How to Use Visuals to Market Your Business on Social Media

Posted on July 30, 2014 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building

Humans are wired to respond to visual stimulation. As historically recorded, thousands of years ago, people narrated their lives in cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Today, art, books and various multimedia platforms have created a new narrative landscape populated by brands in many shapes and forms.


Everyday, the average person is exposed to hundreds of different advertising messages from hundreds of different brands. Of those, people tend to be most attracted to brands with authentic narratives and compelling imaging.

In the current digital era, social media is no doubt a great tool to increase your online presence. The problem lies in the fact that as more brands jump on the Internet bandwagon, marketing clutter can make it harder for your brand to stand out and compete.

Effective Visual Branding on Social Media

1. Build a Brand Narrative

– In the following video titled ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’, author Simon Sinek explains his simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership. Addressing the question of why Apple always seems to surpass other computer brands, Sinek postulates that Apple’s success as a brand can be attributed to the fact that Apple believes in challenging the status quo and thinking differently. And did you notice the high quality and neatness of their photography?

The take-away: Determine why your brand is great and the kind of narrative you want to share with the world will emerge. Invest in high-quality photography, digital imaging and graphics.

2. Make Your Brand Memorable

Did it ever happen to you that you are spending an amazing day at the beach and suddenly, bursting out of the ocean, you feel like a Coke?

It’s not a coincidence!

Coke uses ‘red’ to associate excitement with their product.

Big brands have realized a long time ago that colors can impact how they appeal to their target audience. Color is more than just a hue. It makes a statement.

But you do need to be consistent with your use of colors. Social media includes virtually anything you post online. This includes but is not limited to tweets, Facebook posts, shares and web content. A brand’s authenticity relies on consistency.

Here is an excerpt from KISSmetrics’s infographic that gives some general guidelines on how colors affect American online shoppers:


3. Understand the Comparative Merits of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are some of the most popular social media services among brands today but no two social networks attract the same type of users. It follows, therefore, that the content targeted at the different social media platforms should be different.

The easiest platform to differentiate content for is YouTube. Things get trickier when it comes to differentiating between content aimed at Facebook users vs. that aimed at Twitter people.

The general guidelines are as follows:

  • On Instagram, share branded images and videos, for example, a quick view of a new product you’re launching.
  • On Pinterest, use shareable images such as a DIY or recipe.
  • Facebook users respond to large images. These are also more likely to stand out in a person’s news feed.
  • As for Twitter, it’s best used for business news. You can leverage the design of the service to highlight the more relevant pieces of information.

4. Use Design to Convey your Message

The purpose of design is to communicate ideas

communicate ideas
to an audience visually. In truth, design can mean slapping down some pre-written text onto a nice graphic and calling it a day. But if you want your business messages to hit home, you need to add volume to your message.


Contrast refers to the comparison of opposites. For example, black is the contrast to white. Hard is the contrast to soft.

In designing graphics, the level of contrast in a design is relative to how successful the design will be at leaping off the page.


We touched on colors above, but let’s go a little bit deeper.

Look no further than the 1980s to find the perfect example of loud colors. Undoubtedly the bright fluro of this era really grabs your attention.

Saturated and complimentary colors are perfect for loudly projecting your message. But there is such a thing as too much color being an eye-strain for the viewer. At the end of the day, it depends on what your brand is all about. Low saturation pastel colors create a soft calming mood. Sports supplements will often employ saturated and loud colors.


Large content = Loud message. Small content = Soft message.

This may seem obvious but all too often, scale is abused just to fit more design onto a page.

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