So you've just discovered that creating graphics for your social media networks brings you better engagement, great! But are you now doing some of the big mistakes in content creation? Read on to see if you're guilty of any of these!

'Stealing' images from anywhere on the internet

You surf the internet and you see a nice image and think “I can use that in my next graphic”. So you go ahead and download it. PLEASE DON’T DO THIS. Unless you’re on a free Stock Image site or are paying for the pleasure of using the image you are probably breaching the copyright of the photo/graphic. Someone has spent their time creating that piece to sell, to make a living, just as you and I make a living through our craft. You expect people to pay for your services, well Newsflash, so do they!

There are plenty of Royalty Free stock sites like the widely popular unsplash.com where you can buy or get for free quality images that you then have the rights to use. Don’t take a shortcut.

Getting 'Hyped' with the branding

H.Y.P.E

I’m all about consistent branding when you are promoting your business. From using the right fonts to being consistent with your brand colour etc. But when you create a graphic to share on social media don’t overload it with your branding. Don’t put all your details on the pic, it will distract from the original message of the graphic and will reduce the chances of people sharing it. You will also run the risk of people mistaking it for an advert.

When putting your information on a graphic, choose whether to have your logo, URL, contact details etc on it and pick one. Sometimes you can get away with 2, but that will rely on smart design.

Learn to share content you find on the internet

You see a great piece of content being shared across social media and would like to show it to your followers, so you download the image and re-upload it to your networks.. eh... HOLD ON. If you come across a good bit of content and want to show it to your followers, then share it to your followers using the proper means, giving credit to the original creator. If on Facebook, click the share button and add your text and if on Twitter, click the retweet button. Every network gives you the opportunity to share content. Don’t try to take the credit as someone will always find you out.

One Size does not Fit all.

Unporn: Does size matter?

With the variety of social media networks and the increase in demand for visual content, people create graphics and share that one graphic across multiple networks. Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite work as each network demands different sizes for the image to display properly in peoples feeds. The image that you created for Facebook may display correctly in a user's news feed but that same image won’t display correctly in a Twitter feed.

Be clever with your images and display the correct size for each social channel. Using a tool such as Canva or Crello solve's this problem by resizing your images for you.

Visual Overload.

After discovering graphics increase engagement, every post you now put out has an image attached. You will create an over-demanding schedule on yourself that will burn you out. Not only time-wise but creatively as well. As I say to all my clients its good to mix visual content with the likes of text updates, links and video.