Ever wondered how other people always seem to have amazing graphics on their social media pages? Are you disappointed with the blurry photo and text box that you spent ages on in Paint (or some other free graphics tool on your computer). Maybe you’ve been avoiding putting images up at all because they’re just in the “too hard basket”. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and we already know that images generate better engagement than plain text posts.

Let’s consider some of the facts.

  • According to Wishpond, Facebook posts with photos attached received 53% more Likes and 104% more comments than the average post.
  •  90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.
  • According to Belle Cooper from Buffer, Tweets with image links get twice then engagement rate of those without.
  • The research carried out by Social Bakers (over 1.2M posts delivered by 30,000 pages) demonstrated that out of the top 10% of engaging posts 87% were photos/images.

So, if you are hesitant in including great graphics on your social media channels then you need to know that you are probably getting lost amongst “the noise”.

Visual content is social-media-ready and social-media-friendly. It’s easily sharable and easily palatable.

What can you do about it you ask? Well below I’ve listed 7 tools that you can use to powerup your social media graphics. They are either free (or you likely already have them), simple to use and all assist you in the creative process of publishing engaging images. Note, all tools listed below work great on desktop/laptop computers. Their tablet/mobile counterparts aren’t referred to specifically in this post.

#1. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is probably the easiest image editing program for social media that I’ve found. No login required (although you can), exports straight to Facebook, in fact it ticks all the right boxes.

  1. Jump on the PicMonkey website here.
  2. Click Edit, and choose a photo to use.
  3. There’s dozens of effects and filters that you can play with (some require a paid upgrade to PicMonkey, but all the free ones are ample).
  4. Add your text by clicking the Tt button, choosing your font and then the Add Text button. Using the picker on the right hand side you can change your colour, etc.
  5. When you’ve finished playing either press Save or Share at the top of the screen to download the image or post it direct to Facebook.

How simple is that.

#2. Canva

I think Canva is great and personally use it all the time.

Canva makes ‘drag and drop’ style image editing super simple. Once you have your free account Canva will save all your previous creations so you can come back and edit them at any time. If you’re after something a little more powerful than a basic photo editor then Canva may be exactly what you’re after.

  1. Go to the Canva website here and sign in.
  2. When you’re in, start a new design (in otherwords choose a template).
  3. Then you’re given a huge library of pre-made layouts, background images, text holders, etc. Everything is customisable or usable straight out of the box. You can obviously upload your own images too.
  4. Now, it’s good to point out that Canva is completely free if you use either their free images or your own. They do have a library of paid images ($1 max), but I have never used one. That said, if you find an image that you really like then it’s likely not going to break the bank.

#3. LivLuvCreate

LiveLuvCreate is another online service that makes creating funky photos for Facebook really easy. I admit that I’ve tried it and prefer some of the other tools in this list, but I do think that LivLuvCreate is rather user friendly. One of it’s biggest benefits is that you can see a gallery of other people’s work – so if you’re stuck for inspiration start at the LiveLuvCreate homepage.

  1. Firstly, you need to click on ‘create‘ which is in the ‘images’ menu at the top of the page.
  2. It will ask you to connect to your Facebook account and to create a username.
  3. Then just work through the options. Choose a layout, images, add your text, change the borders, add some effects and filters.
  4. Lastly, click ‘finish your creation’ and export to Facebook.

Easy as pie!

#4. Paint.Net

If you want to get really snazzy and start creating images like a graphic designer does then you should probably get the tools that graphic designers use… Adobe Photoshop is the standard in the graphics industry and it will only set you back $1,000 (give or take). However, if you don’t want to dig so deep in your pockets you could try Paint.NET. It’s free, it’s based on many of the functions of Photoshop (although a little simpler), and it runs direct on your computer (not an online tool).

Paint.NET has an active community, so answers to most questions can be found online or via forums.

If you wanted to download it you can try here.

#5. Powerpoint

Now I popped Powerpoint in as the ‘wild card’. Although it’s not a free program, many people already have it on their computers and lots of people already know how to use it. Most people don’t know that you can create a slide in Powerpoint and then save it as an image (eg, a jpeg or a png, etc). This way you can use Powerpoint to create an image, with additional text or clipart, massage it to look the way you want and then save as a picture that can be uploaded to Facebook. Cool eh?

#6. Social Media Image Maker

Do you want to add some spice to your cover image on Facebook? Maybe you’d like a really snazzy profile image? Social Media Image Maker is great for making any of these pictures perfect. Not only for Facebook but lots of social media channels.

  1. Visit the site.
  2. Choose the photo size that you’re after and click create.
  3. Add your file. Your source file needs to be on your computer somewhere.
  4. Then it gives you options to crop, add filters, etc in a step by step process. Hint, avoid clicking on the icon with the gears, it appears to have a bug and doesn’t allow you to download the file if you do.
  5. Press the download button (farthest on right, top row) when you’re done.
  6. Then upload it to Facebook as you normally would.

#7. Recite

Maybe you don’t want to post a funky photo. Recite is perfect for creating images from interesting quotes. It’s really as simple as:

  1. Visiting the site.
  2. Typing your text, choosing a background and hitting the create button.
  3. Clicking on the Post to Facebook button.

You could use a favourite quote or saying, maybe a quote from one of your customers, or even a tagline taken from some of the merchandise that you sell.

So in closing here are some things to consider – Images are great. They create an emotion for your brand, people engage with them well and they can look like a lot of fun. The ‘fine print’ below needs a little consideration however (these are provided with good common sense rather an any specific legal opinion).

  • There are copyright laws that cover graphics. Anything that is in a library in any of these above tools will be free to use, but just jumping onto Google and finding an image that you like is a little touch and go as someone else probably owns the intellectual property. If you want, you are able to search online catalogues of non-copyrighted images such as CreativeCommons or just do a search for royalty free images.
  • If you post a photo of someone on Facebook it’s great etiquette to ask them first. You don’t necessarily need anything in writing, but a conversation should happen if the person is identifiable in the image.
  • Some of the above tools have the ability to post direct to Facebook for you. I think that’s great. However, it will bypass any scheduling step. So use that shortcut if you want to post an image now, or download the image to your computer and schedule the post as normal if you want it to go out later.
  • Photos in Facebook are indexed by Google. Hint, if you are using any kind of keyword strategy you can slip the words into the image description for some added leverage

Apart from that just have fun with the images.

Let us know in the comments below, what graphics programs do you love to use?