Creative Visual Ways to Stand Out on Social Media

Creative Visual Ways to Stand Out on Social Media

Every year, more and more people and brands enter the social media landscape. Which means every year, it gets harder and harder to stand out from the rest and break through the noise. But there are things you can do on social media that will make your presence a little bit brighter and louder than everyone else. And none of them are difficult or complex. They just require a little bit of planning and consistent execution. Follow our advice, and you’ll be on your way to creating a memorable social media presence.


One of the absolute best ways to stand out on social media is to become so recognizable for your style that people can tell what content is yours before they read a single word. This can be accomplished very simply, through the use of certain colors, fonts, or icons. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, either. A simple colored triangle in the corner of your branded images would do the trick. Take a look at these thumbnails from the CollegeHumor YouTube channel. While the style is different on all of them, they all share a white outline that the other elements spill out over to give a sense of depth to the thumbnails. It’s subtle but consistent enough that it is recognizable in a sea of other YouTube thumbnails.

collegehumor youtube thumbnails

This is especially important for something like Instagram, so that your feed looks consistent and clean.

Take Advantage of Free Tools

Just because you’re not a graphic designer doesn’t mean that you can’t create amazing-looking graphics. Free tools like Canva have a lot of templates and preset layouts that take the hard work out of design. Sure, you won’t be the only one to use a specific template but you can customize it to your needs and really make it your own. It’s unlikely that someone who follows you on social media will see another post that uses the same template. And a good-looking templated post will catch eyes more than a poorly designed one. When using these templates, just remember that less is often more when it comes to using text in social media graphics.

Use Carousels on Instagram

Carousel posts on Instagram open up some awesome creative options. Split an image into multiple pieces and use the new images in a carousel post to create a fun panorama effect. These are cool if used sparingly and can really impress people scrolling through normal posts on Instagram. They also work perfectly for infographics. Devote each image to one fact or point, and build anticipation to scroll to the next one.

Another common Instagram tactic is to post an image that displays across three tiles, or even that takes up a full 3-by-3 square on your feed. These can be fun but are a bit gimmicky. They can also be easily ruined by future posts. Use them sparingly, and plan carefully!

Video Trailers

Video is always a fantastic medium that social networks love to promote. Using this format to share announcements and updates is so much more entertaining and impactful than just a normal text post. Depending on the video, it can take a while to create something worth posting, so it’s not something that every company leverages as often as they could. An epic trailer for an announcement can be a fun way to stand out, especially if it’s highly shareable. With so many free or inexpensive templates out there, you can even make a great-looking video trailer on a budget, and wow all of your followers all without having to put a lot of effort in.

We have plenty of awesome trailer templates in the FilterGrade Marketplace including this great After Effects trailer assets pack, so if you want to make a trailer of your own, check it out!

Create Stunning Stories

Despite stories being present on social media for years now, many companies are still not taking advantage of the power of stories. Stories keep your content top-of-mind as users spend a lot of time browsing through Instagram stories. They offer the opportunity to create attractive animated graphics, insert links (a rarity for Instagram!), and keep your main feed more focused.

viola social media story templates

We mentioned services like Canva before, which offer plenty of great free story templates. But if you don’t mind investing in your content, the FilterGrade Marketplace has a ton of social media templates that look great and are highly customizable. For example, check out this social media story template pack that features animated designs and text!

Use a Distinctive Voice

Going with a casual but professional tone of voice is totally fine, an no one can fault you for it. It’s friendly, inoffensive, and easy to communicate with. However, it’s not very unique. If you want to use your voice to stand out, you’ll need to go extreme!

One great example of this is the canned water brand Liquid Death. Their entire brand takes on a death metal vibe, and while their actual tone is not overly evil-sounding, they’re not afraid to post content that you would never see from Dasani or any other water brand.

For a more well-known example, just look at Old Spice. Their over-the-top humor has made them a respected brand. While humor, swearing, and shocking language can often be effective, it doesn’t work for every brand. Even if you don’t want to have as bombastic of a brand personality, you should still pick something distinctive and stick to your core values. No matter what you’re saying, keep the promises of your brand in mind. Like we said above, consistency can make you stand out as well!

Focus on Loyalty, Not Likes

Brands have known the truth for several years now, but plenty of folks still hold onto the belief that they need to have more social media Likes on their profile than all of their competition. The fact of the matter is that Likes don’t matter; loyalty does.

Would you rather?

  • Have 100 followers and all of them are loyal
  • Have 1000 followers, but only a few are loyal

Numbers look great but can often be an emotional drain. If you have 1000 followers and only a couple of them interact with your posts, that feels bad. But if you have 100 followers who all engage with you, that feels like a fantastic rate.

If you focus on engaging with your audience rather than pumping up your numbers and ignoring them, you’ll stand out on social media easily. It never looks good when you come across a page with a ton of followers but no engagement.

Stand Out on Social Media

Social media gets noisier and noisier every day, making it harder to stand out. These simple strategies and ideas can result in a more iconic social media presence and more engagement. Let us know in the comments below how you stand out on social media and if you will be implementing any of these tactics.

Read next: 15 Useful Free Social Media Calendar Templates

One Reply to “Creative Visual Ways to Stand Out on Social Media”

  1. Priya Sharma says:

    I liked the Use a Distinctive Voice tip the most, it will help in creating a brand identity. thanks for sharing this enlightening article with us.

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