As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. On social media — where everything is essentially a race to get everyone’s attention through standout campaigns, high-value offerings and quality content — a social media manager’s best friend is visual marketing.
I’m a fan of using images on social media posts, and I’m particularly fond of the infographic format. I think images deliver a unique impact on your followers that you could gain some serious leverage from.
Imagine if you were to share an inspiring quote in the form of a simple Facebook status message, as opposed to if you were to create an image with a nice border and your watermark or logo on it. Instant shareable content (that your followers are much more likely to share). Besides, aren’t images a great thing to see on your newsfeed instead of just block after block of text (especially if you’re scrolling down really quickly to check out the latest updates from your contacts and the brands you follow)?
Regardless of the social media platform you’re on (and especially if you’re on image-sharing sites such as Instagram and Pinterest), images are always a welcome addition to your repertoire of content. For example, a fairly recent study from Buffer showed that Twitter images can lead to a 150% improvement in your retweet rate. (This is based on data taken after Twitter implemented its Expanded Images feature.)
That’s why it pays to be familiar with image creation tools (in the same way you’d do well to know your way around the different tools for social media management. No matter the platform (desktop PC, laptop, smartphone, etc.), you can use these tools for a variety of purposes (and you might find this infographic helpful if you already have an idea as to the kind of content you need to make, but don’t know where or how to begin).
From creating infographics, GIFs, and memes to generating quotes, collages, and inspirational messages, and even making profile pictures, cover photos and logos in the right size, you’ll definitely want to try:
Let’s start the list with my favourite. I find myself turning to Canva often for my image editing needs. What makes it really easy to use is that it has social media templates among its numerous design templates available for users. You can create cover photos in the right size, great-looking profile pictures, and other social media-optimized images. If you need to find a tool to start with, Canva is one of your best options.
Here’s another great one. Have you ever wanted to make a photo collage for your social media posts, either because you want to share so many images at once or because you couldn’t decide which among the four or five images you were looking at is the best choice? Fotor allows you to create a collage of photos — you can start with two photos, or even squeeze 12 or 13 images together! You can create comic strips, online greeting card images, or other styles of images for sharing on social media. You can use your images from your computer or from your online accounts. The interface is also very simple and easy to use and master; you’ll be creating collage after collage in no time, perfect for posting on your Instagram or Pinterest account.
What’s better than a static image? A moving image, that’s what! Facebook has recently allowed GIFs to be posted as status updates, which makes the already-popular image format, well, even more popular. Imgflip is one of the most easy-to-use GIF creators out there. Using video and image content, you can create your own funny, mind-boggling, or eye-catching GIFs via a user-friendly interface.
4. Logo Garden
Of course, you need a good logo to help you with your branding strategy, and LogoGarden just might be the tool you need to make it a reality. If you’re looking for a logo that’ll help set your business apart from everyone else, consider making one from over a thousand choices available on this logo creation platform. The best thing about it is that it’s absolutely free of charge!
You’ve seen them: One-shot images that often come with descriptive and witty or ironic captions. Memes are often the quickest kind of visual content to go viral (just ask the people who run 9gag). You can use Quickmeme to, well, create memes quickly — just remember that the key to creating a successful image based on a meme is to understand the point (or underlying irony) and mechanics that made the original a meme in the first place.
Earlier, I was talking about posting quotes on social media, and how framing them with an attractive design is a much more effective way of preparing them to be absorbed and shared. With Recite, you have access to various themes that can help you create eye-catching quote images.
Surprised? PowerPoint is a powerful (pun intended) tool for creating images for social media. It’s simple — just consider each slide in a standard presentation as a standalone image. When you think about it, you’ll realize that PowerPoint has just about everything you need to create great pictures, especially if you’re working with visual data for infograhics and other such presentations. PowerPoint’s highly customizable slides (which allow you to fiddle with the colors and backgrounds or even add text, for starters) make it an unlikely but very much welcome ally in your image creation quest. (Heck, I know someone who uses PowerPoint to create entire eBooks!)
Want to venture into making videos for social media, but unsure as to how you should begin? Don’t worry about the learning curve if you’re using Videolicious — it has a library full of tutorials that you can refer to when you’re making your social media-ready video. The Videolicious Academy will take you for video-making newbie to expert in no time, after which you can apply everything you’ll learn and start churning out quality videos for your brand.
Are you ready?
Ready to enhance your posts on social media with interesting images, infographics, videos, and other kinds of visual content? Simply reach into your toolbox to find the best tools for the job, depending on the kind of output you want to create.
Liz Azyan is a digital consultant who helps public organisations and businesses add value to their products and services through smart digital solutions. She has been awarded the Google Fellowship Award for her work and initiative in the arena of technology, politics and social entrepreneurship. She has also been listed on several lists around the web as a top digital expert by her peers and industry leaders.