- CREATING VISUALS
- POSTING CONSISTENTLY
- TIPS and TRICKS
For making good-looking visual social posts in a hurry, Canva is the gold standard. Use your own photos or search the vast library of free or $1 images for a photo that fits. With many, many pre-built designs you can modify as well as intuitive elements to build your own designs, this is a tool you shouldn't do the internet without. It only misses a perfect 5/5 because sometimes an image can come out a tidge fuzzy.
- FREE to use! There are a lot of great free options, or you can use premium layouts or elements for just $1 each.
- The "magic resize" feature is remarkable enough to deserve a seat at Hogwarts. Design your social media post, then select which sizes you want (Twitter, Blog Post, Instagram...) and in one click you can generate each of those sizes. Then just take a few moments to adjust each image and you have a whole suite of perfect visuals ready to go.
- While Canva is essentially free, the Canva for Work paid option is worth the monthly subscription once you have your brand colors and fonts in hand. Set your brand palette, upload your own fonts, and create CONSISTENT branded visuals to post to social media.
Wait, what about Canva? If you're working with your own photos and/or your project is more typography focused, then you may want to pop over and use PicMonkey. You'll need the Royale features to make it worth the jump, however. You can resize, crop, edit, and then choose from a really cool selection of overlays and text options. At $4.99/month for the premium features, you can...wait, no you can't give up a latte, because that's just wrong...you can make yourself a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch one day to cover the expense.
- Upload your own fonts to use and easily add your photos or logos as an overlay. Have fun playing with the seasonal and themed tools.
- Favorite feature for the Photoshop-challenged: Color picker. Need to figure out what the color code is for an element in your branding? Upload the image or overlay it on a blank canvas, then add a text box; type the name of your favorite space captain (Jack? Mal? Janeway?) and then select the text and place your cursor over the color selector tool. When you click, the cursor turns into a dropper and then you can move it over top of the color you need to copy and click again! Now you can copy and paste the color code (it will looks something like an alien hashtag: #2a737a for example. SAVE it in your style sheet (a Google sheet with all your brand colors and fonts).
Without question, CoSchedule will become one of your favorite tools since the sonic screwdriver. You can't reverse its polarity to accomplish mind-bending, physics-altering feats of Time Lordship, but it will turn you into a social media ninja. If you use (or plan to use) WordPress for your author website, this is a no-brainer. You'll be able to run all of your social media posts from the same page you publish your blog posts.
- If you don't have a task management system in place that you love (and you will NEED one if you're going to share your stories successfully), CoSchedule has one built right in.
- Don't overlook the fact that it streamlines posting to Instagram. Design and schedule an Instagram post within your blog post, download the CoSchedule app on your phone, and receive a notification when your Instagram post is ready to go. Five seconds later and you're done.
Click the button below to try it for yourself. You can feel good about it too, because this is a referral link and you'll be helping a fellow storymaker out!
All the excellent tools in the world amount to nothing more than a junk pile if you don't know how to use them. Here are a few key tips and tricks that will get you started in the right direction.
- Spend your time well by building one exceptional piece of content and sharing it in multiple ways. A blog post that takes 5-6 hours to research, craft, and design will give you a couple weeks' worth of social media posts. If it's "evergreen" content (it doesn't turn back into a pumpkin at midnight), then you can continue sharing it regularly on the fast-moving social media platforms like Twitter.
- If you're using more than one social media channel, you need a tool that lets you manage and/or publish to all of your channels from one place. It's a beautiful thing, to be able to send the signal out in every direction with one click. But there's a trap you need to watch out for! Don't scream into the 'verse with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears. Social media isn't meant to be one-way communication. You still need to spend time on your 2-3 key platforms, actually engaging with your audience and your colleagues. A tool like CoSchedule is meant to make your presence CONSISTENT. Only you can make your presence worthwhile!