Despite common belief, impressive social media graphics aren’t restricted to big budgets. Any business can stand out in the crowd simply by following a few simple guidelines and using a tool designed specifically for making graphics easy – without the big dollars.

Why is it important to use social media graphics?

1. For Visual Impact – images gain a lot more attention than text posts. They are distinctive on the page and get a bigger response:

  • Content with images gets 94% more total views
  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets
  • Photos on Facebook get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs than text only posts

2. In the case of a blog, if you include keywords in your feature image’s Alt Text (alternative information) it can benefit your search engine ranking. Google officially confirmed it mainly focuses on alt text to understand what an image is about. Google crawlers can’t see the image on your web page, so they rely on the Alt Text to indicate what the image is suggesting.

Your blog’s image settings include an Alt Text field to enter your information:

adding alt text

Example: WordPress

How to make social media images that work

If you are going to use photography, use exceptional photography. Clear, high quality images display a professionalism that shows you are serious about making a difference.

Be consistent with fonts and colour schemes. Sure, mix them up a bit. But stick closely to your brand and its personality.

Two very different companies, Plum Deluxe and Carlton Draught, use powerful images on their Facebook pages. They each display a strong message, while their individual brand ‘speaks’ to their specific target audience:

Brand styles

Give your audience what they want. Show them a personality they can relate to and feel good about.

Mix up different types of  images to keep it interesting (for example, photos, memes, banners, quotes, facts).

Now let’s take a look at how to build impressive graphics using Canva.

Canva examples

The “Amazingly Simple” graphics software – Canva.com

There are a few tools available online for do-it-yourself social media images, but I believe Canva is the better choice. As a seasoned graphic designer who has trained numerous clients to manage their own blogs and social media, I think Canva simply takes a load off and promises better outcomes.

It’s a sophisticated software, with over 8 million users, and has turned many a non-designer into an impressive artiste.

When you start a project with Canva, you choose what you are using your image for, such as a Facebook post, YouTube thumbnail, Twitter header, just to name a few. You’re then presented a blank canvas set to the correct size and format instantly. No need to be working out what size to make your image or worrying if it is going to appear correctly.

Canva template choices

Examples of the formats you can choose from in Canva.

From here, you can choose from hundreds of existing templates, or ‘Layouts’, or start from scratch and build your own using Canva’s extensive library of graphic ‘Elements’, ‘Text’ and ‘Background’ images.

When setting up a Background image, you can either:

  • Choose one of Canva’s 1,000,000+ images right there within the page, or
  • Upload an image of your own

Not all Canva’s images are free, but if you do choose to use a paid image, it is only USD$1 per image.

canvas

The background image used in this example is free with Canva.

Note: If you find that Canva doesn’t have an image that suits your needs, and you don’t have one of your own to upload, I recommend Big Stock photo library. They have an huge range of great images, and if you purchase one of their Credit packs, https://www.bigstockphoto.com/subscribe/all/, you can be paying as little as $1-$12 per image.

Putting it into play

Outstanding images can easily be a part of your online brand. There is no need to cut corners and miss opportunities when you can create brilliant images simply, and within budget.

With some planning and practice, creating your own social media graphics will get easier and faster.

In only a matter of days, you should see your efforts bringing you higher engagement and better results.

What types of images do you share with your audience? Have you used Canva, or any other online graphics tools? What’s your experience working with social media graphics? Share your thoughts and experiences below.

Carolyn Wilson

Carolyn works with companies who have invested in their website but have needed help in building up their leads and conversions.
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