Photo-editing tools like PhotoShop are too expensive and complex for part-time use by the everyday marketer. Community Managers today need to be able to make original images without a graphic designer, photographer, or Photoshop Geek. But here is the good news for marketers and community managers: there is a lot we can do to create social media graphics for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs, and others with some simple online tools.
Now, I am not suggesting that you try to design your own brochures or websites – let’s leave that to the pros. But if you have an “eye” for design and some time, you can create your own eye-catching images for your blog posts or Facebook page.
Social Media Graphics Made Easy
PicMonkey gives you many photo editing, overlays and custom size options. Many of their photo effects backgrounds are free and you can use your own images as backgrounds. You can also get a Royale Subscription for just $33 a year to get additional design features (there are many cool designs that are “locked” if you just have the free version). They also add new backgrounds, fonts and overlays with new seasons which make it a fun tool around holidays or special events.
Beth is a big fan of Pixlr and uses it a lot for it’s collage feature, which isn’t as user-friendly with the other tools. The collage features works great when you need to pull lots of images together into one. She has also used it when highlighting pictures of individual people with an organization, or incorporating a logo with several images. Another feature that is unique to Pixlr is the photo editing boarders and special effects. PicMonkey has a few, but Pixler has many photo effects, overlays, and edges for photos. Pixlr also has mobile apps to make photo editing on your phone quick and easy.
Canva is my new favorite photo editing tool for making quick graphics for social media. There are hundreds of templates that you can start with, and then make edits and tweaks to make the design uniquely your own. There are built-in sizes for everything: cover images, blog graphics, posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, posters, business cards, and more. Canva does have different stock images you can purchase for $1, but you can also upload your own photos which is free. One feature unique to Canva is how it stores your designs to download or edit later.
Finally, don’t forget that images that you randomly find via Google are NOT “free to use”. Check out these blog posts from Karlie or Beth for more insight in finding great images that won’t get you in trouble.
Stunning visuals are vital to your social media and blog presence. Try using these image-editing tools listed above to bring your reader’s visual experience to a new level. If you want to incorporate more graphics into your social media marketing, but are not sure where to start, please contact us.
How have you used PicMonkey, Pixlr, Canva, or others for your blog or social media? What do you like or dislike about them? Please share with us in the comments below!