The fact that screen sizes have gotten smaller plays a key role in today’s visual content revolution.
Since less information is in your field of vision on a phone (and since only a handful would stay long enough to read lengthy writeups), content needs to be presented in bite-sized but accessible ways. And you know what they say: a picture paints a thousand words.
We are already past the tipping point—the number of mobile users has surpassed the number of desktop users, with more than 60% of the traffic coming from mobile. Among social media users, 80% access their accounts via a mobile device.
Here’s another startling fact: 50% of small businesses need help with marketing on social media. They don’t realize the difference a user experiences while accessing social media from a desktop computer and doing the same from a mobile device.
Posting directly from a mobile device—which the Canva mobile app enables you to do—makes it easier to simulate how the material would look like upon social media publication.
To help guide you on your mobile strategizing, we have scoured through the deepest ends of the internet to put together key tactics which will help you create engaging content for your brand on mobile. Ready?
01. Match the content with your medium
Each social media platform is different from the other, and their layouts change as you access them from mobile devices. Not to mention, there is such a thing as marketing fatigue. If you cross-promote the same thing across all your social media channels at the same time, your followers.
That is why it is important to approach each one of them differently and to focus only on the platforms that have the highest return for your brand.
On Facebook mobile all the content is presented in a single column.
This means you only get a fleeting chance to impress people. If your content is just like everyone else’s, your potential customers will scroll through; but if your content is outstanding enough, you will get a higher engagement rate.
Your visual content should be engaging enough to merit the user’s attention.
Not all visual content are created equally, though. Facebook’s newsfeed format treats image posts and website link posts differently. Even though Facebook pulls open graph images for website links, uploaded image posts get a slightly larger space on the newsfeed as compared to link posts.
If you want the images to take center stage and get readers to click on your links, ensure that the image posted to the website links are large enough. Or upload a high-resolution image and add the link in the description area.
83% of Twitter users access the micro-blogging website through their smartphones.
In the last few years, images have become an integral part of the social media platform by introducing in-app gifs and rich cards for website links. Every website link on Twitter is now displayed much like Facebook’s, with the hero image as the main image on link post.
Not surprisingly, Twitter started pushing this feature on their mobile app first and then it made its way to the main desktop website. While Twitter can now support a variety of photo sizes, the best size is a rectangular one to fit the feed.
Instagram used to be all about filters and square images, but the image sharing social media app recently announced a big change—portrait and landscape images are now allowed on the app.
While many fashion brands like Zara are taking advantage of this new change, most of the other brands are sticking to the square image format.
Because square images take the most space on the Instagram news feed, while other differently-oriented images will always have a bit of white space on the sides.
While brands should pay attention to every image that they post, they should also make sure the account’s feed overall looks good as well. Posted images shouldn’t look out of place—they should blend in together.
02. Invest in your cover photo
Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, the header image is the first image people see, and it’s the best opportunity to give followers a great impression.
Your brand’s header should give your followers the message you are trying to convey. For instance, Red Bull—which always claims that their drinks give people ‘wings’ — makes sure that their Facebook feed is filled with adventurous photos and videos. Hence this adrenaline-filled cover photo makes complete sense for them. They've also taken advantage of the fact that headers can now be animated, and post a cool montage of various activities.
Disney Pixar, on the other hand, uses cover photos to let their fans stay updated about all the new releases—which in this case is the highly anticipated Toy Story 4.
Liven up your social media header and maximize its real estate by picking a design can let you showcase fantastic photos. Check out the Fruits Photo Collage Food Facebook Cover and the Grayscale Architectural Structures Twitter Header templates.
03. Maximize your phone’s native camera by taking creative selfies
Taking out a professional camera to send out every little update is not only time consuming but can take out that “genuineness” you want to impart to your fans. (And what if you want to share a selfie?)
Use your phone’s native camera. With the right light and angle, you can capture a high-quality photo with just an 8-megapixel camera. To make the whole process easier, you can take pictures through Canva’s mobile app (available on both on iPhone and Android) and start editing it right away.
And the best thing you can do with a native camera? Take a selfie.
Selfie social media campaigns have proved to be successful for many brands because it’s relatable and authentic (or at least authentic-looking). There is no reason why your brand should stay behind.
