A guide to Infographics

The most beautiful thing about Social Media Marketing is the unpredictably of the medium, and the opportunity available to those willing to put in that little bit of extra effort. Recently, Smart Car USA made tech news headlines with this witty retort to an off-hand tweet that was neither directed at them, or intended to be brand damaging.

Clayton Hove, an ad agency creative director, made a comment on Twitter about the size and strength of the Smart Car:

Two days later, Smart Car USA responded with the following Tweet, and attached infographic:

Clayton obviously had to admit defeat:

This is a great example of how brands are using social media to expand their reach and gain free publicity. It’s also a great example of how, even the simplest of infographics, can gain so many shares.

Inforaphics are becoming the number one way to display and share complicated and lengthy data – if you’re conducting surveys on your customer base or industry, you’re far more likely to get a positive response to the results if they’re shared in a graphic form rather than pages and pages of text and numbers.

The Smart Car infographic was successful because it’s simple, and it tells a joke in a visual way. If we look at the overnight success of Pinterest, it’s easy to see that Internet users are huge fans of images and visuals.

If you do decide to try your hand at producing an infographic, here are some top tips for getting you on your way:

1. Pay equal attention to the info and the graphic. Your infographic needs to be visually pleasing, but it also needs to contain information. There’s nothing more disappointing than an infographic that fails to deliver what it promises.

2. Tie the design in to what the information is about – the current trend seems to be leaning towards retro style signs and interesting typography, but this might not necessarily fit with the information you’re presenting. Don’t be sucked in to trends.

3. If you plan to produce infographics periodically, consider using a website like visual.ly, which will allow you to produce infographics based on your Twitter and Facebook activity. It will also allow you to upload and share infographics you’ve created for added exposure, or browse others’ work for inspiration.