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Social Media Graphics: Tools, Tips & Inspiration

Cassandra King
Cassandra King7 min read
Guide to Social Media Graphics: Tools, Tips & Examples

Social media takes a lot of work, and your success often comes down to the content you share. Is it engaging and conversational? Does it provide value to your audience? Does it easily catch someone’s eye as they’re scrolling? While there’s a lot to consider when it comes to succeeding with social media, we’re going to be focusing on one of the most important elements: social media graphics.

Venngage surveyed over 200 content marketers to learn about how they incorporate visual content into their marketing strategy. They found that social media was a major use case for visual content, with 49% of marketers using them for Facebook, 47% for Instagram, 42% for LinkedIn and 33% using them for Twitter.


If you’re a marketer trying to create social media graphics that not only look great, but enhance the performance of your social media campaigns, read on!

In this article we’ll walk you through:

  • Social media graphics: what they are and why you need them
  • Tools for creating your own social graphics
  • 5 Engaging social media examples from 2020

Social Media Graphics: What They Are and Why You Need Them

With over 4 billion people using social media worldwide, having a cohesive and thought out social media strategy, brand and voice is critical for success. Visuals are a critical part of that strategy. In fact, when people hear information, they’re likely to only remember 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

Clearly, it's important to use great visuals in your social posts!

Now that we’ve covered the why you need killer designs in your social strategy, let’s walk through what social media graphics are and how to best use them for your brand.

What Makes a Good Social Media Graphic?

Before we dive in, let’s quickly define what a social media graphic is:

Social media graphics are the visual component of any social post, usually in the form of images, gifs, and video.

There are many factors that go into creating compelling graphics for social media. Let’s walk through a few:

  1. Use the right image size: From Instagram stories to Pinterest pins, every social media platform’s image size requirements is different. Be sure to create images that fit these requirements so that they show up the way you intended them to.
  2. Don’t stray away from your brand: You want people to easily recognize your brand and the best way to do that is to keep things like color scheme, fonts and logo styles consistent when you create visuals.
  3. Simplicity is your friend: You want to catch people's eyes, but you also want to deliver a message that they’ll actually receive. When designing your social media images and videos, always remember the basic principles of design.
  4. Be accessible: Use alt-text, subtitles and ensure that your colors are accessible so that your visual content can be consumed by everyone.
  5. Use templates: When you’re able to quickly edit a file with something simple like text, you’ll be able to quickly create social media post designs that are consistent. This way you won’t have to start at square one every single post (and you create some consistency within your visuals).
  6. Use the right format: Some formats work better than others across each channel. For example, product shots might work great on Product Hunt, while bold or real-life images work better for Pinterest. Understand what your audience resonates with most across each channel and use that to drive your strategy. Using social media management tools you can analyze engagement on a granular level across channels and and pick up on engagement trends between your posts.

4 Tools for Creating Your Own Social Graphics

How do people make cool Instagram graphics?

  • By having kickass internal designers
  • Outsourcing their designs to companies like Superside
  • Or using software that enables them to do it easily and quickly

You know what feeds we’re talking about— everything seems to fit together perfectly with touches of their brand throughout. Well, this too can be your company’s grid!

Below are some of the best online tools to create your own social content.

1. Canva


Canva is the ultimate editing app that makes it easy for people without graphic design skills to create professional-level images. With easy-to-use drag and drop features, Canva is a versatile graphic design app that helps you create things like Instagram stories, videos, logos, posters, and much more.

Perfect for: Marketers who are on a budget and need to create a wide range of designs.

2. Venngage


Venngage is a graphic design software that enables people to create posters, reports, infographics, and presentations. Similar to Canva, Venngage offers easy-to-use drag and drop features. They also have thousands of templates at your disposal, making it easy to get started on any visual.

Perfect for: Marketers looking to create engaging infographics with little-to-no design skills.

3. Adobe Spark


Adobe Spark enables you to easily create stunning social graphics, web pages, and short videos. If you’re asking yourself, how can I make a social media template? With Adobe Spark, users can access free and exclusive professionally designed templates, filters, fonts, shapes, and icons from the Adobe Spark web and mobile apps.

Perfect for: Marketers with little-to-no design abilities who are looking to create engaging web pages. Also, great for marketing teams with access to the Adobe Creative Suite (because then it's free).

