5 things I have learnt while designing graphics for social media at WeGroup…
Working in an early stage startup can be hectic. Ideas and strategies shift dynamically and it all seems like a crazy rollercoaster ride at times. Good news is that it allows you to experiment, find your own solutions to problems and therefore learn. It’s an environment that favours Benjamin Franklin’s advice:
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Huge part of my responsibilities short after joining WeGroup had to do with social media content. Few months, one strategy shift and a couple of new team members later my daily routine evolved, but those first few months of juggling responsibilities of content strategist, marketing expert and graphic designer have taught me a few valuable lessons.
1. Understand your target group
Who might be potentially interested in the product you advertise and the content you share?
How old are they?
Where do they live?
When do they have time to check their social media?
It is common amongst marketing specialists to keep these kind of questions in mind, but as a designer I also found it essential and helpful. Your potential customer is a young, working adult who most likely will scroll through social media on their phone? Design something vibrant, light and mobile-friendly. Are you targeting entrepreneurs? Keep it clean, modern and professional.
This advice is not exactly a revelation, but a few times I caught myself focusing on a beautiful design or witty idea behind it and forgetting who I am designing for. Understanding the purpose of a project can have a powerful impact on your graphics and gathering information about your target group will allow you to respond to their needs and preferences better.
2. Test your assumptions
Even when you think you know what your audience likes, don’t stop there. Go one step further and test it.
I love incorporating illustrations in my designs when possible. Custom-made drawings provide freedom to show whatever you want and they can add a vibrant twist to your fanpage. For those reasons a lot of graphical content I produced so far for WeGroup’s social media was based on vector graphics. Few months ago we decided however, to test a campaign based on photographs and we’ve learnt that our target group responds very well to pictures. Always test your options and keep the results in mind while planning new content!
3. Get the technical details right
Even the best creative idea or the most interesting message won’t get through if you don’t get the technical details right.
Always pay attention to the basics like colour mode, resolution and size. To make sure that the sizes of your graphics are aligned with the current guidelines of the platform you are going to use, I recommend checking Canva’s guide.
4. Invest your time wisely
Learn to estimate your ideas based on the ratio of time necessary to carry them out and possible gain. Every now and then it makes sense to take some time to design an illustration, that will be the badge of a new campaign or a part of your branding. Some features of social media platforms however, are meant to be temporary and you should keep that in mind in order to stay efficient.
5. Understand why you failed and start again wiser
Sometimes despite your best efforts a design or a campaign will turn out to be a failure and that’s fine as long as you’ll spend some time on understanding why.
Were the graphics interesting and engaging?
Were they clear?
Would you stop for a minute if you would see something like that on your wall?
Once again try to imagine you’re the audience and gather feedback from your colleagues or friends. Be honest with yourself about the corrections that you could implement in the design and write down your thoughts. Future will provide a lot of opportunities to test your new, improved ideas.
Below you can find examples of graphical posts, that got the most organic reach on WeGroup’s Facebook page. For each image I included a short comment on why I think it was successful.
It’s a match! — announcing the launch of WeGroup Poland
Brief: To create simple graphic announcing international expansion of WeGroup. Scheduled for Valentine’s Day.
Idea: Make the graphic look like a dating app notification.
Why it worked: Valentine’s Day is a good moment to share humorous, dating-related content. Furthermore opening an office in Poland was and important milestone in WeGroup’s growth and therefore the announcement was interesting for our audience.
Last Supper — team picture for World Art Day
Brief: A post for World Art Day.
Idea: To reproduce a famous art piece and show off some team spirit.
Why it worked: Quite a few team members were involved in the making of the picture and as a result it was shared by some of them and noticed by their friends and followers. Additionally a creative team picture was probably engaging for people potentially interested in working at WeGroup.
WeGroup’s first birthday — short infographics
Brief: To prepare a post summarising 1st year of WeGroup’s activity as a part of an integrated birthday campaign.
Idea: To create a set of infographics with fun statistics.
Why it worked: The birthday motive was visible on WeGroup’s social media for one week around the 1st birthday, which gave our audience an opportunity to acknowledge that. Furthermore, infographic is a powerful content marketing tool and including some numbers and facts in it, speaks to the imagination of your audience and makes them more involved.
I definitely know more about design for marketing and social media than I did a year ago, but at the same time I believe that there is always room for improvement. At fairly senior age of 87 Michelangelo said:
I am still learning.
Considering the recognition and popularity he acquired by then, the humbleness of those words is stunning and inspiring. For me his mindset provides memorable lesson: always strive for development and approach everyday like it is a fresh and exciting start.