“Visuals” is a big buzzword when it comes to social media marketing. It’s becoming a well-known fact that people can process and understand a visual exponentially faster than plain-text content updates. While images are extremely helpful in getting eyes and interest on your content, not everyone would describe themselves as a graphic designer.
But don’t let the fact that you don’t have this line on your resume prevent you from trying to create beautiful visuals for your social media marketing. It’s not as hard as you think! Here are some tools to help make things easier.
Pablo by Buffer
Pablo is an image creation tool with a simplified interface. Here’s how it works:
- Choose from existing background images or upload your own. You can then add a filter of contrast, blur, or change it to black and white.
- Pablo allows for one line of text or two. You can customize size, font, color, alignment, and can add a bold or italicize text treatment.
- There are different sizes to choose from, depending on if you want your images to be optimized for Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
A couple other interesting things to note about Pablo:
- They have a quote randomizer featuring famous thought leaders in case you’re lacking in inspiration.
- They recently released a new browser extension, so making an image is just one click away!
Pablo’s editing options are purposely kept simple so you don’t over think things, and so that the content is the focus. Using Pablo is a great way to stand out on a timeline or news feed without any graphic design experience.
Another practical application of using Pablo is when participating in a Twitter chat — it’s an excellent way to stand out when compared with plaintext responses. Make sure to brand it with your Twitter handle in case you get retweeted!
Canva is really the non-designer’s photoshop. It’s such an awesome tool, and you can use most of the features for free.
The first step to take in Canva is deciding what kind of image you’ll be making. They have templates with correct dimensions for things as simple as Facebook and Instagram posts, to business cards, resumes… and so much more. Don’t see what you’re looking for? You can add in your own custom dimensions.
After you’ve picked a project and size, you have the option to choose from a pre-made layout or to assemble different elements, yourself. This is where Canva has the most use for a non-designer. But regardless whether you want to use one of Canva’s styles or not, there are still plenty of customization options.
Another feature of Canva is their library of shapes, designs, and stock photos. While some are free to use, others are $1 a piece. You’re also able to upload your own stock images.
For expanded features, check out Canva’s paid subscription plan – Canva for Work. The feature I make most use of is the ability to change dimensions on an existing project. For example, if I’m making Facebook posts and need them resized for Instagram.
It’s hard to sum up just how useful Canva can be to create visual masterpieces on a blog post. Ultimately, you should set aside an hour of your day to mess around with the tools and features. Start with Canva’s premade layouts, then venture out and try to create some of your own.
Pablo and Canva are just two tools that can help make your social media marketing more visual. What other tools do you use? Share in the comments so we can all help each other be more interesting and visually appealing social media marketers!