Good Morning Internet fans it’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, May 20th. Oh my goodness, we’re almost half way through the year and it is Social Media Wednesday and today’s actually a very special episode. Not only do I have the wonderful and talented Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing, Good Morning Sarah.
Sarah Giometti: Good Morning Ryan, how are you?
RP: There she is. I am doing well, today’s our one year anniversary, it was this weekend last year that we actually did our first episode of Social Media Wednesday, so cheers to you, I don’t have any beer ’cause it’s 9:30, 9:45 in the morning so…
SG: I know, I haven’t even had coffee yet.
RP: So unfortunately we cannot celebrate too long ’cause we got a lot of information in this episode and I think this one’s really important because there’s been a real major shift towards customizing images for social media. Just the fact that when social media started out, it was pretty simple. You threw up some words and it was really cool, and then people started incorporating images years ago, now it’s kind of become a de-facto standard I think. Even Twitter now, a lot of people are posting images on Twitter.
SG: They are. Images and graphics have become huge. We are a very visual society so it’s just a natural progression, that as social media has gotten more sophisticated that graphics are a big part of it. You need graphics for each platform. Graphics for advertising, graphics for your blog post. So graphics are a really big deal in marketing your company, and that carries over into social media. The downside is, a lot of business don’t employ a proper graphic designer, or they don’t have access to one or maybe it’s just not on your budget ’cause you’re starting up, you’re a brand new business and you just can’t quite afford it. So thankfully there are now tools that non-graphic designers can use to create graphics.
RP: Right, and these are really cool, simple to use tools, so if you’re thinking this is going to be about Photoshop or Illustrator, where you almost need a PhD in understanding how to use the software, these are really simplistic. Think Apple, how Apple’s made a lot of products very simple and easy to use, that’s essentially the steps that these companies went with. And there’s two that we can think of. One is Canva, I think that’s the most popular, and then what’s the other one?
SG: PicMonkey, it’s another one that people tend to us.
RP: And PicMonkey is P-I-C-M-O-N-K-E-Y.com. Canva would be Canva, C-A-N-V-A.com. I’m not familiar with PicMonkey, I simply use Canva because that was the first one I heard of. It’s free. There are some costs if you use some of their pro or some of their fancy images but if you upload you’re own images that you can get free off of Google search, just make sure that you have the usage rights to make any changes to those images.
SG: Can I jump in? Don’t do it from a Google search. Google search for a free image website, and go there. So you can do it from say Flickr and make sure you’ve got the image rights, there’s freeimages.com…
RP: There’s also… But on Google there’s a pull-down and you can get ‘for re-use’ and then ‘for re-use with edit’ on a Google search, so you just have to make sure you put that search criteria in. Same thing if you go to Flickr, those images are… [chuckle] I saw that.
SG: There was no cat on my desk.
RP: There was no cat on your desk. Anyhow I was going to say, also if you go to Flickr, same thing, you need to make sure you go to the pull-down and get usage rights, and there’s two usage rights. One is you can just use the image the way it is, or can I use the image and make any changes to it. So if you plan on adding text, or cropping or anything like that, you want to make sure that you get the right usage right, because you could be fined. So let’s not beat that to death. Let’s go straight into Canva, since I think that’s the most popular one. People that are interested in PicMonkey, go check it out yourself, not a problem, but if you could bring up a screen capture of Canva, we’re going to go through and create a quick little image for this episode of Social Media Wednesday, and we’re going to show you how easy it is to create your own images.
SG: Right. So I’ve already pre-loaded the size of the image that I want and so we’re doing the size based on YouTube standards which is 1280 by 720. For things like Instagram, the size for Instagram you can carry over to Facebook and Twitter. Those are… Instagram is a perfect square, so you’ll probably want to create your images at 600 by 600 and when you start off with Canva they have the pre-loaded options for sizes. It even says Instagram, so it makes it really easy for you to pick the correct size. I can…
RP: Would it be too much of an issue to actually start at the home screen?
RP: Show people that real quickly and then we’ll show them how to make them custom size.
SG: So it starts right here with the ‘Create a design,’ so you’ve got Social Media, Presentation, Poster, Facebook cover, Facebook post, because I have the custom one here the Instagram disappeared, but Instagram was in there as well. So you can easily just click one of these and the canvas is already created at the size that is recommended.
RP: Okay perfect, and so we’re going to choose… So if you wanted to do a Facebook banner, just click on Facebook banner, it’s already going to have the dimensions, what we’re creating is going to be a custom image that’s going to go on top of our YouTube channel so that when, if you were to go see this video on our YouTube, instead of it just being a clip, we’re actually going to have a custom image so we can control the marketing message on that image. So, go ahead, let’s click on that 1280 by 720.
SG: So, it’ll bring up my canvas, just… It’s an easy, blank canvas. I did already upload my own image, but if you want to upload, just go to uploads, click the green button to upload your own image, and it brings it in. The one thing about Canva, with their background images are most of the ones that you’ll probably like, they’re one dollar an image. They’re really reasonable, so you can look through those and buy those one at a time or upload your own free images that you have their permission to use. So, we’re just going to throw in this graphic, and it brings it in, and it’s really easy to resize it. You can just grab the corners, click and drag. So they’ve made it really simple for somebody who doesn’t have graphic design experience to just edit, to create a photo.
RP: Right, and then just in case people aren’t able to see it because of the screenshare. On her screen it’s actually got a white area, and that is the size, so if it was this size, the white area would be this size, because we’re doing a larger image, it’s a larger image, and so she’s stretching the image out to fill in that 1280 by 720.
