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 not notice freshly painted walls (with a new color) or wallpaper newly added to the entry.
If there were an accident while I was standing on a street corner, I would not be able to give the police any details. I wouldn’t recall the color of the car or any details about the suspect.
Despite this quirk of mine, I am always drawn to visuals on social media. In fact, I more often gloss over (or not read at all) wordy posts on Facebook and instead jump ahead to the beautiful images, funny memes, and short, meaningful quotes on images.
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 sharable 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 Application to Create Visuals for Your Social Media Posts
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. Here’s a quote image I created for Facebook for a client.
Here’s another example.
Create Your Own Visuals
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 enjoy this application. If you’re like me, you will be happy to discover how easy this application is to use. Canva has a series of short videos that will help you select complimentary colors and mix designs.
Use Canva to create visuals to market your books by creating images 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.
Did you write a book to supplement your business card? Great idea! Well, 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 you create with this great little app.
Increase Your Social Media Engagement with a Different App – Pablo
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?
Frances Caballo is a social media strategist and manager and the author of six books on social media. Click here to schedule an appointment with her.Interested in marketing a book you wrote? Visit Frances at SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.