4 Social Media Design Trends From 2018

11.20.18 / Maeve Gonder / Social Media

Advertising creative needs have changed. In addition to longer-term assignments that will continue to exist, we’re also living in a time where rapid response matters for brands to remain relevant.

Because of this shift, MGH has adapted. That means staying on top of trends, developing new ways to tell stories or just to giving products a different look for a different medium -- all at a fast and furious pace.

When we’re not on deadline, our designers are scouring Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds to scope out the competition. It’s all in an effort to stay current, or even ahead, of the times. Here’s what gave us the most inspiration in 2018:

Illustration

Initially, social media existed as a way for users to publish unfiltered content on the fly. From this came the glamorous travel and leisure images that are both heavily styled and make friends highly jealous. In 2018, we saw illustration enter the mix, breaking up our news feeds without some of the seriousness that often follows heavily-funded ads with which consumers are bombarded. I think this trend is here to stay, and we’ll see more brands add a little something extra to the campaigns they’re running on social platforms.

Product Transparency

As Facebook continues its efforts to become more “transparent” with the public, brands have started following in the social giant’s footsteps -- some by highlighting exactly what makes up the products they sell. Facebook faced the sort of backlash every company wants to avoid, so to build brand ethos, posts are focused on the ingredients and processes behind what makes their products legitimate. Consumers have been put to the test recently, as the task of navigating fake news and false advertising becomes increasingly challenging. Being upfront about what makes a wrinkle cream good for your skin or an expensive pair of jeans well-made has become essential for campaign success.


3D Appearance

Recently users have probably seen more posts featuring 3D graphics with the release of Portrait Mode on the new iPhone X. Though the majority of ads aren’t featuring this tool just yet, we’ve noticed designers incorporating more 3D elements in an effort to simulate depth. Effects that make objects appear to be floating, layered paper cut-outs, dramatic drop shadows and soft focal blurs have all been used to give the graphic an extra something special. Though the intent isn’t to trick the viewer into thinking the post is 3D, it plays off the dimension that we’ve been seeing much more of from our friends.


Minimalism

Over the past few years we’ve seen a surge in Scandinavian design techniques: minimally-decorated interiors, simplistic product designs and brighter, more sparse compositions. This modern look has stuck around, making its way into our social feeds. This design technique speaks for itself.


Because social media is still an ever-changing beast, expect these trends to evolve, or become extinct, as new strategies take their place. If you see friends and family members taking to a particular tool in your timeline, the chances that brands will catch on and follow suit are pretty high.

After all, it’s what we social media marketing designers do.

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