How to Make the Best Social Media Images Ever

6/3/2016

Canva is a user-friendly image creation website built to help you design professional-quality images in minutes. According to a Hubspot report released in early 2016, “content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.” That’s huge. If you haven’t been focused on creating amazing images for social media, your blog, or newsletter, now’s the time to start.

How to Use Canva

Once you sign up for a Canva account, you can run through a quick, two-minute tutorial on how to use the site. It’s an easy and straightforward guide that shows you how to change colors, search for and place images, insert text, use templates, and more.

Canva tutorial

Create Your First Canva Image

From social media to email headers, you can choose from a number of templates that perform well for certain platforms. For this how-to, I chose to create a simple quote image designed for social media, since quotes are a quick and easy piece of content that typically performs well.

1. Select a Popular Design Type

When you click on “Create a design” in the left hand column, you’ll be presented with many different design categories to choose from, like “Popular Design Types,” “Social Media Posts,” and “Blogging and eBooks.”

Canva "create a design" screenshot

In each category, you can choose the type of image you’re looking to make, which has platform-specific templates with the appropriate image dimensions at your fingertips. If you’ve spent any time trying to figure out what dimensions Facebook and Twitter uses for ads, you’ll be impressed with this feature. From the “Social Media Posts” category, I picked the “Facebook Post” option.

2. Choose a Template

After clicking through to the “Facebook Posts,” you’ll see many different template options in the left hand column.

Canva screenshot of choosing a template

You can see which ones are labeled as free, and the ones you’ll have to pay for. Most paid options are $1 each, and you only pay when you publish or download your design, which allows you to test watermarked images before you make a decision and purchase.

I chose the bright yellow template, because it’s a simple, clean design that only requires you to switch out text and colors if you want.

3. Find a Relevant Quote

Choose a quote that’s relevant to your brand as an author. This could be a juicy or striking quote from your book or a quote about your genre that you think your followers might enjoy.

I popped in the tagline for Published:

Canva screenshot of adding in a relevant quote

Play around with the text spaces where I have “Published” and “The Magazine for Indie Authors.” You could place your name, the name of your book, your website, or Facebook Page here, so that if anyone downloads the image and reposts it without sharing directly from your Page, your name will be attached to it forever.

4. Change Colors and Fonts

Not necessarily something you have to do, but it’s a good idea to choose a few colors that represent your brand. Maybe choose some colors from your book cover or blog to keep the brand momentum going. If you have colors chosen already, you can right click on the background color and type in the color code.

Canva screenshot of how to change colors

You can even save your brand colors and logos if you sign up for Canva for Work. You can try it out for 30 days to see if the beefed up work version gives you what you’re looking for. It’s priced at $12.95 per month, or $9.95 per month if you buy an entire year at once for $119.40.

Screenshot of final Canva image

I input our brand color codes and voila! This super simple, clean, branded image took me about five minutes total to make. All I had to do next was hit the download button, and my image was ready to be uploaded.

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Know of any other websites where you can make amazing images? Tweet them to us.

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Katie Bolin

Katie is a social media & advertising strategist.

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