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In this post, I'm going to take one skill from the list I curated in my article 'The Ultimate Guide to becoming a great Social Media Manager' and demonstrate to you exactly why it is essential for a Social Media Manager - that skill is graphic design.
So, let's start with an example. From a social marketing point of view, how effective do you think this Facebook post is?
You might think it's not too bad. You might think it's terrible. You may also be thinking about a similar post that you shared and how this compares to it. But the answer I'm looking for is – it could be improved...
You will probably never create 'the perfect post'. That's just the way it is. Companies spend thousands on trying to create viral campaigns. Some of course succeed, but they are never perfect.
So how do we improve this post? Let's try using our graphic design skills to improve three specific things:
A strategy I like to use with Facebook marketing is to replace posts that are only text-based and use images to deliver the message. This automatically improves 1. on our list because images hold more weight than text with EdgeRank.
Here is the improved post which I came up with in about 10 minutes.
I won't bore you with any design tutorials because as I mentioned, I'm not a graphic designer. I'm also sure you could find quality resources online if you wanted (I've even gone ahead and found a good starting point for you to improve your graphic design skills in 55 free lessons). The focus of this article is on implementing basic graphic design skills to enhance your social media campaigns.
Can you see how the second example post I provided would improve our other two factors of 2. engagement and 3. virality? Let me quickly explain the theory behind it...
Firstly, people don't like to read long text posts. It's not a very scientific statement, but it's true. Images grab attention much quicker and convey messages in a matter or seconds. Text-based messages usually involve the user having to read through the entire message before they understand the call to action.
This leads nicely on to the second point of increasing virality by replacing text with images. Users are able to feel and experience the emotions of an image, whereas it's much harder to communicate something and gain emotional attachment using words. Emotion drives user-generated content and opinion. This is crucial. Take a second to reread this paragraph.
What will be the actual change in performance? Here's a nice graph to highlight the engagement difference between different types of Facebook posts:
(Data courtesy of Tracksocial)
As you can see, the difference in performance is large. And all you need to do is have at least some knowledge in graphic design and a little creativity. This can be translated into many wider aspects of your social marketing, rather than just concentrating on Facebook.
Note, I'm not a Graphic Designer. My graphic design skills are somewhat limited, but in my view, the important thing is that I know the basics. It's also important to note that I know how to implement my somewhat limited graphic design skills in order to improve social media campaigns.
Which platforms do you think social campaigns could be improved upon by implementing some graphic design knowledge?
I'll give you a clue... it's a trick question.
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