Over my last eight years of using social media marketing for my business and offering this as a service to clients in recent years; I really come to enjoy it. Okay, that’s an understatement. I love it! Truthfully, I did not start out that way. In 2008 social media marketing was very new and so was I. J We all must start somewhere, right?

If you are starting out or just struggling to make your images look as professional as you are; check out these four steps to help you create better visual content for you social marketing efforts. Statistics in the HubSpot post explains how updates with images get more engagement.

  • Use the Right Tool There are some great tools that can help you create professional looking images. Many of which are free! I recommend Canva which offers a free and paid plan. It was launched in 2013. Canva is a user-friendly image creation tool that allows you to create professional quality images with minimum effort. It has a web and smartphone app version.
  • Choose the Correct Image Size for the Social Media Network One of benefits of using a tool like Canva is that you don’t have to remember or keep up with the right size for each network. They are already provided. The days of searching the web for a cheatsheet with updated dimensions or trying to figure it out for yourself are over. Now, you just have to choose your desired outcome. For example, choose an image for your Facebook cover or blog post and begin designing.
  • Don’t Recreate the Wheel: Use Their Templates and Layouts Unless you are an awesome creative type or you have endless amount of time, I recommend using templates. You don’t have to start from a completely blank slate. I like templates! Why, because they provide the foundation to get the job done. They already have appealing designs with complementary fonts and colors. I use them for inspiration; change and keep the elements you want. You can customize them accordingly by adding your own image and brand colors.
  • Less is More Sometimes our marketing desire is to get as much information as we can on our images…because you don’t want to miss that opportunity for your followers to connect and know more about you, right? Well, no. This can be very counterproductive because the focus gets lost. So, I recommend keeping your images simple. Less is definitely more. Don’t include your picture, all your social media links, an inspirational quote, name, bio, and logo – all on one image. Images like this can be overwhelming to your audience. Depending on the platform and use, additional information can be included in the actual status update or post.

To learn more about Tahneesha Smith and our upcoming Member-Only event go to: http://ivaa.org/event/member-event-create-professional-looking-images-canva-tahneesha-smith/