10 Social Media Design Trends to Elevate Your Online Presence

Read Time: 4 minutes

Maintaining an active social media presence can be an effective way to boost customer engagement while also potentially reaching new customers. However, when posting content on social media, it’s important to remember that your followers are probably bombarded with plenty of other content on their feeds. Finding ways to stand out in the crowd will garner higher engagement, and captivating designs can help achieve that.

So familiarizing yourself with current design trends is a great strategy to enhance your chances of standing out and generating higher engagement.

Trending designs to be aware of in 2023 include:

Videos & Animated Content

Dynamic content that features moving visual elements (potentially combined with audio) is often more engaging than static images. That’s why more and more companies are posting videos and animated content on social media. Research shows that video content tends to yield more engagement on social media than other types of content.


You might think your social media posts must feature bold and bright colors to attract users’ attention. That’s not necessarily the case.

On the one hand, you should always prioritize brand consistency when choosing color schemes for any marketing content. If your brand is bold and loud, choose colors that represent it.

That said, you should also know that pastels are currently trending in the fashion world. This design trend is also on display across social media.

It’s possible pastels capture audience attention online precisely because so much other content on a user’s social media feed is overstimulating. Ironically, pastels make a strong impression when other social media content is much more visually intense.

Meme Formats

Just as you should stay abreast of trending designs when planning a social media marketing campaign, you should also pay attention to the various popular meme formats at any given time. A noteworthy example from recent years is the famous stock photo of the annoyed girlfriend catching her boyfriend checking someone else out.

Brands across various industries leverage these formats to draw attention to their social media posts. You could do the same. 

Unique Typography

Don’t just assume your content’s images must be striking to drive social media engagement. Custom typography (that matches your brand!) offers your content another way to distinguish itself.

Consider this design trend when the text in an image or video you’re posting is at least as important as the actual images. For example, unique typography could boost the odds that users will notice the announcement if you’re promoting a sale on social media.

Visual Stories

Storytelling has long been an effective marketing tactic because stories capture our attention and trigger emotional responses. Along with posting videos and animations, you could add visual storytelling to your social media content by, for instance, posting a series of pictures (like a digital comic) depicting a brand-specific character overcoming a relevant problem.

Retro Designs

Specifically, late ’90s retro designs.

If you want to know what graphics are trending on Instagram right now, look to the past. Examine the color schemes and typography choices in popular advertisements from around the Y2k era, and you’ll find the social media content of many brands today embodies these design choices.

As always, that doesn’t mean this trending design is ideal for all brands. For instance, if you’re promoting a jewelry brand and want customers to associate the brand with a sense of timeless elegance, a late ’90s design aesthetic might be inappropriate.


Minimalist social media content may succeed for the same essential reason that pastels work: when users encounter seemingly constant visual stimulation on social media, the content that makes the strongest impression might be content that doesn’t “visually scream” at them.

Abstract Shapes

Including various types of abstract shapes and unique geometric designs in otherwise minimalist content is yet another way to differentiate your brand from the competition on social media. 

Ideally, these shapes might suggest (without literally depicting) an actual figure or object that’s somewhat relevant to your products or services. For example, maybe you’re promoting a line of perfume. Because we associate roses with pleasant aromas, an abstract shape resembling a rose could strengthen your content in a brand-centric manner.

Nature-Inspired Designs

It’s not uncommon for many social media brands to post images featuring trees, flowers, sunsets, and other such nature-inspired elements. These images also don’t have to be actual photographs of said elements. They can simply consist of minimalist illustrations.

Once more, nature-inspired designs aren’t ideal for every brand’s social media presence. A tech company focusing on innovative products and services may not benefit from such iconography. However, it’s worth considering whether these elements might improve the attractiveness of your content while also reflecting your brand’s values and identity.

Unique Gradients

Gradients are nothing new in social media posts. However, current trending designs often feature gradients that consist of two bold colors or two colors that users might not expect to see together.

Experiment with unique combinations to see if you can generate gradients that stand out without being unsightly. If you haven’t already, it’s also wise to learn about color theory as much as possible. Knowing what colors don’t typically go together is easier when you know what colors do.

Remember, Design Trends Are Always Changing

These are some of the most noteworthy social media design trends of 2023, but as is almost always the case with trending designs, they may not stay in fashion forever.

Be aware of these trends when making design choices for your social media content over the next year or so. When you sense design trends are beginning to shift again, read design blogs like this one to learn which design choices are in and which are out.

Generate Video & Animated Content for Social Media With Powtoon

Powtoon is an online video maker and animation tool designed for users with minimal video production experience. With Powtoon, creating animations and videos for social media is easy and affordable. Get started by signing up today!

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Hanna is Powtoon's Content Marketing Strategist. She joined Powtoon as a copywriter in 2019, after graduating from university with a specialized degree in marketing and business. She continues to inspire people to create incredible video content with blog posts, videos, guides, and more. Hanna's passions include reading, singing, and caring for animals (#proudvegan). Nothing makes her happier than waking up to her two black kitties who, contrary to popular belief, are good luck!
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