Social Design Strategy

I’m a bit of a hybrid at work right now and really like it that way. I am currently working as a senior digital marketing strategist but something else that’s part of my day-to-day job function is creating “social cards”. Social cards are what we call image based photos that we use on client’s social platforms that we manage. I do these on a monthly basis for our social media team. I’ve been doing some research around better engagement on certain platforms and figured I’d share my notes.

“Content with relevant images gets 94% more views.” This fact alone should be reason enough for you invest time on your social design strategy. “If there’s a splash of color in your content, people are 80% more willing to read it”. Color goes a long way when dealing with any content on the internet but when we are talking about social media content, remember that color can change the tone of the post, can draw the eye in differently to the post and target your user to that section on your (or your businesses) profile.

Facebook storytelling strategy is different than Twitter. The same thing can be said about any of the social platforms. The content strategy for social should be cohesive on all platforms however certain rules apply to each platform respectfully.

Social Bakers did a study over the course of 2015 about engagement metrics on Facebook as well as Twitter and some of the information they found was outstanding so I figured, I MUST share it.

  • Facebook engagement:
    • 87% of the posts with photo got engagement
    • 4% with links
    • 4% photo albums
    • 3% with videos
    • 2% content status only
  • Twitter – Tweets with images received:
    • 18% more clickthroughs
    • 89% more favorites
    • 150% more retweets

Another thing that Social Bakers found was that when it comes to Linkedin, a post that included an image results in a 98% higher comment rate.

These metric are proof of the point I’m trying to convey. Photo based content on social should be a huge part of your strategy. Without it, you could be missing out on engagement and connections. Some ideas for social design content include:

  • Above view with images laid out flat
  • Clean backgrounds with objects sitting on the space
  • Objects. Objects! But if you choose to use photos of people, authentic photos go a long way. Try to avoid sterile stock images that look staged or awkward because users on Facebook and Instagram are specifically looking for relatable content.
  • Infographics are a beautiful thing! Use them carefully but when you do it right, they look great and get a ton of engagement.

There are three outlying principles of Social Design to consider when you are working on your image: Identity, Conversation and Community.

  • Identity– Is your brand being represented? Is your post tailored to your brand?
  • Conversation- Is your post something that people will feel drawn to engage with? Is it controversial or even asking a question? Did you create a space for dialog with your post?
  • Community– Does it send the right message to your followers? Is it targeted to your community visually and verbally?

These key principles are something to keep in the back of your mind when you are doing any social card work.

As I mentioned before, each platform has some different rules and restrictions. When it comes to image sizes on each platform Sprout Social has a spreadsheet that they update with all the current sizes. You can check that out here. Compelling social design strategy goes a long way. Know your audience. Know your brand’s voice and then run with it.


Party on. Ambushed.

*I watched a Webinar presented by recently and a lot of the information on this webinar was spot on with some of the information or facts I’ve been looking for. (Link below to the free webinar) Most of the facts I’ll be listing are from that resource. *



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