Colors That Will Attract The Most Attention On Social Media

The golden arches of McDonald's. The placid green framing Starbucks' mermaid. The bright blue swirls of AT&T. The colors representing these iconic brands say a lot without using a single word. 

That's because color has power. Even American politics is divided into red and blue, notes Psychology Today. The hues you use influence how you are perceived. And on social media, your color choices determine how successful your posts will be (via Vista Print). Not only do you need to select interesting and evocative colors that align with your brand or personal style, but you'll also need to consider the context of the color in your posts. First, think about your intended audience. Research indicates that color preferences are split between gender lines, with women preferring soft colors like lime green, baby pink, and light blue. Men, on the other hand, report dark red, navy blue, and maroon as their colors of choice. Age also determines which colors get the most traction: Millennials and younger folks click on more saturated hues while Boomers like their colors more muted. 


Perhaps most importantly, certain colors work best on certain social media sites. What generates likes on Instagram doesn't necessarily translate to retweets on Twitter. By understanding how to harness the power of color on each platform, you can become a social media maven.


Like so many tech giants, Facebook's signature blue logo dominates the entire site. To distinguish your posts, choose vibrant oranges, purples, reds, and yellows — colors opposite blue on the color wheel. If your brand already has blue in its color scheme, add other bright hues to your posts to set them apart. By combining blue with these warmer tones, you can draw eyeballs exactly where you want them.


Beware, however, that too much red in particular can work against you. Red can make your posts feel pushy or aggressive, notes Psychology Today. Avoid the hard sell by using this attention-getting color sparingly.


For your posts to soar on image-driven Instagram, incorporate shades of teal blue, golden yellow, and dusty rose, aka millennial pink. Compared to the images featuring oranges and reds, images rich in cooler blue hues performed 24% better on Instagram, according to Vista Print. Likewise, brighter images outperformed dark images by 24%.


According to Psychology Today, many people report blue as their favorite color. That's because this cool hue offers a balance between feelings of calm and feelings of excitement, making it the ideal choice to drive engagement on your Insta feed.


Forget what you know about avoiding the colors associated with the branding of the platform. Warmer tones of purple, pink, and Pinterest's signature red can actually encourage other users to share your content, notes Vista Print.


Pinterest thrives on color, but just the right amount. Both over- and undersaturated images don't receive as much engagement. To get the most pop with your posts, keep things rosy: Pins with red get more traction than pins with blue. Just be sure to avoid too much green, black, and yellow, as these colors discourage sharing.


When creating artwork for Twitter, channel the bumble bee. A buzzing flurry of yellow and black, the bee has one mission: Collect nectar to bring back to the hive. Life on Twitter isn't so different. Use these color to garner attention from users with blue Twitter checkmarks (via Vista Print).


For those old enough to remember the "For Dummies" series of books, the iconic yellow covers helped sell millions of copies, indicating to potential readers that the information inside was not only accessible but worth stopping for, notes Psychology Today. The same holds true on Twitter today.

Ways you can use color to your advantage

When you post on social media, you hope your audience will learn something, feel something, or do something. And while it's common to believe that your messaging alone will accomplish this task, that belief underestimates the subconscious value of color, notes Vista Print.


By knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish and, perhaps more importantly, who you want to engage, you can select the best colors not only for that particular social media platform but also for your specific audience. Understanding color can strengthen your message, give your posts emotional weight, and ultimately help you go viral.