The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Social Media Graphics

Written by Lex

In today’s digital landscape, where attention spans are fleeting and competition for engagement is fierce, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audience, convey messages, and drive meaningful interactions.

However, designing effective social media graphics requires more than just aesthetic appeal—it demands a strategic approach that considers audience preferences, platform requirements, and design best practices.

In this quick guide, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of designing social media graphics to help you maximise your brand’s impact and drive engagement across various social platforms.

The Dos:

  • Understand Your Audience: Effective social media graphics start with a deep understanding of your target audience. Take the time to research and analyse your audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviours on social media platforms. Use this insight to tailor your graphics to resonate with your audience and align with their preferences. 
  • Maintain Consistency Across Platforms: Consistency is key to building brand recognition and trust on social media. Establish a cohesive visual identity by using consistent brand colours, fonts, and design elements across all your social media graphics. This ensures that your audience can easily identify your brand and distinguish it from competitors while scrolling.
  • Optimise for Each Platform: Each social media platform has its own set of image size requirements and display formats. To ensure that your graphics look their best on each platform, customise them to fit the dimensions and specifications of each platform. This may involve creating multiple versions of the same graphic optimised for different platforms.
  • Use High-Quality Images: High-quality images are essential for creating visually appealing social media posts. Invest in high-resolution photos or use free stock image websites such as UnSplash to ensure that your graphics are clear, crisp, and professional-looking. Avoid using low-quality or pixelated images, as they can detract from the overall quality of your graphics and appear untrustworthy.
  • Keep it Simple and Scannable: Social media users are often scrolling through their feeds quickly, so it’s important to make your graphics easy to understand at a glance. Keep your messaging concise and to the point, and use clear visuals and minimal text to convey your message quickly and effectively. Break up text into smaller chunks, use type hierarchy and bullet points or numbered lists to make your content more scannable.
  • Incorporate Brand Elements: Infuse your brand’s logo, colours, and visual identity into your graphics to reinforce brand recognition and strengthen your brand’s presence across platforms. Make sure that your brand elements are prominently featured in your graphics without overwhelming the overall design.
  • Add a Call-to-Action (CTA): Encourage user engagement and interaction by including a clear and compelling call-to-actions. Whether it’s inviting users to like, share, comment, or click through to your website, a well-crafted CTA can prompt desired actions from your audience and drive engagement.
  • Test and Iterate: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different design elements, formats, and messaging to see what resonates best with your audience. Monitor the performance of your social media graphics using analytics tools, and use the insights you gather to refine your approach and optimise your graphics for maximum impact.


The Don’ts:

  • Overcrowd with Text: Avoid overwhelming your social media graphics with excessive text, as this can make them difficult to read and understand. Keep your messaging concise and focused, and use visuals to convey your message whenever possible. Aim for a good balance of text and visuals to ensure that your graphics are easy to digest at a glance.
  • Ignore Brand Guidelines: Straying away from your brand’s established guidelines can dilute brand identity and confuse your audience. Adhere to your brand guidelines in terms of colours, fonts, and design elements to maintain consistency and coherence across all your social posts.
  • Use Low-Quality Graphics: Low-quality or pixelated images can detract from the overall quality of your posts and reflect negatively on your brand’s professionalism. Invest in high-quality graphics to enhance the visual appeal and legitimacy of your content, and avoid using images that are blurry or poorly cropped.
  • Forget About Mobile Optimization: With the majority of social media users accessing platforms via mobile devices, it’s essential to optimise your graphics for mobile viewing. Make sure that your graphics are mobile-friendly and display properly on smaller screens to ensure a seamless user experience for mobile users.
  • Overlook Accessibility: Accessibility is an important consideration when designing anything to go online, as it ensures inclusivity for all users, including those with visual impairments. Use descriptive alt text for images and ensure sufficient colour contrast for text readability to make your graphics accessible to everyone. There are various tools available online to help you be sure your designs are accessible.
  • Neglect Testing and Analysis: Don’t skip the testing and analysis phase of your social media graphics. Regularly evaluate the performance of your graphics using analytics tools, and use the insights you gather to refine your design strategies and optimise your graphics for better engagement and results. Don’t want to bother with tools? Ask a friend or colleague for honest feedback.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can create compelling visuals that capture attention, engage your audience, and drive meaningful interactions with your brand.

Remember to stay true to your brand identity, prioritise simplicity and clarity in your designs, and continuously iterate and optimise your approach to stay ahead in the competitive world of social media marketing.

With the right strategy and execution, your social media graphics can become powerful tools for building brand awareness, fostering engagement, and driving success on social media platforms.


  • Lex

    When the team are feeling shy or simply want to post as a collective, the Brand Ambition Team author profile is activated. Same Great Content, No Judgement.