A recent OSU Extension infographic based on information from an updated fact sheet.

A recent OSU Extension infographic based on information from an updated fact sheet.

While putting together a social media strategy for the new Live Smart Ohio blogsite, my colleagues at the Ohio State University and I realized that we couldn’t design a sleek new blog and expect our readers to engage with Family & Consumer Sciences fact sheets. Did we really want to put PDFs on a blogsite? No. Definitely not.

So we worked with a graphic designer in OSU’s Education and Human Ecology communication’s department to (slowly) create infographics from our FCS fact sheets. Here is an example. There were a couple stipulations to this: 1) we would only create infographics for UPDATED fact sheets and 2) we would still post a link to a PDF version for those who truly were interested in reading the entire fact sheet or wanted a printable copy.

There are numerous benefits to sharing key information from a fact sheet through an infographic, but here are the main pros:

  • People tend to be visual learners in today’s digital environment. They’re much more likely to scan the visuals of an infographic than read 2 pages of text.
  • Infographics have a much higher share factor on social media. Online audiences are more likely to share a visual post than one that is text based. It will also catch their attention more when they’re scrolling through their newsfeed on Facebook or browsing their Twitter feed. And of course, infographics definitely fit in to visually-based social media tools such as Pinterest and Instagram while a fact sheet, well, does not.
  • Infographics give life to the great, credible information Extension professionals share. Much of the research-based information Extension shares online is looked over, simply because it’s too academic. It’s not attention getting. Infographics can transform the most boring of statistics and information into something interesting for online readers.

In a perfect world, all Extension program staff would have access to graphic designers who could assist them in creating their infographics. But in reality, many do not. For those interested in creating infographics themselves, Canva is a free and easy to use graphic design tool that I highly recommend. A note of caution however, if you create your own infographics, check with your branding team to see if it adheres to your University and organization’s branding guidelines. A good social media presence is a consistent one, and consistent branding is a key aspect of any successful social media strategy.

How has your organization transformed fact sheet information? Have you experimented with infographics? Let us know in the comments!