This month’s office hours were all about using images in your social media marketing strategy, with one big announcement: Traject Social now has a Canva integration.
Watch the replay video to see Product Manager Reggie Azevedo walk through accessing and using the integration, then learn more about best practices for creating images from Marketing Manager Anna Dievendorf. If you’re short on time, check out the highlights below.
Canva is now integrated with Traject Social
When using the post composer in Traject Social, you’ll see a new button underneath the text box that reads “Design with Canva.” Clicking this will open a dropdown menu that will give you some options for the most common sizes you might use when creating social media images.
Click on the set of dimensions that is right for your product, and the Canva creator window will open directly in Traject Social. Reggie walked through accessing various templates, elements, fonts, etc., but if you want a step by step guide with screenshots, take a look at the Traject Social Canva guide.
Reggie walked users through 2 caveats they should be aware of: Premium features and restrictions for whitelabelers.
Many of the templates and elements in Canva are free, but a handful are also reserved for those who have upgraded their Canva account to a Pro plan. Be aware that if you select templates and elements that are designated with the “Pro” label, your final product will have a watermark across it or require you to pay to upgrade.
At this point in time, the Canva integration also has a limit on the number of domains that can use the API key they’ve given to Traject Social that allows us to have this integration. This means that whitelabel users on a domain that is not the Traject Social domain may not see the option to design with Canva. We’re currently working closely with Canva to find a workaround for this limitation.
Best Practices for Social Media Images
Now that you’re ready to begin creating images to use in your social media marketing strategy, Anna presented several do’s and don’ts that will keep your graphics on the right course.
The marketing section started off with some facts about using images that show what social manages have to gain from implementing them and why it usually translates to higher engagement:
Next she walked through the best practices, with examples on how to accomplish each one and use Canva to support your efforts. The best practices are listed below, but the full write up of how to integrate each one into your image strategy can be found in the Traject Social Canva guide.
Do set goals for images
The content of images will often look very different depending on the impact you want them to have on your followers. Posts that drive traffic for a sale will often be more straightforward and informational, like the first example below. Conversely, posts meant to garner engagement will mimic the type of aesthetically pleasing and personality-filled content a user might see from their own connections (or want to post themselves).
Don’t use the same images for every site
This can refer to the content of the image, but most often refers to the size.
Every social network has different dimensions for different places that images appear on their site, so make sure you’re up to speed before you start creating. Anna referenced the Traject Social 2020 image guide for those who are unsure.
Do make sure images match your branding
Decide on your color palette, fonts, and look and feel before you begin creating so your imagery is consistent. As your content is shared and you amass new followers, this will help build your brand recognition.
Anna recommended leveraging the Canva Brand Kit. In the Brand Kit, you can populate the different branding options with those that match what you’ve decided for your business, and then they’ll be readily available for you to use in the Canva creation process. For example, if you’re using a template, you can switch the color palette of the template to your business’s colors in one click, maintaining all other elements of the template.
Do include a clear call to action
Decide what the call to action is going to be on your image post, and make that clear in either the graphic itself or in the accompanying text. If using the accompanying text makes your graphic less overwhelming and easier to digest, that’s a perfectly fine option.
If you use a link to accompany your CTA, but want to replace the link preview with your image, you can do that in Traject Social. Once you enter the link in the text box, choose “Change image” and select the right graphic.
Do keep accessibility in mind
Users with disabilities require you to stick to certain standards when creating your images so that they are also able to perceive what’s on the page.
One of the easiest ways to makes your images more accessible is to use alt text and captions. Traject Social will prompt you to write a caption before you schedule a post whenever you attach an image, so take advantage of this.
Color contrast between backgrounds and relevant parts of your image also needs to be a 3:1 ratio so that important information is discernible. You can still use light colors in your palette, but save these for decorational purposes only.
Similarly, you also want to avoid exclusively using color to convey meaning, since it may hinder the understanding of those who cannot as easily perceive color. Try to use images, shapes or other easily recognizable symbols. When your representation does rely heavily on color, like a pie chart, use clear text labels.
Do visualize data
Did you know that images that convey data are 3x more likely to be shared than documents?
Produce successful data visualizations by keep it simple and hyper-focused. For infographics, only choose 1-3 of the most actionable insights. Likewise, for graphs, stick to making one main point.
Hack: You don’t have to produce original research studies to create data visualizations. You can sum up the great statistics you find in any documents or articles to give it a fresh, more shareable spin. Just don’t forget to give credit or link to the source.
Reggie and Anna drilled down more into Canva and creating a social media image strategy in the Q&A.
For more information, read these other articles that were mentioned in response to questions during Office Hours.
Content Syndication and Posting Schedules: May Office Hours Recap
Social Media Image Sizes: The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Image Sizes In 2020
Join us next time
Feel like you missed out? Reggie and Anna host Office Hours the first Tuesday of every month where they share first looks at the product roadmap and talk shop about your marketing strategy. Visit the registration page to save your seat for August Office Hours. See you there!