Spur Your Social Results: Customize Images in Canva

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Social Networking Concept BirdsWhat does it take to get better results on Twitter? Improve your images! Twitter posts that include pictures are twice as likely to be shared. Images can offset that stringent 140-character limit, giving you additional ways to engage with your audience and get your point across. This can boost engagement for both organic and inorganic posts.

Very often social media managers and marketers are creating content on the fly, in real time. We’re balancing our time between two (or 20 or 200) competing demands, and much as we’d like to open up Photoshop and create something new and cool, that’s just not going to happen today. (And our graphic designer is probably working on something for another department!) So, on the one hand, you want the great results you’ll get from adding a graphic to your Twitter post; on the other hand, you don’t have time to create one in the traditional way. What to do?

Our social team at Act-On has discovered at least one good answer: Canva. Canva’s goal is to “make design simple for everyone,” and they deliver. In this case, “simple” can also mean easy and fast.

I started with Canva pretty much my first day at Act-On. I knew I wanted to share marketing quotes (along with other customized images) on a daily basis, and I needed it to be a quick and simple process. With Canva, I had the ability to edit images with ease, and I could save images as templates to use time and time again.

Canva makes it easy to design for different social platforms: You pick the platform you want to create an image for, and Canva will give you the specified dimensions for that platform (including for ads).

I’m going to demonstrate why you should consider using Canva by showing you how easy Canva is to use.

Step 1: Sign in

You’ll be taken to the “Start a new design” page.

Canva-1Here you have a library of options to choose from, each tailored for a specific social platform. I suggest starting with the social media format when testing out the platform. If you have specified dimensions, you can go to the top right and select “Use custom dimensions”.

Step 2: Choose a layout

Canva-2Some are free; others may be low cost (such as $1). You can manipulate layouts and colors, and add your own images and text, so that your creation is aligned with your company’s branding.

Step 3: Create the image

Here’s the #1 tip about creating your images in Canva: Keep it simple.

  • Limit the number of colors and font choice
  • Aim for contrasting colors and images
  • Focus on imagery versus text.

Below is a simple example of an image we created to announce fellow winners of an award. We used a monotone logo, with a dramatic filter and a background image that ties nicely into the message.


Step 4: Stay aligned with your brand

Your probably have a specified set of colors your company (or your graphic artists) use for your logo and other branding elements. You can use those in Canva, too. Just upload your own images (including your logo) and modify your hex colors (web color specifications). if you do not know what your hex colors are you can use this hex chart to help you. Select the color wheel and enter in your color code for full customization.

Canva is a joy to use. You can get off to a fast start, then explore using your creativity. And it’s easy enough so you can make those simple graphics that you need right now – right now. The longer you work with it, the easier and faster it gets. And it’s good for more than just creating images on Twitter… you can use it for Facebook, Pinterest, and much more.

Ready to get started? Take the beginners challenge!