Our way of communicating has become increasingly visual in the last decade or so. Most of us have camera phones at our disposal and have become amateur photographers, reporters and masters of selfies. We’ve all heard the expression that a picture is worth 1000 words? How true it is when in the fast pace of life, it’s always quicker to say it with a picture. Social media today has become our canvas or picture board for visual communication. Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat are perfect examples of social media platforms that have been developed to facilitate visual branding.

Visual social branding is all about what your social content looks like. This includes everything from your profile picture to your cover photo and imagery associated with your social posts. How important is imagery? It also emotionally triggers your audiences on a deeper level. According to a study by Socialbakers, images on Facebook constitute 93% of the most engaging posts. That’s versus regular old updates of how depressing your life is, links to causes no one cares about but you, and even videos of pets who think they’re people.

The human brain does a lot of cool stuff, and it has been wired to process and understand images better and faster than words.

It also loves to haul out the funniest joke you’ve ever heard in the middle of a eulogy.

So how do you execute an effective visual social media brand? It’s no different than how you would do it outside of social media; being consistent and intentional.

Here are 3 tips to help build a strong Social Visual Brand:

1. Use consistent color treatment.

Color is a very persuasive tool in creating brand awareness. Let’s look at Coca-Cola or Pepsi as an example. Simply by mentioning those two companies, 2 different colors popped into mind. That didn’t just happen overnight. It’s a discipline they have exercised over many years. Every fibre of their brand including their visual social media is wrapped in the same color.

Selecting your brand color is not a quick and easy process. Color has been proven to change people’s moods and attitudes, so finding the right color to associate your brand with should be a well thought out process. Here is a link that can help you establish a powerful brand color for you.

Once you’ve selected a brand color, you must find consistent and intentional ways of using color on all your visual social media communication pieces. Over time this will help people to quickly identify you in all social media platforms.

2. Use the right typography.

Just like color, using the right typeface can help build brand awareness. Common design practices says that you should have no more than 3 different typefaces to represent your brand consistently on all your marketing materials. A few basic rules to remember; make sure the fonts you use are easy to read and try to use fonts that compliments your brand’s personality.

Be intentional on how you use your fonts. For example, if you use a script font as your headline on a poster, you should try and use the same font as headlines on all your marketing pieces including on all visual social media platforms.

If you are 8 years old and writing poems for your unicorn, then and only then may you use Comic Sans. Even then there’s some red tape.

3. Use the right images.

In combination with your brand color and your typefaces, finding the right images to bring it all together is critical for the success of your visual brand. If a picture says 1000 words, you want to make sure it’s the right 1000 words you are trying to communicate. The style of the image you use can help build brand awareness. Consistently using special image filters or effects can help enhance the personality of your brand. Simple examples could be using black and white images, desaturated images or extremely vibrant images. It could be in the composition of the image. Use Absolute Vodka as an example of visual composition. For many years, all of their images took on the shape of the bottle. It became the essence of their entire marketing strategy for many years and it was one of the most simple but recognized brands in the world.

When you are trying to grow your brand using social media, be intentional in what you do and what you post. Don’t work against your own brand by adding to the clutter. Really own the visual material you post using the above tips and always try to emotionally connect your brand with your target audience.

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