Tips For Improving Your Online Graphics For Social Media

Using graphics on social media helps to increase engagement with your followers and increases your conversion. Why? Using images on your social media sites allows you to connect with your followers on an emotional level and draw their attention. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to create eye-catching and captivating graphics (I’m not). Instead, use this easy checklist to ensure you’re making the most of your online content.

1. Keep your images simple and focused on one thing (one tip, one quote)

If you create a standard look with consistent font and style to the image, you’ll help people to connect your image style with your brand. You may even develop a theme to the type of content you share. They could be: positive or inspirational quotes, valuable tips, questions, or photos on your area of expertise (food, fashion, fitness, hobbies, hair, cars, etc.).

2. Create a photo collage (when appropriate)

If you have ‘before and after’ images or want to showcase multiple images in one, you could create a collage. Collaging is really for specific use cases and you can skip this tip if you don’t want to put extra time into your images. If you do choose to collage photos, here are some best practices to help you create engaging collage photos. Collaging images together does require a bit more design effort to do it well and keep it focused, but there are some great online tools that make it easy. Most of the online tools have a free version and you can usually upgrade for more features for a low monthly fee. 

3. Always include your URL

It is always a good idea to include your URL at the bottom of your image, your own personal watermark. You want your followers to know how to find you and it is a simple way to keep them engaged with your brand. You can also include your logo on the image in order to make your brand more memorable. In addition, if someone shares your post, their followers know where the tip or quote came from. This helps to increase your presence on social media. Simply add another text box for your URL in a smaller and less prominent yet readable font. If it’s too large, it may come across as promotional instead of more like a watermark to identify your brand.

4. Make sure the text is extremely readable

This is the most important graphic design tip: Ensure that your following can clearly understand your message. Ensure the words show up clearly. Don’t put them on top of a busy part of an image. Choose fonts that are easy to read and ensure that your words are not too big or too small. It is also a good idea to pay attention to spacing, you can space your letters out to help emphasize certain words in your message. Paragraph spacing can also be used to make your design more balanced and readable.

5. Add shapes to support text readability

If you add a shape over a portion of your image, and then add your text onto the shape, you then have another great way to focus your message and make it stand out. Color the shape with complimentary colors to the background image (or to your brand style). This will help your message stand out from the main image. When adding shapes try using the transparency feature as shown in the video. This will let part of the main image show through while bringing the text into focus.

6. Using backgrounds

If you have a photo you love and want it as a background, you may have to do some adjustments. Using some free online tools can help, some of these tools have free photo templates and you can also upload some of your own photos. There are features available that allow you to fade the image in the background and overlay shapes to focus on the message you are sending.

Easy Tool To Create Images

I often use Canva to create great graphics for my social media posts. Canva has a free version and is easy to use, see this video below for a demonstration of some of the tips above. Using online tools for creating graphics will easily help to bring your images to another level.

How To Create A Logo Online For Free

To design a logo you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands when you need a quick, clean and good looking logo. There are up to 3 parts of a logo that you may choose to include. The must have piece is the name of your company. The optional pieces are the icon (which often is referred to as the logo) and a slogan. If you need a customized icon or

There is a reason graphic designers get paid well. And if you don’t have a sense of graphic style or online design ability, these designers are well worth hiring. The time it will take you to create, edit and potential re-create a logo doing it yourself (even with the easiest of tools like I’m going to show you) may not get you as far if you are artistically challenged.

If you’re a creative type, you can become a faux graphic designer using online sites. Sites like DesignEvo and LogoMaker.com are two that I found to be easiest. They have similar features. DesignEvo’s advantage is that you may download a free version. It’s lower resolution, but it is fine to use online on a website/blog and/or social media accounts and graphics.

Almost Free Logo Online Design Tools

DesignEvo has a very easy to use editor. I found more unique icon choices at LogoMaker.com but you have to spend a minimum of $39.95 for the logo files. It is free to make your design on LogoMaker.com, however, the logo is not free to download or use. The downloadable file is what you basically pay for. DesignEvo will simply ask you to give credit on social media to download the logo design you make. If budget is a factor you might simply try both tools, see which you like best and go from there.

