The social media world moves fast, and its trends can disappear or come back just as quickly as they began. For example, just this month huge publications like The New York Times and Vox have published articles on Instagram challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global shutdowns.
Over the past couple weeks you might have noticed another sort of challenge going around on various social media channels: the 30 Day Challenge. Some people post songs, some post albums, photos, films, or TV shows. The idea is simple – each day, you fill out the next description on the challenge template. Here's what a template might look like:
But for each social media platform and each challenge, the templates look dramatically different. On Twitter, for example, the template picture should be in a 16:9 aspect ratio, or else it will be cropped, but on Instagram Stories it should be 9:16. The best way to participate in the 30 Day Challenge is either to choose the right template for your specific topic & social media platform, or make your very own challenge template from scratch. Here's what you should know:
- How to use a pre-made template
- How to make your own template
- Best dimensions for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
1. How to use a pre-made template
Making your own 30 Day Challenge template is great to express exactly what you want, but sometimes it's more of a real "challenge" to use a template that someone else made. Luckily, most 30 Day Challenges tend to be fairly similar, so any template will work pretty well. Here are some examples:
On Instagram, for example, simply post the template you're using to your IG Story and check off a new item every day. Most people either add a name and brief description to the slide with the template, or they add a screenshot or image – like an album cover, movie poster, or "Now Playing" screenshot – to the next slide on their Story.
On Facebook the process is similar: most people create a new post every day, accompanied with a description or story to go with every new entry, and a new item checked off of the template. On Twitter, however, many people add a daily reply to their original 30 Day Challenge tweet, so that each one appears on their followers' timelines, but it doesn't take up a lot of space on their profiles.
2. How to make your own template
If you want your 30 Day Challenge to follow your own rules, or you can't find a template out there that give you the options you want, feel free to use your own template for your challenge questions – it's actually really simple!
I recommend using Kapwing, since it's free to use, completely online, and allows you to format your templates for any social media platform. To start, head to Kapwing.com or any device and click "Start Editing" to enter the Kapwing Studio. Select "Upload" to search through your files for a photo or design to use as your background, or click the "Images" tab to search the web for any background design you want.
Now it's time to add your 30 Day Challenge text. Click "Text" in the upper toolbar to add text boxes for your title, name, and challenge items. For example, you might want to have text boxes for "go-to happy song," "favorite 200's pop album," or "most overrated action film." Try to make sure each one is approximately the same size, and distribute them evenly on the background. For a square image, an array of 6x5 works well, for an IG Story, alternating rows of 3 and 2 work best, and for a 16:9 picture, you might go with 4 rows alternating between 7 and 8 items each.
3. Best dimensions for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
Since 30-Day Challenges can appear on so many different social media channels, it's important to know what types of images work best for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
I touched on this in the previous section, but each platforms has different technical specifications for photo posts. On Instagram, 30-Day Challenges are typically posted on Stories, so they should always be in a 9:16 aspect ratio, and a 5x6 grid of daily themes might work well, as well as alternating rows of 3 and 2. On Twitter, it's common for people to reply to the same 30-Day Challenge tweet on every subsequent day with a new answer, story, or picture. So your original tweet should probably be the only one with your 30-Day Challenge template, which should optimally be in a 16:9 aspect ratio, to make sure the entire image is shown on your followers' timelines. And on Facebook, you have a bit more freedom, so you might want to go with a square image with a 6x5 grid.
If you're making your challenge templates with Kapwing, it just takes a click to get the dimensions right. When you're in the Studio, the "Output Size" section of the right side menu has all the options you'll need: 9:16, 1:1, and 16:9.
Tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.
• How to Use Instagram's #Challenge Sticker
• Instagram Story Dimensions – 9:16 Templates
• All About Instagram Challenges
• How to Change Your Instagram Story Background
• #ChallengeAccepted on Instagram & How to Make Your Own