Great social media stands out, and eye-catching, engaging and creative design will help set you apart from the crowd. You’re not just any brand — you’re a cool brand, and your social media post design should reflect that.

We’ve got the resources to help you get the most out of every post (that rhyme was by design), on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Linkedin, and beyond. Think real examples, expert advice, tons of social media post templates, and recommendations for the apps that will make you feel like a graphic design champ.

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10 social media post design ideas for 2024

Let’s start with some proof: these brands have the art of social media design on their side. Here’s how they did it.

1. Keep it simple

When you’re designing social media graphics for your business, clarity is important. Don’t get bogged down in the colours, graphics or text—sometimes, less is more.

Take this “We’re Hiring” announcement, for example. The text is conspicuous, the colour palette is minimal and the message is extremely clear.

Why this works:

  • The image itself is meant to catch the eye and intrigue viewers, so only essential information is included.
  • For those interested in the post, there are more details within the caption.
  • The caption directs traffic to the link in bio, keeping all the nitty gritty (and not as pretty) information off of the feed.

2. Post a scrolling panorama carousel

This one’s for the ‘gram only. Instagram carousels are engagement magnets (on average, they get 3 times the engagement of a regular post) and also fantastic opportunities for creative design.

You can treat an Instagram carousel like a panorama (like Olivia Rodrigo’s social team did above) and create one long, scrollable image by editing together several still photos.

Psst: there’s apps for that—check out the last section of this post for details.

Why this works:

  • The first image in the carousel is cut off, prompting your audience to scroll to the right and interact with your post for longer.
  • You can fit more into each post, and are not obligated to follow Instagram’s regular dimensions for still photos.
  • It’s just plain artsy! Even though it’s not super technical, this is an impressive way to post photos—low effort, high reward.

3. Design an album or series of posts

Give your feed a cohesive vibe by designing a group of posts in a similar fashion (the templates mentioned in the following section are an excellent beginner design tool).

This makeup brand’s series of Valentine’s Day-related social media images are all edited the same way and posted together, with engaging text that prompts their audience to check out the entire set.

Why this works:

  • The images have similar colour stories and use identical fonts and layout styles, so clearly look like part of a set.
  • Each individual image can also exist independently (you don’t need to see them all to “get it”).
  • The text is short, sweet and clever—it spotlights the product but doesn’t come across as a traditional advertisement.

4. Create graphics with user-generated content

Work smarter, not harder. Instead of starting a post from scratch, try recycling positive reviews, comments and DMs and sharing them as content.

You can do this by screenshotting great reviews or repurposing the text entirely—this hair care brand did the latter. In the above post, words from happy customers appear like text messages (meaning, yeah, the social media manager was probably texting themselves for content… you gotta do what you gotta do).

Why this works:

  • Real reviews from real people help to authenticate your brand.
  • You don’t have to do your own copywriting—let the customers do the work.
  • You can design the UGC to fit with your brand’s aesthetic.

5. For info dumps, go monochrome

Design trends come and go, but matching colours will always be in style. For more info-heavy posts, keep the colours to a minimum so your message really pops.

This event post, for example, contains a lot of information: the when, where and what to bring all need to be clear to the viewer. The all-blue colour palette ensures that the text, graphics and maps are prominent.

Why this works:

  • The blue-on-blue colour palette is appealing to the eye.
  • The information is easy to interpret.
  • The single image contains all of the information, making it very sharable (like a party invitation).

6. Cover your carousels

Another carousel tip: because the first photo in your carousel is the only one that appears on your Instagram grid, that first design should “sum up” what’s to come. Think of it like the cover of a book.

This media outlet directs traffic to its website through engaging Instagram posts, and the above example shows how effective the first photo can be. The first photo displays an image, the story’s headline and the brand’s logo — a perfect snapshot of the story. From there, audiences can scroll through to find more photos, a quote, an excerpt from the story and even a graphic just directing traffic towards the website.

Why this works:

  • The most aesthetic image is the first one in the carousel.
  • The less beautiful (but more information-heavy) images are “covered” by the first photo.
  • The brand is able to share lots of different styles of posts but still maintain a cohesive grid aesthetic.

7. Dress up the numbers

Percentages and statistics aren’t just for your slideshow presentations. Using some mindful design choices, you can transform relatively boring information (for example, your company’s Q3 report) into attractive graphics.

This Linkedin post walks the walk. The company’s use of hi-resolution photos, clear branding and modern fonts make the numbers look beautiful.

Why this works:

  • Hi-res images and negative space keep the information from being too overwhelming.
  • The most important figures are largest and most prominent.
  • This looks like it was ripped straight from a report (in fact, it probably was) and gives off an insider, exclusive vibe, even though it’s public.

8. Get creative with stickers

Most social media apps offer stickers to jazz up your posts, but you don’t have to use them the way they were meant to—after all, rules were made to be broken.

Instagram’s question stickers, for instance, are interactive when they’re incorporated into stories. But this bubble tea brand instead used the sticker as a graphic on an Instagram post. It can’t be directly typed in, but it still asks a question and prompts followers to comment.

Why this works:

  • The question sticker is familiar to Instagram users—they recognize that the brand is asking them to engage.
  • The company’s branding is all over this image (there’s no question who the post belongs to) and the product is clearly displayed.
  • The question asked is succinct and requires a low-effort answer, making viewers more likely to take the time to reply to it.

9. Chart it out

Charts, graphs and diagrams might not seem exciting, but they can be very engaging when designed thoughtfully and directed towards a specific audience.

This Venn diagram by Converse is simple and aesthetically pleasing. It shows off three styles of shoes in a single post, and leans into a silver theme.