The Online Design Tool Features

Both design tools are easy to use. The LogoMaker.com designer interface is more basic than DesignEvo.  DesignEvo allows you to use a gradient color scheme on the icon. You can change the colors, fonts, sizing, and orientation of the logo. You can add elements like shapes colored background. You can also add an outline and shadow to text, adjust the text opacity, and in 1 click make text all uppercase. LogoMaker.com editor is much simpler. You can change solid colors and font sizes and color (no shadow or outline) and orientation of icon and text.  The icon suggestions could be better on DesignEvo. I find that LogoMaker gives me better ideas for logo icons. In fact, it appears they pick images that may correspond to the words in the business name.

Compare Logo Design Quality

See for yourself. Here are to screen shots from each design tool. You’ll find hundreds if not thousands of options on each site, so by all means, check them out for yourself. This is no way meant to be comprehensive.

This is DesignEvo

Below is LogoMaker

Whether you’re into design or simply know what you like in a logo design, give these free online logo editors a try to create your custom design.

If you need a logo designed and you’re not a DIY design type person, hire a graphic design firm that understands marketing and is experienced at logo design.

Social Media Strategies for Startups: 5 Viable Paths To Consider

Social media and marketing are here to stay — but do you know how to make the most of social equity for your startup? It seems like every week there is a new platform or strategy that everyone is buzzing about.

However, not every strategy will work for your startup and that’s why we’ve got 5 viable paths to consider.

Read on— by the end you’ll know which direction to point your social media strategy in.

Check it out: 5 Keys to Branding For Small Business Success

Put People First

Customers have never favored a saccharine or corporate approach to advertising but the growth of social media has made impersonal marketing even less appealing. Use this reality to inspire your social media ethos and develop a strategy that puts people first.

There are many different ways that you can do this. For instance, you could get the members of your startup to carry out ‘social takeovers.’ This is where you hand over the keys of your social media account to someone who doesn’t normally look after it.

It could be anyone, a rep from the admin team, a part-time recruitment official, or one of the company directors. If you’re feeling really daring then you get another company to get involved, such as a local school.

The important thing to remember when you unleash a social takeover is that you don’t get too carried away in your brand message; social media is about building a community and if you want to put people first, it means you’re going to have to let your startup take a backseat.

Partner With Bigger Players

Going viral is a tactic that can reap huge success for a new business; just take the example of Dollar Shave Club, whose excellent video, Our Blades Are F***ing Great, is now part of social media strategy legend…

Unfortunately, not every startup can run a social media campaign that gets over 25 million YouTube views. However, what you can do to give yourself a chance of getting those figures is to partner up with a bigger player.

This could be a social media influencer, or a partnership with a bigger organization. If you’re really smart then you can create one big player from a number of smaller players. How? By using micro-influencers. These are influencer marketers who don’t have the enormous figures of people like Shakira, but do have a devoted following who will be influenced by their recommendations.

Whichever strategy you take, the important thing is that getting an endorsement from a big player can make a huge difference in driving up your social media network and that’s a huge deal – your network is your net worth.

Experiential Marketing: Offline/Online Social

Customers don’t want your startup to sell them your goods, services, or dry corporate messages. What they want instead is for you to engage with them on a level that makes you products part of their life by selling them an experience.

Snapchat have been using AR for sometime and it’s become a potent weapon for a number of businesses. In April 2018 Snapchat released a Shoppable AR Lens feature, an extension of the social media platform’s shoppable ads that let brands connect directly with Snapchat users.

Snapchat’s Shoppable AR Lens was launched by Adidas, Clairol, STX Entertainment, and King. You can see how Adidas made this exponential form of social media work for their Deerupt running shoe by checking out this article. Experiential marketing has enabled these brands (and many more) to use to social media to create awesome offline/online social experiences.

But for your startup to really get the most of this social media tactic, you need as many composite parts of your business working together in harmony as possible. By making sure your website is geared for AR and VR, you can create a strategy that uses experiential marketing to drive customers from your social media accounts to your website.

Host Social Communities

Posting a million different things on social media is great. But what do you think the value to your startup would be if instead of just being a publisher of information for your followers, you used your social media accounts to become a curator and a community manager?

