How to Make Animated Social Media Graphics

How to Make Animated Social Media Graphics

6 min read

Succeeding as a company, brand or small business in the hyper competitive world of social media marketing is increasingly challenging.

Capturing viewer’s attention and increasing user engagement is more important than ever, and also harder. People are literally being bombarded with social media content from every angle, all day long. If you’re responsible for managing social media accounts, it’s your job to figure out how to make your social media assets stand out from the crowd, and that’s not easy.

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Not only are social media platforms more competitive environments than ever before, but new social networks emerge that upend the whole industry. Most recently we have seen the social platform TikTok skyrocket in popularity, creating a knock-on effect in the rest of the social media industry.

This is most noticeable with Instagram, which has pivoted to put Instagram video and Reels at the forefront of the app. Despite a user backlash, we can expect Instagram and other platforms to keep pushing social media videos as the future.

There is good news though! The rise of the moving image in social media channels gives rise to new opportunities and ways to get noticed. Animated videos and animated social media graphics are excellent assets for any social media strategy. Here, we’re going to explain what animated social media graphics are, why they are so relevant, and how you can make your own.

What are animated social media graphics? And why are they so powerful?

The term animated social media graphics covers a very broad spectrum and encompasses any form of social media post that contains animated elements. Animated social media sits in contrast to static social media images, like photos or other status design assets. Animated posts can contain design elements like moving text, objects, icons, logos, and any other animation that is put into motion.

Animated graphics are closely linked to the world of motion design and motion graphics, but they can also use more traditional 2D or 3D animations methods. Essentially, any social graphics that involve an aspect of animated design fall under the banner. Think of gifs, explainer videos, infographics, and any kind of short animation and you get the idea.

There are lots of reasons why animated social media graphics are so desirable, and here are a few key points.

They are attention-grabbing and attention-holding

Picture someone scrolling through social media on their lunch break. What do you think is going to capture their attention more—a static social post or an animated one? Of course we know the answer is an animated post. As humans we have evolved to pay more attention to moving images, and so these automatically grab our attention more.

Animated social media graphics don’t just grab attention, they also hold onto it. People spend more time on your content when it is animated. Eye-catching designs are just better when they are in motion.

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They increase engagement and conversion rates

One of the key metrics of any social media marketing strategy is to increase audience engagement and increase the number of conversions. In this context, a conversion means getting the users to respond to a call to action, like clicking on your weblink, subscribing to your service or purchasing your product.

Animated social media graphics have been shown to greatly increase conversion rates when compared with static images. Adding a call to action at the end of your social media design assets is a tried and tested way to boost conversions in active users.

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They can explain complex concepts simply

Animation in general has been used for a long time to help explain concepts and ideas that may otherwise be difficult to understand. Research has been shown that people understand concepts better when the explanation is visual rather than just text or even audio. One of the best things about animated social media graphics is that they can make messages more digestible.

If you want to communicate a new feature that your product has or make any kind of announcement, then a good animated video will do that for you.

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What do I need to keep in mind when making animated social media graphics?

When you’re getting ready to create your first animated graphics, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

Get your dimensions right!

Different social media platforms will have different dimensions for each type of post. An Instagram video story is different from a TikTok video, and there are various dimensions available for each post type. To keep yourself right, you can reference our social media templates—here we have created templates that you can download for all of the main media channels.

Stay on brand!

When you’re making an animated social media video you want to make sure that you are staying on brand and using the same logo, color palette, fonts and so on as you do in the rest of branding and graphic designs. You might be tempted to go all out and let your creative freak flag fly, but we suggest keeping it as on brand as you can.

Follow the principles of design!

Despite the field of animated social media graphics seeming very modern and on trend, it is still a form of design, which means you should be adhering to the principles of design. Of course, there is always room for experimentation and development, but you still need to understand color, balance, spacing, and more. Do not skip the fundamentals!

How do I actually make animated social media graphics?

When it comes to actually creating your own animated social media graphics, there are a number of options available:

Do it yourself

If you’re a dab hand at design, then you can just jump right in and start creating your own. All you will need is your favorite piece of animation software and some inspiration. If you have some knowledge of graphic design but lack animation skills, you could always take an online animation course to up your game. We also recommend watching some tutorials on animation and social media graphics in particular. Being an autodidact is fun!

Hire a freelancer or agency

If you aren’t a graphic designer but need to have animated graphics for your social media channels, you can hire a freelance designer or even use a creative agency. Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork are filled with keen freelancers who will be more than happy to help you out in your mission (in return for money). The quality can be variable, but if you find someone you like you’re onto a winner. Agencies will provide the most professional and high quality services, and this is unfortunately why they are also very expensive, so you should only be thinking about this if you have a nice budget.

Use an online tool with templates

These days there are absolutely tons of graphic design apps out there that can help you create your own social media assets and animated graphics. Many of them provide templates that you can work from and customize. You can also import your own logos, colors and so on. The downside of this approach is that the output might end up looking a little generic, or you might not be able to create something that is exactly on brand. This is still a great option if you need something quick and easy that also looks good.

Go out and get animated!

Hopefully you now have an understanding of why animated social media graphics are so important in today’s social media landscape, and know how to get started in making your own.

For more inspiration, check out the Vectornator Pinterest page and the Vectornator YouTube channel. And don't forget to download Vectornator if you haven't already! Have fun creating!

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