Social media marketing is crucial for any business to increase their reach and grow their brand. Social media marketing is a great way to achieve business growth and make more people aware of your products and service. If your business is not currently engaging on social media you are missing out on reaching a potentially huge audience.
Images are incredibly important for social media. With everyone’s feed crammed with graphics, images and videos, it’s important for your posts to stand out to get noticed. Simply writing a tweet or a post isn’t going to cut it anymore and with the rise in popularity of visual based social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest, its more important that ever that your images stand out.
Luckily, there are various tools available to help you create the perfect social media images for your campaigns, there are also plenty of websites where you can get stock photos to use for free.
Useful Social Media Tools
Canva is my favourite tool for creating social media images, I use it A LOT. There are a variety of pre made templates that you can edit at the click of a button. There are also a vast amount of images, graphics, shapes, backgrounds and layouts that you can use to create your posts. Canva has a very simple drag and drop interface, you can create your design using custom dimensions or choose from a selection of pre made sizes based on the type of post you want to create. Canva gives you the correct size images based on which social media channel you wish to post to. Many of the elements in Canva are free to use, premium elements are available to purchase from only $1. You can also upload your own images to use within your designs. Canva isn’t just limited to social media, you can also create posters, flyers, leaflets, certificates, resumes and much more.
PicMonkey is an online photo editing tool that has a variety of uses. I use it to edit photos as well as create images for social media. Like Canva, there are a selection of pre made templates that you can easily edit to suit your needs. PicMonkey has some great photo editing options which are really simple for a none designer to use. You can add text and graphics to your images, as well as background effects and overlays. There are also some really useful touch up tools and visual effects.
Snappa is a graphic creation tools for creating eye catching social media images. You can choose which social media platform you wish to create a design for and it will automatically size the image correctly for you or you can set your own custom dimensions. Snappa also gives you the correct sized templates for various display ad’s. Like Canva, there are pre made templates available, you can change and edit every element quickly and easily. You can also create your own designs from scratch, Snappa has a built in library of images, graphics, shapes and font options. You can use Snappa for free, there is a lot of content available for free users, premium options start from $10 a month. Premium user have access to more templates and elements.
Pablo is an online tool that you can use to create images with a text overlay. The tool is completely free to use. Pablo has a large selection of background images as well as a library of inspirational quotes which you can overlay on top of the images. You can add filters to the images, add your own text and upload your own graphic or logo.
Venngage is a handy application for making infographics. Infographics are a great way to visually represent information, they are useful for social media as they are eye catching and far more interesting than simply posting the information. You can easily create your own charts and visual designs as well as well display information and data and in an easy to understand graphic. Venngage has numerous built in templates and there are various price plans depending on your needs.
Fotor is an online image editing application, there are a vast amount of built in effects as well as useful editing and retouching tools. There are also a considerable amount of frames, stickers and font options. Fotor is free to use, however there is also a premium version which unlocks further options and effects.
These tools are really useful and time saving, they are intuitive and operate via a drag and drop interface. They are all free to use although the premium versions provide more advance options. Canva, Picmonkey, Snappa and Fotor all have mobile apps so you can create your images on the go.
Stock Photo Websites
Now you have everything you need to create your social media graphics, but what if you don’t have any images or photos to use? The following websites provide a huge selection of stock photos, images and graphics that you can use for your business. There are lots of free options as well as premium sites. Quite often you can find what you need on the free sites so it’s worth having a browse there first, however, the premium sites provide more options as well as more video footage, graphics and vectors.
These websites all have a good selection of images to use, some also contain vectors, graphics and videos. The sites listed as free do contain free images but there may also be some paid options, you should also check each site for the licensing information relating to each image.
Selecting the right images and the best tools to use to quickly create eye catching social media images is only part of the process, making your designs look good is crucial in order to create social media posts that attract attention.
Using vector icons is a really good way to convey a particular message and make your posts more interesting. You can find a range of vectors and icons online, some of the above mentioned applications also contain many vectors that you you can include in your images.
Be Creative With Fonts
You don’t have to stick to a single font, combining multiple fonts is a great way to create visual impact. A simple font along with a more decorative font is generally a good combination.
Sometimes keeping it simple is most effective. You don’t have to fill your images with content. A design doesn’t have to be jam packed with elements to be eye catching. Having negative space is a useful technique to draw attention to your text.
Experiment With Colour
Don’t be afraid to be bold. Bright colours can be really effective and help your posts stand out. Experiment with different colour combinations and be creative in your colour choices.
An Overlay can be very effective when you want to use a background image as well as text. By using a transparent overlay, you can use any background image you want whilst still being able to easily read the text.
Create Different Posts for Each Platform
Whilst you can post the same content across all of your social channels, it can be more effective to devise a separate content strategy for each. If your audience are following you on multiple platforms, you will be showing them the same content repeatedly. People often interact with the content differently on different social media networks so you should alter your content accordingly.
Use the Correct Image Size
Applications such as Canva and Snappa provide the correct sized template based on the type of post you are creating and the platform you wish to post to. If you are designing your images from scratch, make sure you use the correct dimensions. Here is a useful guide detailing the most popular social media image sizes.
Be Aware of Ad Restrictions
If you are creating visual posts for social media to use as Ad’s, make sure you check for any specific requirements or restrictions. A Facebook ad for example should only contain a certain amount of text. You can use facebooks text checker tool to check if your text to image ratio is too high.