Building up a community by using Twitter chats and Facebook groups is an excellent strategy to get deep engagement from your social media followers. And, remember, engagement is the most valuable currency that social media has.

If you don’t believe me then just listen to what Ryan Stewart, founder of the group Digital Marketing Questions, has to say on the value of creating a social community:

Facebook pages and personal posts rely completely on the Newsfeed algorithm for organic exposure. Facebook groups send users a notification whenever someone posts to the Group, thus driving traffic to each post… Facebook gives users the option to silence these notifications. However, if your group consistently adds value, they won’t.

If you want to find out more on how you can use the social communities to create a winning social media strategy, read this strategy using private Facebook group.

Budget-Friendly Bootstrapping

You don’t have pots of money to throw at every corner of your startup; you need to get a team of people that you can trust, build a website, find an office space that works for you, and have a working accounting system…. And that’s just the beginning!

Thankfully, social media is easy to bootstrap — especially in the early days.

You can automate your processes and scale up your social strategy with a range of free tools and inexpensive VAs. There is so much AI-driven automation out there that can help you take the heavy lifting out of social media management.

Of course, you need a good strategy to get you started — but remember to keep things agile and reactive. Make the most of social advertising to seed and launch content and products, but don’t put your entire business in the hands of one channel either.

So many startup businesses don’t last the test of time and for so many different reasons. Getting your social media strategy wrong might not be thing that sends your startup under, but getting it right could be what takes it into the stratosphere. So, pick your strategy, implement it now, and take your company as far as you can.

Author: Kayleigh Alexandra is passionate about helping startups succeed. She blogs at Microstartups.org and donates all website profits to charities that help people reach their full potential.

 

6 Business Growth Tactics For Entrepreneurs [Infographic]

If you’re an entrepreneur wondering how to ensure your business grows, you must get your marketing down. Start with these tactics discussed in the full article on how to Amplify Business Growth with These 6 Entrepreneur Hacks.

Quick Business Growth Guide

Use this infographic as a handy reference and business growth guide.

If you’re one of the many businesses that has left marketing as an afterthought or simply thought how hard could this be, we just go on Facebook and we’ll figure it out, take a step back. Garner sales from social media is an art and a scient and takes a well thought out strategy and often will take months or years to perfect.

Share this Image On Your Site

Shoutout to Visme for the easy infographic creation tool.

 

3 Easy Tools To Make Infographics And Quote Graphics

The social web is filled with helpful information and often you will find infographics that allow you to easily and quickly consume everything from statistics to recipes.  Other times a piece of inspiration will cross your feed and evoke a powerful emotion because of the imagery and message. Making these images on your own is easier than ever with online tools. Best part is we’re highlighting three that are free to use.

Note: This blog post has been updated to include a fourth infographic tool as of Dec 2017.

Types of Infographics

Wondering what kind of infographic you could make? Think about the useful, entertaining, or educational information you know or can collect. Maybe you have a step by step blog already that you could repurpose into an infographic. Here is a list of types of infographics you might choose from. In fact, this list might make a great infographic itself someday.

  • How To’s
  • Before and After
  • Lists of Resources or Tools
  • Statistics and Awareness Raising info
  • Checklists
  • Tips
  • Recipes
  • Top ___ Lists

You could get a lot of ideas for more types of infographics on Pinterest.

Before starting on the graphic design, be sure to prepare your content. Start with the text that you will relay on the image. Are there any statistics you want to research? Infographics often contain a variety of images within them. Gather the icons, images and design elements that you want to include and then get ready to create.

How To Make Infographics and Quote Images

I had a lot of fun using three tools (there are many more available) to create quote images and infographics. What I most like about these tools is that I used the free version of them and they were relatively easy to use.

  1. Piktochart is what I used to make the infographic you see below. They have templates that you can populate. It will take a little time, but if you like online software, go for it. You can create a professional looking design without paying for one.
  2. Stencil was super fast because it even supplies you quotes to use.
  3. Canva is my go to tool for images for social media.
  4. Visme.co is a BONUS tool that I newly found and has infographic, social media, presentation templates and more. It’s great for creating infographics like the one we did for 6 entrepreneur growth tactics.

 

how to create infographics