“Hey Verena, how do I create social media visuals like these?”
“They just look amazingly done. Any graphics tool you can recommend?”
Nick, my client who just ordered his second website from me, was planning his new Facebook fan page.
He’s on the hunt for tools he can use to create high quality social media visuals he’s proud to show to the world.
This is the visual he sent me as example of how he wants his to look:
“I use Photoshop”.
“I pick and download premium stock photos from these sites, add the text I want using Photoshop, and upload the visuals to Facebook.”
I immediately knew the source of his problem: a sophisticated design program being used by a novice.
That can be a nightmare for someone who only wants to create social media visuals.
Fortunately, there are a few friendly solutions.
“But if you’re not a designer,” I wrote back to Nick, “Photoshop can make your head spin.”
“It’s a great tool for designers, but for most people, learning to use the features takes like, forever.”
“If you’re only making social media visuals, you don’t need Photoshop – there are a couple killer online graphic tools I can recommend.”
I gave Nick a couple of my graphic tool recommendations.
24 hours later, he told me he had this visual made for his first Facebook post:
Using the tools I recommended, it only took Nick 15 minutes to put this together.
Not bad huh?
If you aren’t a professional designer, and don’t want to pay expensive fees to outsource your social media visuals, this post is for you.
Below, I’m going to show you 5 online graphic tools you can use to create stunning visuals for your social media posts.
No experience needed.
Canva is one of the most popular online graphic tools.
Canva is not just for social media visuals.
You can create everything from social media graphics, to eBooks, cards, resumes, and even info graphics using Canva.
Every social media visual has different dimensions. Canva takes the guesswork out of knowing the right image dimension for your social media post.
Their pre-sized templates make it easy for you. Just choose from their library of layouts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other networks, then start putting your graphic together.
Want to work on a Facebook post? No problem.
Want to work on an Instagram post? They have the right pre-sized dimensions for that, too.
Also, they have a vast selection of design elements like lines, icons, grids, shapes, frames, making life so easy for a design novice to easily produce quality visuals for social media.
Canva has a series of pre-designed template backgrounds available, but I prefer to find my own graphics.
I use a couple of free-to-use graphics sites like Unsplash to source the right image for the job.
Whether you use their images or yours, setting up using Canva is a real time-saver.
Another great time-saver, Snappa is a sister company to Stocksnap.io – one of the best resources for high quality royalty-free stock photos.
This affiliation allows Snappa users to access a ton of high resolution, high quality images directly through the Snappa app without having to run around hunting down the perfect image at a dozen other royalty-free stock photo sites.
Snappa advertises themselves as “The Easiest Graphic Design Tool You’ll Ever Use” and they stick to their motto…
In addition to a ton of high quality free to use stock photos, Snappa offers thousands of free emojis, vectors, shapes, fonts and typefaces.
Like Canva, they also let their users pick a pre-sized template for their social media network.
So it’s super easy.
Select a social media template, pick an image, select the font you like, type your text and you are done!
In reality, most people don’t need a sophisticated tool to make a social media visual.
Most people only need a nice, relevant image with some text placed on it.
If you are looking for a minimalist online graphic tool, Pablo is for you.
Pablo was created by Buffer, the social media app developer.
With Pablo, you just have to select an image, customize your text, add filters and that’s it… Your visual is ready to be published.
Pablo used to be just an app like Canva and Snappa.
But now, Buffer has developed Pablo as a Google Chrome Extension.
Once you have the Pablo extension installed, you can take any picture on a website to use it for your social media visual (of course, you must ask permission to use it unless the image is copyright-free).
So, if you are on a website and you like a picture you see, you don’t have to download the picture, you can place your cursor over the image and a Pablo icon will pop up.
Click on the icon and the image will upload to Pablo. You can then use the image to create your social media visual.
This saves you the extra step of downloading the image to your computer.
PicMonkey has been around for a while in the online photo editing game.
It’s a different beast from the other graphic tools I’ve recommended above.
The aim of PicMonkey is to do everyday photo editing- so it covers image edits plus some special effects integration like filters and overlays.
Whereas tools like Canva are mainly for producing graphics for digital applications like social media, blogs and other online marketing materials, PicMonkey allows you to edit an image or create a collage of your own images.
There is a subscription plan available, but you can use a large portion of PicMonkey for free.
You can crop, rotate and add “effects” to an image.
For portrait images, you can touch up make-up or remove things like blemishes or wrinkles.
Apart from adding text, you can add frames, textures, and style your photos with design themes.
PicMonkey’s rich array of design themes pulls your photos together with the right fonts, effects and overlays to make your DIY design perfect for occasions like Halloween, Christmas, and back to school.
It’s a pretty awesome tool.
Over is a photo editing app.
It’s available for iPhone and Android. If you are always on the move, use Over.
It’s just like bring your own on-the-go design studio along with you.
Snap. Type. Share.
It’s that easy!
These online graphic tools have become a blessing for posting social media visuals for bloggers.
You no longer need to pay expensive rates to professional designers and wait days for the results, or spend a ton of money on high end graphics programs and waste time learning to use the features.
Use the tools I’ve shown you for your social media posting and have fun!
Oh yes – if you come across another tool that’s worth recommending to the others reading this post, share it below.
I’d all like to see what you’ve found.