4. Visme


Visme is a content creation tool that enables people to translate data into engaging visuals. Work individually or as a team to collaborate on presentations, infographics and other visual formats.

Perfect for: Marketers with little-to-no design abilities who are looking to create engaging diagrams and common design assets.

Moral of the story? You don’t have to be a designer to create great marketing designs for social media. Any of the above tools will be able to help speed along the creation of your social media assets, and likely level up those designs too.

And remember, being a bit "clickbait-y" isn't a bad thing either. More about that here.

5 Engaging Social Media Graphic Examples from 2020

Need a little social media design inspiration? Let’s have a look at these real life examples to inspire your next design.

1. Build with Bloom create powerful images on Instagram

Avery Francis, Founder of Build with Bloom created a powerful series focused around the Black Lives Matter movement with the use of simple design. As you scroll through your Instagram feed, it’s hard not to stop and go through the rest of the images in this post. In fact, these posts initially garnered her 10,000 new Instagram followers (which skyrocketed further shortly after). She now has over 83,000 followers and growing!

Things we like:

  • Use of imagery with a real human face
  • The design pushes you to look at the center and read “Things not to say to a Black woman”
  • It’s intriguing enough to make you want to scroll and see the rest of the images in the post

2. Trello stays true to their brand

Regardless of social media channels, Trello always does an incredible job of staying true to their brand, from colors to design elements. They also always include some form of their cute characters, which is another consistent element of their brand.

Things we like:

  • Using similar colors, animations, and icons across their social channels makes brand recognition easy for their audience
  • For those who use Trello, this is created in a way that you can easily understand what the new feature allows you to do

3. Popsicle designs pop out on Twitter

What works best about this social media graphic? Not only do the bright colours make this post stand out in the feed, but it’s the exact same design of the packaging you’re used to walking past in the grocery store. Popsicle has done an awesome job of creating a social design that’s familiar, eye catching, and easy to engage with.

Things we like:

  • Great use of contrast that grabs the reader's attention
  • Consistent design elements used across the brand, from packaging to digital design
  • Embracing the colours and brand elements that make them so recognizable

4. Put a pin in it, Starbucks


For most people, Starbucks is a common coffee shop where you go to order a coffee, sit down, maybe do some work and then go on with your day. But, Starbucks also has a long line of coffee beans, accessories, and more for purchasing as well. Using a solid Pinterest strategy, Starbucks has created several boards that share recipes for making your favorite Starbucks drink from the comfort of your own home. What’s great about these pins is that they’re able to market to a DIY audience in the best way possible: by allowing them to create things themselves.

Things we like:

  • Images are perfectly sized for Pinterest boards
  • Focused on the DIY content and show the act of doing within the images themselves
  • Hold true to the Starbucks brand by emphasizing their staple color green

5. Chipotle hops on the trends

TikTok is known for it’s viral trends. Once a trend gets picked up, everyone wants to create their own version of it. Chipotle knew that when they decided to hop on the Adele trend as they recreated a concert hall where the guacamole is Adele and all of the nacho chips are her audience. Brilliant, hilarious, and on-trend!

Things we like:

  • They took the time to listen to what was going on in the world of TikTok and found a way to participate themselves
  • It’s a fun and engaging way to interact with their audience

What do all of these social examples have in common? Strong branding and compelling visuals!

Wrapping Up

It’s clear how important compelling graphics are to any social media strategy. Even when it comes to YouTube, there's so many elements that require smart design. But, before you go about creating your next set of designs, remember the tips mentioned earlier:

  • Use the right image size
  • Don’t stray away from your brand
  • Simplicity is your friend
  • Be accessible
  • Use templates
  • Use the right format
  • AND make your posts stand out with great design

If you want to learn more about social media graphics, you can watch this video from Visme here. But, if you’d like to bring on some experts to help, Superside offers marketing design services and social media design help from small shops to big brands.

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Published: Aug 12, 2020
Cassandra King
Written by
Cassandra King

Cassandra King is Superside's Head of Content & Community. She’s a road trip aficionado, advocate for all things glitter, and can usually be found with a camera (or snacks) in hand. Find her on IG @casssandra.king.

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