SG: Right, and now you’ll see the dotted line is actually, is the real edge of the image I uploaded, and the canvas has cut the image off. So, I’ve made the image a little bit bigger than the canvas, and it just automatically cuts it off, but shows you that where the borders of the real image are, so that I can click and drag as I want to based on the dotted line.
RP: Alright, perfect, and then we’re going to add a little bit of text. And so this, the title for this video is, “How to Create Custom Images for Social Media.” So, what we did is, we found an image that was relative to social media, we’re going to put that in, that’s our imagery, and then we want to put some text in there, and I think the text that we agreed upon was going to be “Custom Images for Social Media.”
SG: Sorry, I’m writing, da, da, da… Alright, so…
RP: I thought I lost you there for a second.
SG: Nope, nope, so you’ve got a lot of options here in that you’ll notice on each type of font it says whether it’s free or not. All of these that are showing up are free, so I can just pick one of these pre-determined size designs. So, let’s…
RP: Right, and the other thing you can do is at the top it actually has different size font for just straight text if you don’t want all the imagery.
SG: Yeah, so the add text, add subtitle, you can just create your own. Here, ’cause I’m doing it really quick, I’m just going to pick one of the pre-done ones. And so I just clicked over the type design words and it comes up so that I can edit it, and so I can type in now custom images, and then on the add style, I can do for… Whoops… For social media.
RP: Now, what’s cool about this is that you can actually… So they give you different, unique images, you can go ahead and punch in whatever it is that you want to do. If you’re really attached to, like that custom font that we’re working with, that custom image, then you might want to tweak or modify your title a little bit, try and make it shorter, that way it fits the image. If not, you may want to pick a different image, and the cool thing is you can see it on the fly, what’s going on, you can easily delete, change it, swap colors, upgrade font, all that kind of stuff.
SG: Right, so maybe I don’t like this, and like, ah, this doesn’t really fit, so you just hit the delete key and the whole thing goes away and you just try again. It’s really nice and simple, or I could just go to the add text. Now, obviously without having a background behind it, it’s really hard to see with this image, but here I can pick whatever font that I want. Obviously I’m just randomly picking things. You can change the color, so, say I want blue.
RP: Yeah, I’m almost thinking because that image is so… There’s so much going on with it, maybe pushing it up and giving it a little white space at the bottom.
SG: Right, right, you can also do… Oops! You can also add in just a plain background, so I could do… Oops, that changed it. And this is where you can just play with it, it totally changed the background that I had, which is not what I wanted to do, and so the beauty of this is you can just go back. You can’t tell I… I use Illustrator [chuckle]
RP: This is the little different than Illustrator, isn’t it?
SG: It is. It’s super simple ’cause you can just go, “Oops, I changed something I didn’t want to change”, and you can just drop in whatever you want, which is really nice. So, it’s super simple. I’m just going to finish ’cause yeah, we’ve got a couple of minutes. So, let’s pretend I got all the text made and you have it exactly the way you want it to do; all you have to do is click the download button. It automatically saves it for you, and you just click the download button and you can download it as an image or a high quality PDF. And the PDF would be, if you’re doing a handout maybe you’re going to print it someday, you may want want that, but you definitely want it as an image for social media. It just prepares your design and then downloads it for you. It’s really easy, it’s a great way to do it if you don’t have a graphic designer in your back pocket. And then it’s ready, so I just click here to download and it just automatically downloads on my screen. Oh, it’s opening Photoshop.
RP: That’s going to take a little bit. So, what we wanted to do was we want to let you know that there are some really simple solutions out there. We used Canva as an example, simply because it’s one of the first ones that I think the both of us really heard about. The other option is PicMonkey. If you want something really crazy, like Photoshop-capable crazy. There’s also Pixlr, which is P-I-X-L-R, and that is a Photoshop-like software. The real key thing is to just kind of go in and play with things. I think the key here is that, if you’re going to do this, you need to understand what your message is for whatever your content is. Is it a blogpost, is it a video, is it social media? If it is social media, who’s your audience on social media? So, there’s a lot that goes into creating one of these. In fact, I was reading a blog the other day with a gentleman who’s an avid blogger in social media and SEO, and he starts with his image. And everything starts with the image and then he goes from there. And that’s what works for him.
SG: Yeah, and you want to make sure you take your branding into consideration also. So, not just the message but what does your logo look like? What are the colors of that? Can you incorporate that into the imagery that you’re going to use? And if you’re creating just images straight for Instagram or for social media, not even attached to a blog article, you definitely want to make sure your branding is on that. Because with social media, sharing is so big that you want to make sure that your brand is on the images that you’ve created. So as it gets shared, people can find their way back to you.
RP: Yeah. Perfect. Alright so, with that, that’s the end of this episode. So, Sarah, I do want to say congratulations and thank you for a great year of doing these weekly episodes and just sharing so much information.
SG: You’re welcome. It’s been my pleasure and a lot of fun.
RP: Alright, perfect then. I will see you next week.
SG: Yes, you will. Next week, we are talking about… Oh, it went to sleep.
RP: Was that the cat or the computer?
SG: Well, no. I have a new browser plug-in that puts tabs to sleep, so it doesn’t suck up memory when you have a lot open. Next week, we are talking about social media tools. So, scheduling tools.
RP: Ah, perfect. And those are… I just started using, as you know, Post Planner like a month ago and I’ve seen very positive results, so I’m looking forward to that episode. We gotta get rolling ’cause it’s a minute after. Have a great day and I will talk to you next week.
SG: Thanks, have a great day. Bye.