Why this works:

  • Diagrams aren’t nearly as common as photos, so this method of sharing information is refreshing for viewers.
  • The theme—all silver everything–is used in both the background and the product images, creating a cohesive sparkling design.
  • There isn’t too much info presented here (an overly complicated graph or diagram may overwhelm the user).

10. Embrace the memes

Creating social media content doesn’t always require design talent. Here’s some amazing news: not only are memes very effective marketing tools, but you don’t need to have an eye for graphic design to create them. In fact, bad graphics are part of the charm.

Meme queen Wendy’s is a perfect example. The memes may be blurry, they may be poorly edited, they may have nonsensical captions (like “My hands so her hands look like can look like this this”) but boy, are they shareable.

Why this works:

  • Memes don’t feel like ads—users will share them because they find them funny, and the marketing is just a bonus.
  • The post isn’t too polished; it comes across as authentic and real.
  • The content communicates a timely idea (the vanilla frosty is temporarily back) and the meme embraces the urgency of the situation.

Free social media post design templates

Instagram post templates

From vintage and dreamy to modern and bold, these 15 Instagram post templates will help get those creative juices flowing. The free Canva templates (Canva, we <3 you) have 5 different aesthetics, and each contain building blocks for three kinds of posts: giveaways, lists and messages.

The “message” could really be any decent-sized chunk of text—think a note from a company founder, an awesome customer review or even a business-related announcement that you want to jazz up.

These templates are all square, sizing up at 1080 x 1080 pixels.

Instagram post templates designed on Canva with giveaway messages

Instagram carousel templates

No more horseplay—it’s time to get serious about carousels. We’ve got 20 Instagram carousel templates to help boost your engagement (carousel posts get 3 times the engagement, on average, than a single photo post). After all, we all know how tempting swiping left is.

The Instagram carousel templates are offered in five different aesthetics (think “DJ” and “floral”) and each has four slides. There’s space for quotes, photos and lists. Like the post templates, these carousel templates are square and measure 1080 x 1080 pixels.

Instagram carousel templates

Instagram collage templates

Artsy alert. If you’ve got a lot of great photos to share, collage posts are the ideal more-is-more solution. To get you started quick and easy, here’s five Instagram post collage templates and five Instagram story collage templates offered in a range of different styles.

Instagram collage templates with colour themes

Hot tip: If you find the elements in these collage templates don’t fit with the look of your photos, you can easily make the elements match your uploaded photos using the “photo colours” option.

For example, the template below is very orange. If that’s not your vibe, you can change the colours of the orange elements by picking colours from your uploaded photos.How to use photo colours on Canva

This goes for any Canva template, of course: templates were made to be modified.

Instagram Story templates

This one’s a beast. Not only do we have 72 Instagram Story templates at your fingertips, there’s also 30 aesthetic Instagram Story background templates for your consideration.

That’s 102 total (for you visual learners out there, that’s one more dalmatian than Cruella de Vil had).

The Instagram Story templates are offered in four themes, and each theme has 18 templates offering a range of text styles and spots for photos.

Instagram story templates about me and ask me anything

The background templates are more basic: cool images that you can layer your own content on top of, like a not-so-blank canvas.

Instagram story background templates

Both sets of templates are sized at the standard dimensions for an Instagram story: 1080 x 1920 pixels.

Instagram Reels and TikTok templates

Design isn’t just for still photos, of course. Putting together Instagram Reels takes a discerning eye—or a really excellent template. Here’s four IG Reel templates with modern text, transitions and timing so you can edit like a pro. Psst: Reels and TikToks have the same specs, so you can use these templates for the ‘Tok, too.

Instagram Reel Templates Launching Soon Floral and Jewelry boutique

Oh, and don’t forget Reel covers (that’s the still image that shows up when you look at your Reel on your grid or on the Explore page). Well-designed Reel covers truly elevate your brand… and we’ve got 5 Reel cover templates to kick your social media game up a notch.

Instagram ad templates

Marketing on Instagram takes on many forms, but a traditional ad is one of the only guaranteed ways to make sure your post is reaching the right people. To make sure you’re putting 100% into the posts you pay for, try using one of these 15 Instagram ad templates. They’re specifically designed to attract, engage and of course, sell.
Instagram ad templates

Pinterest templates

And last but certainly not least, there’s these 10 pin templates perfect for the picky Pinterester. They all happen to be very food-focused (for now, until you modify them with whatever gorgeous photo assets you have on hand) so don’t edit on an empty stomach.

Each measures 1000 x 1500 pixels.

Pinterest pin templates with food and baking

The best apps for designing social media posts

These user-friendly apps can help you create beautiful posts without breaking a sweat.


In case you didn’t get the vibe from the hundreds of examples listed above: we love Canva. Even if this graphic design rockstar of an app wasn’t integrated with Hootsuite (and it is), we’d be singing its praises for the huge image library, awesome fonts and foolproof user interface. It’s a lifesaver and it’s free (heck yeah).

Adobe Express

Adobe Express uses AI to expertly recommend templates and remove image backgrounds (as well as all the standard cropping, resizing, filtering and photo editing software that’s classic for design-focused apps). Think Photoshop, but mobile-friendly.

Adobe express design Late Night Ramen
Source: Adobe Express

Panorama Scroll Carousel Maker

We waxed poetic about scrolling panoramas earlier in this blog post… but actually making those super-aesthetic posts is harder than it looks. To prevent a cropping disaster, try an app like Panorama Scroll Carousel Maker. Its main purpose is (you’ll never guess) creating flawless scrolling panoramas. Engagement, here you come.

Panorama scroll carousel maker
Source: Panorama Scroll Carousel Maker

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The post 2024 Social Media Post Design Ideas and 100+ Free Templates appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.