I have never described myself as a visual person. I can open the refrigerator door, frustrated when I see there’s “nothing to eat,” and fail to notice a big, fresh salad that my husband made for me in the morning.
Or I can walk into a friend’s home and miss the freshly painted walls or wallpaper newly added to the entry.
If I happened to witness an accident, I would be hard-pressed to give the police any details. I wouldn’t recall the color of the car or the look of the suspect.
Despite this quirk of mine, I am always drawn to social media images. In fact, I more often gloss over (or not read at all) wordy posts on Facebook and instead jump ahead to the beautiful pictures, funny memes, and short, meaningful quote graphics.
Visual Content Rules
I’m not the only one who prefers visual posts over text. Look at these statistics from Wishpond.com:
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
- Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%.
- Visual content is social-media-ready and social-media-friendly. It’s easily shareable and easily palatable.
- Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.
- 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to carry more weight than product information or customer ratings
Canva – A Free App to Create Social Media Images
I use Canva extensively to create Twitter and Facebook header and banner images and quote images for my posts.
Canva is free to use and easy to learn. Take a look at a few of the images I’ve created. The first image is my Facebook banner image, which is identical to my Twitter header.
Here’s a quote image I created for Facebook.
Get Started with Canva
To start creating your own visuals, go to Canva. You can select a template or create your custom dimensions.
Next, you will need to select your layout and image and your text. If you’re not using an image, you’ll need to select a background. If you don’t have any images of your own that you’d like to use, you can select one from Canva’s one million images.
Here are some sample layouts for a Facebook image.
Here are some sample text templates from Canva’s left-side column.
Canva provides some images and illustrations for free. Typically, Canva charges $1 per image. In this example, I typed the word clouds and selected an image that cost $1.
My next step was to add a text overlay to the image. Once I selected the text overlay, I changed the color from green to a pale blue, which is easy to do. Then I added my text, added my branding at the bottom, paid for the image, and saved my creation.
Canva will remove the watermark overlay on an image you want to buy once you finalize the purchase of the image. You can revise the image as often as you’d like over the following 24 hours.
Here is the visual I created. You’ll notice my branding at the bottom.
If you are artistic and you enjoy playing with visuals, you will love this app. If you’re like me, you will be happy to discover how easy it is to use. Canva has a series of short videos that will help you select complementary colors and mix designs.
Besides social media images, you can use Canva to create graphics to market your books for your blog, workshops, Goodreads giveaways, and book promotions. Once you create them, upload your visuals to any of your social media platforms, especially Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
What’s also exciting is that you can use Canva to create a book cover.
Just go to Canva’s book cover web page. Click Start Designing Your Book Cover and you’ll be on your way.
I’d love to see what kind of social media images you create with this great little app.
My Other Fave Tool for Social Media Images
Pablo is the dream child of the founders of Buffer, a scheduling application. No worries; you needn’t use Buffer in order to use Pablo.
Pablo is perhaps the easiest social media photo editor of all.
First, select a free photo from the array of photos that Pablo provides. Or, upload one of your own.
Click twice to enter the text, select your font, and bold or italicize the text.
Notice on the right that you can change the size of the image to fit on Pinterest or Instagram and you can change the light contrast.
Once you finish the image, you can send it directly to a social media platform if you use Buffer or simply download it and upload it to any of your social media platforms.
Voila! Here’s my image:
Here is another example with the same text:
Which application do you prefer?