts that fosters awareness, builds the brand narrative and consumer loyalty. Define different pillars that represent your business and plan ahead with a content calendar to spread out key messages and similar assets.

Create memorable and engaging content

When consumers recognise your brand just from an image shared, that’s when you know you’ve built a strong social media and content strategy. To achieve this, there are simple things you can do to keep your feed exciting and fresh. Sticking to a style guide really helps to visually define your brand as consistency is key – think colour palettes, typography, design and more. Integrate a range of lifestyle, product or in situ images that fit into your established pillars, or change it up with GIFs and videos to bring some new energy and variety to your feed. The biggest rule to follow though, is to avoid splashing your logo in the corner of every image. You want consumers to recognise your brand without needing to see that logo!

Have the right design tools for the right job

Having to balance all the urgent needs of a business can be time consuming, so why not take design off your plate? Different industries have different needs and the accompanying aesthetics to match, so VistaCreate is designed to help any business elevate their content strategy and tackle design challenges with ease. You can play to your strengths with social media templates curated to specific needs and you’ll look like a pro graphic designer by the end of it. Design doesn’t have to be too complicated or intimidating, you just need to choose the right tool for the job.

Bhavani Lee is art director at Vista Australia