Our Secret To Creating Easy & Powerful Shareable Content
If there is one way to boost engagement on your social media outlets it is through images. It's also a key in creating shareable content that your fans will want to share with their friends, which grows your audience. Now, not all of us are talented graphic designers or gifted creatively when it comes to visual elements. So how do you create simple graphics that will help you draw in new fans?
Let me tell you friends…if I can do it, you most certainly can. I'm going to share with you my secret sauce to creating simple yet very effective graphics for social media.
Before we get into how to create your images, there are two resources that you will need:
Purchase Pixelmator App
Pixelmator is a very inexpensive image editor that will help you easily create the images you need to make an impact on your social media outlets. It's a small investment of $14.99 and it will help you tremendously. Simply install it on your Mac and you are good to go.
Sign Up for Stock.xchng
Stock.xchng is a great FREE stock photo site. All you have to do is sign up for an account and you have access to millions of great photos to use. It's a fantastic resource! Another cool recourse for different fonts is DaFont.com so be sure to check that one out as well.
Now, let's create some images!
STEP #1: SIMPLE COLOR BACKDROP:
Click on your Pixelmator App and go to File > New
This will bring up a box that looks like this:
This allows you to pick what size of "canvas" you want to work with. I found this really helpful cheat sheet regarding Facebook sizing and dimensions that has been incredibly helpful. For this example we are going to create a slide show image that we will attach to our status update for Facebook, so the measurements are 960px by 720px. Make sure that the preset is set to "custom" and you will be good to go. You will end up with a canvas like this:
STEP #2: COLORING THE CANVAS:
Next, go to the toolbar that is to the left of your canvas and select the little paint can icon, which stands for "color fill". At the top left hand corner of your canvas you will see a little rectangle that designates the color to use.
Click on that and you can choose what color you want your background to be. Simply click on the color wheel to choose your color. Click anywhere on your canvas and BAM… you've got yourself a colored background! Easy as pie.
STEP #3: INCLUDE YOUR TEXT:
Next up is putting the quote or text that you want to include within your image. If you Google "inspirational quotes" or whatever tickles your fancy, a ton of options will come up that you can use. I keep a running list of inspirational quotes in Evernote that I might use for our various social media accounts.
Once your text is ready, simply go to your tool bar and select the "typing" icon (it's a big T towards the bottom)
Once your typing icon has been selected, simply click anywhere on your canvas and a "TEXT" box will show up.
What I like to do is type in my text first and then adjust the color, size, font, etc.
By simply clicking on the text box you can drag it wherever you would like. And by clicking on the small white boxes on the sides of the text box you can adjust the width. The top menu bar allows you to adjust the size, color of text, font, etc.
STEP #4: EXPORT TO JPEG:
Once you have your image looking the way you want and have spell checked your text (don't forget to do that!) you are ready to export that puppy. Simply click on Share > Export for Web.
At the top of your canvas you will see the format option (which should be set to JPEG) and at the far right you will see a 'cancel' and 'next' button. Click on 'next'...
It will ask you to save the photo in your desired location and you are good to go! Wasn't that simple?!? You can attach that to your next social media update for a shareable image to go along with your quote.
STEP #5: IMAGE WITH PHOTO BACKGROUND:
If you would like to have something more than just a simple color backdrop on your canvas, you can easily include an image. All you have to do is go to Pixelmator's File > Open.
This will enable you to select the folder where you are holding the image that you want to use for your background. I keep a folder on my desktop specifically for images that I like to use for my social media updates, so that might be helpful for you to use as well.
The image that you choose might not be the right size so go to Image > Image Size to adjust it to the 960 x 720 px that we need. Once you do that you will be set to click on the 'Text' icon (as mentioned in Step #3) and proceed as we did before.
And THAT, my friends, is how you create some easy, good looking, and shareable images. Play around with Pixelmator and see what you can do… it's a fantastic resource.
Question: How did you create images for your social media presence? Did this information help you? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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