The Importance of Visual Branding in Social Media

13th July 2015

Did you know that, according to a study by Socialbakers, images on Facebook constitute 93% of the most engaging posts compared with status updates, links, and even video?


That may not be great news to a copywriter, but the truth is that our brains are wired to be attracted by images far more than by words, which makes sense when you think that man has been looking at things for far longer than he’s been reading them… No surprise then that Snapchat and Pinterest are so popular, they’re a more natural medium.


This images-over-words raises some interesting questions, especially when recognising that the purpose of social media is as much to give a worded message as it is to please the eye. How then do we make our words as attractive as our images, how do we meld both of these to give the impression we want to convey… the answer? To use what’s available to us to best purpose, and the variables we’re going to look at is colour, the font we use, the layout and the images used.


It’s usually the colour of something that we see first. If the colour you use is instantly recognisable as being yours you have a head start, so consistency is vital. If you haven’t already got a corporate colour palette give this some thought before deciding anything. We’ve written about the mood message that different colours give before, red signifying excitement and passion for instance (think Virgin here), green, nature and healing, blue, trust and technology etc. What mood do you want your product or service or, more to the point, your brand to provoke or reflect… there’s your colour palette.


The choice of font tells a story. There’s more to this than just being easily legible, Times, for instance is quite formal, Handwriting-Dakota gives a more personal touch, Comic Sans is just that. Not that you’re stuck with the one font, but you should choose the one you think speaks most for your brand and then use others around it wisely to emphasise a point.


Images tell a story. Even truer than it is of fonts, the images you use set the mood and support your use of colour, font and layout. There are a number of excellent photo libraries that will save you the expense of your own photography, and a clever and constant use of colour filters can subtly change images to make them recognisably your own. Again, consistency is all, choose your look and stick with it!


Lastly layout. Consistency is again paramount. Every Bond film starts the same way, not because there’s a lack of originality, but because it goes with the brand, it’s what we’ve come to expect. Our social media communications need to be the same. Predictable in look but not in content. Hopefully this blog looks much the same as last time, hopefully you enjoyed that and have been open to reading this. Hopefully you recognised the layout immediately as being the same as last time and that, probably subliminally, lead you to reading it. An easy way to achieve a similar layout is to use a social media template. This will help you to keep your colours, fonts and images constant, so your brand is reflected throughout each communication.




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