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Socially Stephanie: Visual Communications for the Graphically Impaired
Posted on May 31st 2014
Dear Socially Stephanie:
I suck at graphic design. I've just never been a very visual person. Do I have to use images in my social media presence? Or could I get away with a text-based presence?
Graphically Challenged In Chatanooga
Dear Graphically Challenged,
Welcome to the club, my friend. I too am graphically challenged. I used to waste hours and hours of precious time fiddling with Photoshop and high powered tools, but that investment of time never delivered. So instead of allowing you to waste your time like I did mine, I'm going to fill you in on a little secret that will help take your visual game to the next level.
All that said, the short answer to your question is a big fat No. You can't get away with just a text-based presence if you want to make a splash.
I can go on and on and tell you how important images are in the social era. But for the sake of time, I'll just give you a few reasons. One, the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Two, images are the single most shared and liked type of content out there. Three, some of the best social networks are image-centric which means without images you are at a disadvantage. And lastly, you need images on your blog if you want them to stand out on social media and get found on image search.
Get it? Images are key. Don't fret, though. The social world is forgiving and you have a few options to make kick-butt graphics with little sweat.
The first tool I want you to meet is Canva. Canva is a really special site for the graphically challenged like us. It was brought to my attention by my friend Barbara, whose social graphics constantly caught my eye. Canva is perfect for our stock because it is fully loaded with templates that are pretty much plug and play. It even has templates for every different social channel. Need a Facebook cover photo? Not a problem with Canva. How about a Pinterest-sized graphic? Check again. Canva has you covered. The next site I want you to take a look at is Piktochart. Piktochart allows you to create infographics seamlessly. Yes, I said infographics, which, in case you didn't know, are a marketer's best friend. B2B or B2C, it doesn't matter: infographics are highly shareable online and should be added to your visual arsenal ASAP. Like Canva, Piktochart also has plug and play templates which make design a breeze.
Now let's talk mobile. The phone on your camera should be utilized, and often. A picture taken needs no graphic design work, which for us is music to our ears. Plus, because most people these days are accessing social media sites via their mobile phones, when they see a mobile image it gives them the feeling that they are sharing with a friend. It's accessible and it works.
Of course there are a few apps that you should check out as well that will turn your mobile pictures into Instagrammable superstars. Picstitch allows you to create collages out of your images and share directly to any of your social channels. It's old school but still works like a charm. Overgram is also a great app that allows you to add text to images right there on your phone. Genius!
Well, there you are my friend. You are now ready to take on the visual web. "See" you out there!
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email SociallyStephanie@socialmediatoday.com and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells