Date: 2nd July 2020
1. Image Creation – Canva.com
One great way to stand out from the crowd on social media is to have eye-popping and impactful images accompany your social media posts. If you aren’t very familiar with the different platform image shapes and sizes then creating your images within Canva will be a great option for you.
You can sign up at www.canva.com for a free account or upgrade at any time to a professional account. The free account will more than likely be sufficient to begin with.
Once you’ve set up your account, Canva offers templates for all the social media platforms, business cards, postcards, leaflets and much more. You simply choose the option you wish to use and begin creating your own design.
It has a selection of free images and backgrounds that you can choose from (many more on the pro version) or you can choose to upload your own images. You can add text to the images, change the size of the front add shapes, colours, music and much more.
If you haven’t used Canva as yet I would highly recommend you take a look.
2. Screen Capture – Jing
One of my personal favourites is a free tool called Jing. I came across this when I first set up in business and I must use it at least 10-20 times each and every day. You’ll need to set up an account which is free and then you’ll have to run the software. There is a PC and Mac version. Once installed a little yellow ‘sunshine’ appears on your screen. You can drag and drop this to any convenient position on your desktop.
When you come across something you wish to screenshot you can simply hover over the yellow ‘Sunshine’, click the plus sign that pops up, slide and position the grid lines at the top of whatever you wish to screenshot and then click and drag to the bottom of the area you wish to screenshot. The area you have chosen is then highlighted to show you exactly what you have screenshotted. Once you are happy with the shot, click save, and choose a convenient place on your PC or Mac to save it to.
There are so many different ways to use Jing, for example, you might wish to add arrows or boxes and text to an image, much like I did in the Canva screenshot above to highlight specific things on an image that you want someone to see. Another feature that Jing offers for free is the option to add a voice-over to your screenshot. The recording has to be less than 5 minutes but nevertheless it’s a great way to get started with voice over presentations for free. Jing really is a fabulous handy little free tool.
3. Scheduling/Automation – Creator Studio
Although it has been possible to schedule posts to a business page from within Facebook for many years, the Creator Studio area hasn’t been around that long. Creator Studio is the new way that Facebook wants you to schedule posts and it allows you to not only post to Facebook from your desktop but you can also schedule to Instagram too.
Creator Studio is accessed via the Publishing Tools section on your Facebook Business Page. Depending which version of Facebook you have you should be able to find Publishing Tools either at the top of your page on the white band, under the More section in the same white band or running down the left hand side of your screen if you have the newest version.
Once you click Publishing Tools you then have to navigate down the left hand menu bar to Tools and then click on Creator Studio.
You are now in the Creator Studio area of Facebook with all the features Creator Studio has to offer.
You can schedule your posts or Live broadcasts to multiple business pages on Facebook if you wish and you can switch back and forth between Facebook and Instagram by simply toggling between the two icons at the top of the page in the blue band. Facebook shows in blue whereas Instagram shows in purple to help you differentiate between the two pages. In order to schedule to Instagram, you first have to link your account to get started.
Whist you can create posts and stories on the Facebook section of Creator Studio you cannot create stories for Instagram as yet, but you can upload a video for IGTV.
If you wish to create stories from your desktop there are other platforms that can do this one of which is Later.com
There are many other features inside Creator Studio, some of which we will discuss further on the webinar. If you would like to book onto this webinar click here
Later is another scheduling tool much like Creator Studio and although Creator Studio is constantly improving with its scheduling features I still like to use Later.com on occasions. There is one feature I love on Later that Creator Studio doesn’t have. This is the preview option. Not so important for Facebook but vital for Instagram, especially if you want to keep a close watch on the aesthetics of your Instagram 9 grid before you post.
Plus if you don’t like the layout once you have scheduled your posts you can very quickly delete by clicking the x or just re-arrange by dragging and dropping into a different order by clicking the +. This is a great tool to help you create and outstanding looking nine image grid.
The preview option is available on the free account but if you wish to add multiple images then you will need to upgrade. You can also visually plan and schedule your Instagram stories from here but again you will have to upgrade for that option.
FastStone Photo Resizer
I find these days I tend to do most of my image resizing for social media inside of Canva via their social media templates but occasionally I will need to resize an image to a specific size. On those occasions I use FastStone Photo Resizer.
FastStone will allow you to:
- Convert and Rename images in batch mode
- Support JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and JPEG2000
- Resize, crop, change colour depth, apply colour effects, add text, watermark and border effects
- Rename images with sequential number
- Search and replace texts in the file names
- Preview conversion and renaming
- Support folder/non-folder structure
- Load and save settings
- Support multithreading. i.e. process multiple images simultaneously for better performance
And more but if you just want to resize your image then you can simply do it like this.
First you will need to download the free software to your computer, to do this click here. It will then bring up all your folders/images.
Navigate to the image you want to resize and click on it. It will show in the preview box at the bottom. Click the add button and it will then show up in the right hand column. Once in the right hand column click on it to highlight and then scroll down and click browse to choose where you want the new sized image to go on your computer. Now click advanced to set the new size for the image from the options shown. Once you’ve chosen click OK and your image will be its new size. You will of course need to bear in mind ratios of the original image and the new image.
There are way more features available within the FastStone software but this is how you can quickly resize an image.
So there you have it! A swift run through of 5 top tools that I as a social media trainer/manager use pretty much on a daily basis.
If you would like any further information or assistance with any of the tools I’ve mentioned above please feel free to email me on email@example.com or visit my website at https://www.rachelmooresocialmedia.com