Social graphics are one of the biggest trends in social media right now. By social graphics, I mean an image with text, patterns, design, etc. on it. These little works of art communicate an idea with just one glance when plain ol’ text might get lost.
Plus, including an image can really help your posts get noticed and shared. Did you know that on Twitter, tweets with a image get 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets than those without one? That’s crazy!
So, you know that saying about teaching a man to fish? Well, I’m going to give you a fish, a pole, and a quick fishing lesson!
First, find inspiration.
Now for the lesson. Social graphics are so easy! It all comes down to inspiration and the right tools.
Get inspired by searching Pinterest for “Jesus” or “Bible verses” and you’ll get plenty of results. Throw in the word “graphics” to narrow your seach if needed.
You’ll notice a few things about the best examples:
- They use simple images with space for words.
- They are readable.
- They limit the number of words.
Your goal is to capture attention! The image and text should share your main point in an instant.
Make it readable by using a large font or a semi-transparent color block behind the words. Or, try blurring, darkening, or lightening the image. Add any additional information in the post itself. For example, pair a graphic with an invitation to Thanksgiving worship:
Join us at church name for Thanksgiving worship service at blank p.m. We hope to see you there! Here are directions and more about church name: link to your website.
Now that you have some ideas, how do you actually make these fabulous graphics? Here are my favorite tools for creating social graphics:
Canva is a super-polular desktop tool for creating graphics (it’s my personal favorite), and there are a few good reasons why. They have tons of templates (free and paid—and by paid, I mean $1 per element). These include social media posts and headers for your page, plus a lot more for web and print designs. Each template doubles as inspiration since it’s a design unto itself until you start customizing!
I like using templates designed for quotes for Bible verses since the reference fits nicely where the author’s name would normally go.
PicMonkey is another desktop tool people really love. It helps to start with a design in mind since there are no templates here. As a photo editor and graphic creator in one, it’s simple to use and includes a large number of fonts, which I really enjoy. The two downsides: some of the graphics provided are cheesy or tacky, and they try to up-sell you to the paid version quite a bit.
Check out this blog post I found on Pinterest, which gives detailed instructions on how to use both Canva and PicMonkey.
With BeFunky, you can start from scratch using templates that are specific to Facebook, Twitter, etc. BeFunky makes it easy to edit the photo and move right into adding graphics all at once. I like that it has has some great patterns like the lines in this graphic. I was able to size, tilt, and make them slightly transparent! It's also available as an app for iOS, Andriod, and Windows.
The big plus for Aviary (a photo editing app for iOS, Andriod, and Windows) is that it integrates with the Adobe Creative Suite. Aviary makes adding text or graphics to your image easy—you can even create a meme in an instant—but you can’t fine-tune them much. I do like that the interface makes it easy to find and understand its photo editing tools (it even has blemish removal and teeth whitening).
Rhonna Designs is an app available for iOS, Andriod, and Windows. Look a bit girly? Don’t let that turn you away! This versatile app is perfect for perfect for anyone who likes options. It includes tons of pre-designed shapes, patterns, badges, text designs, and more, AND you can adjust them to your heart’s content.
Think: opacity, color (including hue, tint, shade, tone), shadow (transparency, blur, direction), outline (color and thickness), and text spacing (kerning and leading). There’s even an option to fine-tune the location and size of your graphics with controls rather than using your finger. Much easier on a tiny phone screen!
Note that Rhonna Designs is not meant for photo editing. You can crop, but otherwise it is specifically for adding text and graphics. I like to edit my images in another app before loading them into Rhonna Designs.
Here are those free social graphics I promised! I used a combination of free and paid stock images, but you can use original photography too! I hope you enjoy creating these graphics to inspire people, attract members and visitors to your church, and so much more.
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