Create Social Media Images Without Expensive Software
Social media may already be a low priority when it comes to running your business. Alternatively you may have fun things to post, put struggle to take or find high quality images and graphics to go with these messages. In this blog post we’re going to show you an super easy way to create these images and graphics using some of our favourite free tools. To find out more of our favourite tools to help your social media check out this blog post.
Use your phone
If you can’t afford to get a professional photoshoot of your business or you don’t want to spend money on camera equipment. Use your phone! Everyone knows that any smartphone now a days can take a cracking phone, many even have 4K resolution. Here’s our top tips on how to take a great photo on your phone.
Think about your phones orientation. Do you want your image to be portrait or landscape? If you are posting to your Instagram or Snapchat story then obviously a portrait picture is the better option but if you are posting to Twitter or Facebook then a landscape image might look better.
Use the grid setting on your phone camera to help you take the best image. To get the best images, you can use the grid to help you use the ‘Rule of Thirds.’ This involves having your subject slightly to the left or right of the centre, rather than bang on in the middle of your image. This helps draw your audience’s eye into the whole image composition rather than just the centre.
Check your lighting. Think about what you want to be the main focus of your image and use lighting to make it stand out! If you are using natural lighting make sure that this is behind the camera to help light up your subject. If you are using indoor lighting check that your image doesn’t look blurry or contains a lot of shadows. You can use your iphone flash to help take a clearer image, we also own a clip-on selfie light that we love as it really takes our selfies to the next level… Kim K level!
Check your angle. A photo from below can signify power, whereas a photo from above can make a subject look small and intimidated. Think about what message you want express through your image and use a camera angle that matches!
Use Stock Images
If you don’t have time to take your own images or don’t have the means to take a picture that you want to use on your social media. For example, if you needed a picture of a beach in Thailand to promote your holidays but don’t have time to fly over and take it! Then you could think about using stock images.
Now, you may be hesitant to use these images considering the amount of awful stock images there are out there. But, using our favourite free tool Unsplash you can find professionally taken images by photographers across the world and use them for free! We use Unsplash as we find that the selection and quality of the images is better than any paid stock image site! Many of the photos have already been edited and colour corrected on there so you don’t have to worry about adding a filter.
Edit using free software
Photoshop and lightroom are very powerful image editors that many businesses choose to use. However, as a business owner or social media manager you may just find these programs complicated and frustrating to use. These are our favourite free editing tools:
Canva was created by a group of friends that wanted to create a way for people to create great social media images without the headache of using photoshop! You can create images using the app or website. It is based around templates such as ‘Social Post,’ ‘Facebook Header,’ and ‘Instagram Story.’ The drag and drop style of the app means that it is super easy to create a professional looking image for business. Here’s some images we have created using Canva.
Snapseed - Snapseed is our favourite free mobile photo editor. It’s a powerful little app that will let you crop, fix the exposure, straighten and even blur out a part of your image! Using this app you can make a phone image look like it has been taken on a professional camera! There is also simply preset modes which act like posh instagram filters you can add to your image depending on how ‘dramatic’ you want it to be.
VSCO - If you are looking for a much simpler way to edit your photos on your phone, we suggest VSCO. VSCO is basically just a posher version of Instagram filters. They have professional standard ‘presets’ you can put on your image to bring out the colours and make it pop! Here’s a before and after of an image we edited using VSCO:
Why you should use high quality images on your social media
It is proven that social posts with images get higher engagement. Infact, posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than posts that are text only. You should want to show your audience what your business does in a visually pleasing way, let them into the behind the scenes and show them how great your products are. Images have become an essential component of any successful social media strategy, leaving them out would just be silly!