Before we launched Adobe Spark almost a year ago, the team spent (and continues to spend) a ton of time researching social media movers and shakers—what makes them successful, compelling, and how can we deliver tools to make their lives easier and their feeds even more sparkly. One of our inspirations is Peg Fitzpatrick, social media strategist, author and international speaker. We love her fun, warm, (and wildly effective!) approach to building community online, how she marries stunning on-brand visuals with substance, and the generous ways she shares her expertise with her community.
So we were thrilled and honored to have Peg as a user and advocate since we first launched. Not only is she a solo-entrepreneur who consults for brands of all sizes, but she’s now an expert Spark user and someone we regularly turn to for of-the-moment social media tips. And she was kind enough to let us pick her brain on how businesses and solo-entrepreneurs like her can integrate Spark into their workflows. Here’s the Peg Fitzpatrick guide to standing out on social with Spark.
How does Spark benefit business owners?
Spark is great because it’s free. It’s easy to learn. And all the stock images in Adobe Spark are free and legal to use without copyright issues. So many people will just pull an image of, say, a cupcake off the internet without knowing about copyright laws. I also like that I can add my own images easily by pulling them off my phone or from Dropbox. It’s good for people with or without images.
It might take a little while to learn to use these tools, but now in Spark I can make something great in less than a minute, especially once I have templates to duplicate. In 30 minutes I can make a bunch of Posts and schedule them out for the week or month.
Which Spark tool do you use the most?
I started with Spark Post—it’s like the gateway design tool—and it’s the one I use the most still. All of them are valuable. I use Spark Page for making specific events or uploading photos into my blog without weighing my blog down—I just embed the Page in my blog. Spark Video is also popular for simple video creation, but I use Post the most.
— Peg Fitzpatrick ✨ (@PegFitzpatrick) December 8, 2016
Any tips for how to represent your brand visually for newcomers to Spark?
Fonts: You should have an idea of your brand and what you do. Come up with one or two fonts that you feel represent your brand and stick with them. If you’re a business consultant, ask yourself, do these fonts represent what I want people to think of me? If you have a young, fun brand, you might choose a quirky font. If you’re seeking work with traditional companies and targeting CEOs, stick with sharp and crisp fonts.
Colors: Use one color palette and maybe two colors. I use a specific color of pink and my logo throughout my website and platforms.
Spark Note: Check out this sampling of Instagram posts to see how she brings cohesion and consistency to her visual communication, while remaining flexible enough to avoid fatigue:
Winter. Happy Monday! What warmed your heart and got you moving today? Little pup had an emergency and had to visit the vet but he's doing fine. Small dogs are fragile. He's super cuddly and sleepy now. Hope you didn't have any big scares. #mondaymotivation #mondayvibes #wintertime #furmama #liveauthentic
Content Elements: Don’t go crazy with too many elements or changing your look all the time. What does that mean? Ask yourself how the element(s) you are using make up your visual brand. If you’re a bakery, showcase your cupcakes, your messy kitchen as you’re baking, your clean kitchen, your customers, outside the shop, inside the shop—yes they’re all different photos, but they’re still along the same element.
I wrote a blog post about easy ways to use Adobe Spark to design for your brand.
What tips do you have for making Spark designs?
Be clear on representing your brand in your designs. In Spark there are so many color and design options, but you really want to come up with what your brand is and stick with the same colors. Give yourself time to test different colors and styles. Get past that and then simplify. You want clear, easy to read, and representative of your business.
Once you get more comfortable, make templates of your most successful posts. Take one of your designs you like, then duplicate the template. If I have a Spark post that did well in Instagram, it’s always stored in my Spark designs. I can go into my Spark library and make a duplicate of that design. Don’t edit the original! Make a duplicate so you have the initial design as a template then you have a duplicate to insert new text or photos and still retain the style of that post that did so well.
How can newbies get started using Spark Video?
Come up with a couple ideas and a few bullet points per idea. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable being on camera. You could make a series of Post designs, load them into Spark Video, and then add voice over. You can even turn text into animations with Spark Post, then string the story together in Spark Video. In Video, you create the content slide-by-slide, point-by-point, so if you’re recording and make a mistake you can redo that slide without doing the whole voiceover again. If you’re more comfortable later, you can be on film, but the voiceover option is a good way to get started and bring people closer to you.
— Peg Fitzpatrick ✨ (@PegFitzpatrick) December 23, 2016
Check out Peg’s blog for more social media knowledge.
Are you using Spark in cool ways? We want to hear about! Tag your work with #AdobeSpark or shoot us a message on social.