Many social media managers for small companies often also have the role of a graphic designer when they need to create engaging content for the social media channels they manage.
However, there are quite a few great resources online which makes creating beautiful content a lot easier. It’s a good middle ground between throwing something together in Paint and getting a graphic designer.
Below is a crash course of the essentials needed to make your social channel look swish.
Social Media Header Templates
Knowing the measurements of the ever-changing sizes of social media channels can be a headache. Many channels have little fiddly things to consider like the profile image overlaying on the cover image, or the image resizing for mobile.
Digital Information World have created a chart that outlines the key design sizes for the major social networks.
Meanwhile, the guys at Every Interaction have created free zip files of PSD documents of layered templates for the major social media networks cover images – including desktop, tablet and mobile designs. It’s a useful resource to keep bookmarked, especially for graphic designers who would regularly need this info.
However, for those after a quick and easy tool, HubSpot has got a series of covers designed to fit Powerpoint – because, let’s face it, that’s the tool many of us use most! It’s got them in a downloadable powerpoint, where you export to JPG once you’ve designed it in powerpoint. Check them out here (but you do need to sign up via email to get them).
For those who often post ads on Facebook or Instagram, Facebook has a Grid Tool where you can upload your image to test if it’s got less than 20% text before you run your ad.
Cloud computing has come up with some pretty incredible things – and Pixlr is one of those. A web-based program with has many of the image-editing features of Photoshop, this program lets you do all the nifty things like add layers that make creating high-quality images much easier.
Pixlr is a great tool if you don’t want to invest in Photoshop, or you’re working in a large company where installing freeware requires administrator privileges. Who has time to lodge a request for it? No one!
It’s a challenge in Australia to find images that look slick, are free, and we have permission to use. Sometimes you just need a library of images which Creative Commons, without attribution.
My first recommendations would be to check out pixabay.com. However, it’s not the only site where you can get high-quality Creative Commons images for free. In fact, I’ve written a whole blog post about the best free image sites you need to bookmark.
Canva is a Sydney start-up that has been making waves over the past year, and it’s been growing in popularity with community managers.
Canva is a graphic design tool that gives you suggested templates in terms of design, and you change the copy and images. It’s even already in the correct sizes for platforms like Facebook, Instagram and more.
One of Canva’s specialities is creating those classic ‘inspirational quote’ style images. But it can also design powerpoint designs, posters and more. We’re crushing pretty hard on it here.
If you aren’t great with knowing what colours go together, Colour Lovers is a helpful site for recommending suggested colour palettes.
You can enter the key colour you’re wanting to match with, and it will suggest community-submitted palette designs.
It’s great way to make sure you’ve got rich content, but with colours that work together.
Do you have any additional must-have tools to help community managers in their adventures to create more bold and beautiful content? Let me know in the comments!
About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.