Tips for Creating Engaging Visuals for Social Media: Types, Design Principles, Thumbnails, Texts, Image Sizes, and Optimization

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Studies indicate that posts with eye-catching visuals have a better engagement than those without. One study noted that posts with visuals on Linkedin had 98% more engagement, while tweets with images received three times more engagement than those without. 

Therefore, you should include beautiful visuals to improve your posts’ engagement. In this article, we will guide you on how to create engaging visuals for social media.

Types of Visual Content

When discussing visuals, most people often assume that it’s about images. However, on top of images, visuals can include other elements, such as:

  • Video
  • Infographics
  • Memes
  • Carousal posts(with several videos or images)
  • GIFs
  • Illustrations

Tips on Creating Engaging Visuals on Social Media

If you want to see a rise in social media engagement, use these tips to create your visuals:

Understand the Basic Principles of Graphics Design

Graphic designers will tell you that some basic rules make visuals more engaging and outstanding. These include:

  • To make your visuals less cluttered, include enough white space. This will draw an audience to the image rather than away from it.
  • Choose the correct font, weight, and text spacing on your image to improve readability.
  • Use brand colors. Ensure that the colors complement your brand’s colors. However, you should also use complementary colors as they create rhythm. Once you pick your color palette, stick to it so that your followers can immediately recognize your brand immediately they see an image.

Use a Catchy Thumbnail

The thumbnail is your first chance to appeal to your audience to click on your video. It’s, therefore, your opportunity to appeal to your audience in a minute or so. Whether you are posting Facebook videos, Instagram reels, or TikTok videos, you should manually choose your thumbnail. Use the most catchy image and the most appealing language.

Include Texts in Visuals

If you check the cover of magazines such as Vogue, you will see how good they are at incorporating text in images. The goal is to promote the story using the most amazing visuals. Combining the two elements highlights the story while making it more shareable. However, you should avoid using a lot of text to the point where you overwhelm the image. When adding text to an image, less is more.

Use the Right Image Size

You can have compelling visuals, but you will water down all your efforts if the image size is wrong. The wrong image will raise the need to crop your images or stretch them out, affecting their clarity. Therefore, use the right image size prescribed for each social media site regardless of the platform. 

The optimal width size for Facebook posts is 720 pixels, 960 pixels, or 2048 pixels, while the height is flexible. The recommended image size of Twitter posts is 1600 by 900 pixels. While posting on Linkedin, you should use an image size of 1200 x 628 pixels. Finally, the recommended Instagram image sizes are as follows:

  • Instagram posts: 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Profil photo:360×360
  • Instagram portrait:1080×1360
  • Landscaper photo:1080×566

However, as you can see above, the image size will also depend on how you want to use it. For instance,  a Facebook reel image will be of a different size to a cover photo.

Use High-Quality Images

This may sound obvious, but you may be surprised by the many brands that post blurry infographics and out-of-focus photos. The quality of photos will impact how people perceive your brand. 

If you can’t create high-quality images, you should find stock photos to use for your brand. However, you should also be careful not to infringe on copyrights when using other people’s images.

Optimize Your Images For Search Engines

 Just as you do with your website or blog, ensure that your images are well-optimized for search engines. Here are tips on how to optimize your images for search engines.

  • Use the target keyword on the file name
  • Optimize your alt tags
  • Use keywords in caption
  • Use hashtags with relevant keywords.

By using the above tips, you will rank your images well on social media.

In Conclusion

Using engaging visuals will draw your audience’s attention and increase engagement in your posts. High-quality visuals will show your brand’s story in a few words. They will also make it easier for your audience to consume your content.

When you draw the audience’s attention, they will notice your brand, increasing the chances of converting them. By following the above tips, you can have images that social media users and the algorithm will notice.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.