Providing useful information is the most effective way to generate engagement on social media. Infographics have become an indispensable tool for that purpose. Creating a great social media infographic will quickly convey information to your followers, and get them to interact with you.
Planning your social media infographic
Have a clear goal for your social media infographic before you start. You need goals to define the data and presentation styles you will use. Possible goals are:
- Turning yourself into a trusted news source
- Starting social media conversations
- Driving people to your website
Without specific goals your infographics risk being meaningless. Here is an example from NASA.
— NASA Sea Level (@NASASeaLevel) October 6, 2017
That account specifically has the goal of sharing sea level data. They wanted to make people aware of this information easily, drive people to their website so they could learn more, and they created that infographic to do so.
With your goals set you can start:
- Planning the story that your infographic will tell.
- Creating the introductory copy that will accompany your social media infographic. This copy will provide context to your image.
- Visualizing the flow of information on your infographic by sketching it out. Think about the first element that you want your audience to see and arrange everything from there.
- Coming up with a layout that best leads viewers through your narrative. This will also be a good time to refine your story.
Be sure to include your branding in the sketch. This is also going to be a good time to figure out how you are going to lead people to your website, especially a good call to action.
Gathering data for your social media infographic
The data that you will present is the most important component of your infographic. Google will be an indispensable tool when gathering your initial data. Some techniques you can use are:
- Adding “data” to searches: By adding the word “data” at the end of your topic title, you get results that specifically contain data sets.
- Including “Filetype:xls” in searches: This command returns spreadsheets containing relevant data. Alternately, you can use xlsx, csv, and pdf.
- Using image search: Searching for your topic title in the Images tab will return charts, tables, and other visual data.
- Using Google Public Data: Public Data is a service provided by Google that lets you sift through publicly-released data from official sources.
All of these techniques will give you initial leads that you can follow to gather more information about your topic.
Additionally, you can conduct your own research. This requires a considerable amount of work. When gathering your data, it is important that you take note of the time when it was created. Newer research can invalidate your data by the time you release the infographic. Displaying the date the research was conducted is important.
Building your social media infographic
When putting your social media infographic together, consider the size of the displayed image for the various platforms you post to. The displayed image dimensions for popular social media sites are:
- Twitter: 440 x 220 pixels
- Instagram: 1080 x 1080 pixels
- Pinterest: 236 pixels wide x scaled height
- Facebook: 1200 x 630 pixels
While there are no standard dimensions for an infographic, these figures will help you determine both the actual size of the image, as well as the preview size for increased visibility. Be sure to change sizes for different platforms.
You also need to think about the orientation and aspect ratio of your infographic. Around 81% of infographics are oriented vertically. But you can also go horizontal or square depending on how you laid out the flow of your graphic earlier. If you go with a vertical orientation, a 1:4 aspect ratio is a good starting point.
Creating your visuals
The success of your social media infographic depends on how well your audience is able to understand the data being presented. Here are some tips:
- Keep your data visualizations simple by using easy to grasp pictorial representations.
- Don’t try to put too much information in a chart or graph. Instead, focus only on the data categories that help stress your point.
- Arrange the categories in such a way that your audience will be able to quickly see the pattern or trend in the data.
- Use concrete visual metaphors when representing data. Associate the subject of your data to easily understood images, such as objects or people.
This infographic uses simple visual representations and a map to help people better understand the distribution of walruses in the Arctic.
— Jeff W. Higdon (@jeffwhigdon) October 16, 2017
Contrasting colors can also help quickly convey your data.
Creating your infographic copy
While second only to visuals in terms of prominence, your social media infographic text plays an important role in providing context to the data provided. Add short explanatory notes that will guide your readers through the graphic. You can also include facts, expert quotes, and testimonials that will give you more authority. Position these pieces of text within the graphic in such a way that they don’t distract from its visual flow. A good example is this one.
— Fintech Trading Tech (@BourseetTrading) October 16, 2017
End your copy with an intriguing question for your audience. This will help spark conversations about the topic, which you can join for further engagement.
Enhancing your infographic presentation
If done well, static infographic images will be able to present data effectively as they are. A way to enhance them further is by adding mixed-media elements. These elements include animated images that display changes in data. You can also add interactive ones, like graphics that move when you hover the cursor over them.
Take this one step further by doing your infographic as a video. Here, you will be able to use longer animations to better present data. You can also add voice-over narration to guide viewers through the information.
Using and spreading your infographic on social media
When creating social media preview images for your infographic, don’t use the top section of the image. Instead, choose the most interesting part. This will help draw the attention of your audience better. Use the introductory copy you have made earlier to provide context to your preview and link to the full-sized graphic.
You can go further and break down the entire social media infographic into smaller images. Incorporate these smaller images into other relevant articles that you post online. The images can also be shared by themselves on Twitter as tidbits of information.
— eLearning Africa (@eLAconference) July 12, 2017
Use Devumi’s Twitter Retweets to quickly spread these images out to more people. An interesting infographic that is being retweeted often is something that more people are prone to pay attention to.
Getting more people to use your infographic
You can increase the reach of your social media infographic by getting people to use it as part of their own content. Bloggers are one group that you want to reach out to for this purpose. Look for ones who write about the topic covered by your infographic and share it with them. In some cases, you might need to do a pitch before they will accept your graphic.
If you have already created several infographics, make them accessible to bloggers by compiling them into a Pinterest board. Take a cue from this one by the Wall Street Journal.
Share this board on your other social media accounts to increase visibility. Use Devumi’s Pinterest Repins to further build the prominence of the individual pins on the board. Considering how fast the platform is growing, this will be a wise investment.
Why use infographics on social media
Posting infographics on social media provides a variety of benefits like:
- Making information more consumable: Infographics are designed to present data in an easy-to-understand manner. This helps speed up consumption of that information.
- Drawing the attention of people: A well-designed infographic can easily catch the eyes of people and draw them towards the data you are presenting.
- Increasing virality: Infographics are very shareable content, which can help your social media posts go viral.
- Helping in decision-making: The information that you provide in an infographic can help convince the audience to make crucial decisions, like buying a product.
All of these benefits present a compelling reason why creating infographics should be a part of your social media content strategy.
— Red Bull (@redbull) January 7, 2015
Create informative infographics and boost brand engagements
Aside from delivering information in an easy-to-understand format, infographics can be used to generate engagements from your audience. To create a social media infographic that will get people talking, you need to:
- Plan thoroughly: Determine the goal you want your infographic to fulfill and use it to build an interesting narrative.
- Make it compelling: Use simple yet engaging visuals to get your audience interested in the data you are presenting.
- Make it useful: Find different ways to share your infographic on social media and encourage people to make use of the information that it provides.
By following these steps you can effectively use your infographics to boost your brand’s presence on social media, and be a vital social media content idea to keep your audience engaged with you.