Remember the Samsung S5? It was the first phone on the company's flagship line that can stand being underwater in up to one meter for up to 30 minutes. When it was released in 2014, Samsung issued the #UnderwaterSelfie challenge where they dared followers to post selfies from underwater using the phone.
In the same year, UNICEF decided to use selfies for the greater good where they asked celebrities to post morning pictures with the hashtag #Wakeupcall to bring the global attention to the Syrian crisis.
If you’re using this technique, make sure to use your camera-dependent platforms. Selfies and social channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are particularly popular to younger users—so this might only be effective if your brand caters to this demographic.
04. Implement the correct image dimensions
Did you know the ideal image dimensions for a typical photo post on Facebook is different from images uploaded for link posts?
While the photo posts on Facebook can be square or other ratios, the images used for website link posts need to be an exact dimension. An ideal Facebook image for a website should be 948x788px. And take note: a Facebook header image doesn’t have the same dimensions as a Twitter header image.
Canva has pre-made layouts for every social media platform, so you don’t just get the right dimensions, you also get thousands of templates which you can customize according to your brand. Canva’s mobile app makes it possible to do all this through your phone.
You can refer to this design size guide for more accurate dimensions, or check out the available templates on Canva's web and mobile app.
Get the right size for your design needs. Note the difference between the Blue Photo Events and Education Facebook Post template and the Water from Bottle Twitter Post template.
05. Stick to a consistent schedule
Most social marketers fear that if they don’t post enough, their followers might forget their brand even exists. That’s why consistency combined with the right schedule is the key to everything.
Yes, if you post too less, your followers might get enamored by other brands; but if you bombard your followers with posts, they’ll get annoyed. It’s important to find a balance between these two.
The amount you post will depend on the social media platform you are posting to. While posting 10-15 times on Twitter is considered normal, posting that many updates on Facebook or Instagram iso just downright spam-y.
Use analytics to find out which type of posts are topping your charts and at what time of the day they are doing the best, and then tweak your schedule accordingly.
Most people like to check their social media on their phone when they are commuting to work or when they are free in the evening, so that could be a great window to get the maximum attention.
06. Post live updates
With a mobile phone, you can post live updates on-the-go. Brands now take part in live tweeting or live streaming on Facebook and Instagram to let their followers know about upcoming events or ongoing ones to keep the conversation going. There is a thrill in being live that can’t just be replicated with scheduled social media posts. Live updates are one of the main reasons why Snapchat and Periscope got so popular so quickly, and other social apps soon followed their lead.
And you know what they say: if it isn’t live-Tweeted, Snapchat-ed or Instagram-ed about, it might as well have never happened. That’s why, sharing visual content is important—with the right hashtag, of course.
But keep in mind: the quality of your post shouldn’t suffer just because you’re on mobile and you’re doing it quickly. Each picture you post should tell a story about your brand’s identity and uniqueness.
Canva’s mobile app has the tools you need to create awesome visual content wherever you are. Aside from the live camera feature, it has a collection of professionally designed templates, customizable filters, and a library of high-quality images. It comes with pre-set filters too, but you can play around with the settings to customize the look.
And aside from the 14 pre-set filters, you can play around with all the settings to create your own customized filter. You can also save the filter codes for faster editing. To help you keep your posts on-brand at all times, here is a complete guide on how to use filters on Canva.
07. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a mobile-only strategy
We warned about cross-promoting and marketing fatigue in the first item and now we dole out advice about not creating a mobile-only strategy. In the first item, we talked about for regular posting content; in this item, we’re going to discuss advertising.
You can’t rely on just the mobile aspect of the digital marketing spectrum because you can never predict how people will engage with your brand. Internet users can be on their cellphone and then their desktop at different times of the day, in different situations. In order for them to accumulate impressions of your brand, it will need to be available and accessible across various platforms.
Mobile marketing has an enormous amount of potential and we probably have more to learn in the next half of 2016, but so far here are the most effective strategies we’ve come to know:
- Match your visual content with the social media platform you intend to maximize on
- Invest in your cover photo
- Take advantage of your phone’s native camera by taking creative selfies
- Implement the correct image dimensions
- Stick to a consistent schedule
- Post live updates
- Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a mobile-only strategy
Now that you know how important visual graphics are for your mobile social media strategy, it’s your turn to create amazing graphics with Canva’s mobile app and woo your followers.