I love tools that make my life easier - tools that produce great results but are so well designed they save me time. Canva is the latest example. It is transforming my social media productivity by helping me produce graphics that are relevant and effective for posts on each social network.
Simplicity Is Powerful
We are very demanding as users, we want easy to use tools but we also want powerful tools that produce great results. Many tools are excellent but often they are so complex that we give up and don't use them. It is a delight to come across a tools like Canva that has an easy to use interface but which also produces beautiful graphics.
Why Images Matter
Images really matter in social media. You simply get you far more engagement if you use well designed and chosen images. Don't believe me, then look at the data. 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are images. Blog posts with images get up to 9 times more views than posts without images according to Neil Patel. A BuzzSumo study of 100 million articles found that articles with images got twice as many social shares as posts without images.
All of the main social networks now allow you to post images to help make your posts stand out, whether it is in a Twitter feed, a Google Plus page or a Facebook feed.
Canva understand social media and this is more important than you might think. I can use Photoshop or Pix.lr which I really like. However, Canva know the challenges I face in social media, so they provide me with 19 pre-set templates to help me be quick and efficient. Their templates include a twitter post, a Google Plus post, a Facebook header, a blog post or a Pinterest graphics.
Once I have chosen a template I can start designing my image. Canva allows me to quickly choose a background, images, icons and text formats for my design.
Canva provides categories you can scroll through and also allows you to search their library of over 1m images. There is a mix of free and paid images, which are typically $1. Whilst Canva's Premium options are tempting, you can also upload your own photos or graphics.
The interface is a joy to use, just drag across an image, text box or icon. For example, I can search for a PC, find the image I want and then drag this across to my design. To make this image my own I might want to add an image to the PC. I can simply upload my image and then drag this to the PC screen and Canva drops it in automatically. Job done!
Adding text is a breeze. Just choose a text style from the left column and drag it over to your image. Then you can adjust, change and color as you wish.
I can also decide to change the color of the PC by simply clicking on the PC and choosing a different color. Rather than overwhelm you with color options, Canva gives you just a few initial colors but as part of a planned color scheme. There is also a built-in color picker if you want to change these or you can also input a hex color code if you want to use your brand color. Thus you get full control over your design.
Canva will enable you to produce professional images for your social media without being a graphic artist. It will not replace Photoshop and sophisticated tools for graphics professionals but it is ideal for busy social media professionals. The tool will help you produce engaging images that will add impact and promote engagement with your content. Images really do matter and now you can produce them efficiently and effectively with Canva.
Not using Canva? Really? You should head over to Canva's site immediately. They have lots of guides and tutorials, not that you need them with this intuitive tool. In less than ten minutes you will be producing beautiful graphics.