There’s one thing that grabs people’s attention on social media, and that’s great visuals.
In this article I’m going to cover the tools I use to create the three types of visuals that should be used in your social media strategy – images, video and GIF’s.
However if using Adobe products send shivers up your spine, there is a plethora of products available at your fingertips to use on your desktop or smartphone, which are not only quicker and easier to use but are way more cost effective.
1. Canva – Free.
Canva is my absolute favourite app for creating images for social media and websites. The interface is extremely user friendly, the templates make it very easy to create professional looking images and you don’t need to have any extreme knowledge in graphic design. Features include:
• Pre-set templates for cover photos, posts, banner ads, blog graphics and heaps more.
• “Design School” online tutorials to help make your graphics look professional.
• Upload feature so you can use your own images, and great for adding your logo.
• Huge variety of fonts
• Ability to choose colours by HEX code for consistency of your brand
Whilst Canva has a free plan which is great for basics, I thoroughly recommend the paid plan ‘Canva For Work’, at $12.95USD per month. Extra features include:
• Magically resize your pictures (this is a huge time saver if you’re crating an image for multiple social platforms)
• Upload custom brand fonts
• Save templates for you and your team
• Access to 300,000 free photos, illustrations and templates
2. Word Swag – Apple And Android App
Word Swag is like having a graphic designer in the palm of your hand. It’s great for creating inspirational and motivational quote graphics – great content to create social shares. Choose your background from the app or from your camera roll, enter your text, choose your text style and share to your camera roll or directly to your social media account. Most posts take less than 60 seconds, they look fantastic, and the best bit is you can create a beautiful image whilst on the run – no more wasting time sitting in the back of a cab!
3. Ripl – Apple And Android App
Use Ripl to create animated posts, and upload directly to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Add up to 10 photo’s and text, and customize with a range of designs, fonts and music to create short slideshow clips. Ripl Pro is available for $9.99USD per month, which gives you the opportunity of replacing the Ripl logo with your own logo – you’re always better off to market your own business brand rather than someone else’s!
Don’t tell it to me, GIF it to me! GIF’s have risen in popularity since being able to reply using them on a Facebook status. One little clip can say so much, and they are great for social, emails and presentations. You can create your own easily at Giphy.com by entering a YouTube, Vimeo or Vine URL, or uploading your own video file. And if you don’t want to create your own, there are a tonne already there for you to download.
Whilst outsourcing your graphic work is optimal for the best use of your time, it is good to know that there are options which are cost effective and easy to use for those who are tech-challenged or on a budget.
Jump on these sites, have a play, and see which suits you best. I know people who use all of these sites, and they all use different sites for different reasons. You don’t need to stick with just one either – I use multiple for different reasons.
Which are your favourites? Did we miss your favourite from this list? Leave your comments and suggestions below.