Social media can be a huge waste of time if you aren’t posting quality images or writing content people want to connect with.
Sharing images with your social media updates can have a big impact on your reach. They don’t have to be time consuming to create either, especially if you don’t have the time or resources to make it happen.
While I always recommend working with a professional designer if you can, these tools will at least get you started if you can’t afford to quite yet.
Free Social Media Image Tools
If you’re looking for a free image creation tool that can do more than create social media graphics then I recommend checking out Canva. You can easily create anything from social media images, ebook covers, Facebook ads and more with one of their beautiful templates as a starting point.
Pablo is specific to social media image creation only. So if you’re looking for a focused tool this one is for you.
How To Improve Your Social Media Images
The image you share with your post should compliment or expand upon what you’re sharing in your update. Often times the image is the first thing seen by your audience. If it doesn’t clearly communicate what your post might be about then it will be overlooked.
If you’re going to use stock photography make sure it feels authentic and is consistent with your own company branding.
The images you share should have a consistent look to them. This is key to building a successful brand.
Define the fonts you use, the colors and the style of photos or illustrations you will use. Your audience will come to recognize these specific characteristics and they’ll know it’s from you more quickly.
If they love the content you’re sharing and can recognize your posts when they come through on their feed you’ll be off to a great start.
Best Tips for Writing Engaging Social Media Updates
Does your post have value to your specific audience? Are you sharing content that will appeal to their sense of humor or that will help them in some way?
If you’re scheduling your social media posts in advance (which I highly recommend), make sure you can answer yes to every update you plan on sharing.
Every social media account has a person or people behind it. Some of the most successful businesses don’t tweet as their business but instead share updates as a person.
Who would you want to respond to? A person or what feels like an automated, lifeless social media account?
Posts that receive the most attention reflect what might sound like an actual real-life conversation. It’s easier to connect with someone you feel will respond back.
A well-rounded social media strategy includes multiple types of updates.
Here are a few post types to get you started:
- Your own blog post – If you were telling a friend about the article how would you tell them?
- Someone else’s content – Share your favorite part, what you learned and why someone else should read it
- Compliment – Compliment and promote related businesses your customers may also find valuable
- Question or poll – Show your audience you value their opinion and want to hear from them
- Current event – Gain access to a larger audience by discussing trending events and topics
- Personal update – Share a personal observation, joke, inspirational quote or
- Business update – New features or products, special offers, new employees, a look into your office or process
Short and Sweet
Just because you are given 140 characters for a tweet doesn’t mean you should use it all.
How long should your update be?
Using too many hashtags can make your posts look spammy or overly promotional. In the end, that would defeat the purpose of using them to begin with.
Try to stick to one or two hashtags and make sure they are relevant to what you’re sharing. Use them as a way to reach a specific audience, but only if that audience would be interested in what you have to share.
Beware of Emoticons
Emoticons are all the rage nowadays 😛
Apple just released a whole new set in their latest OS X El Capitan.
According to the AMEX OPEN Forum, social media posts with emoticons increase sharing and comments by 33%.
But beware, the more emoticons you use the more unprofessional you may come across. Understanding your audience and what might be appropriate to them is key.
Use emoticons sparingly and only when they will help communicate your message.
Social media can expose you to a larger audience and give you a chance to connect directly with others. If you invest a little time and resources to do it right you’ll soon be reaping the benefits
Happy posting 😛