In this post we will discuss 4 graphic tools for social media
If you are into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or any social network pulling ahead to build and keep a fluid relationship with your audience, to stand out from an overpopulated feed may be difficult.
But a good banner is a good starting point to catch your followers’ eye, and in this post we will talk about 4 graphics tools for social media that can help for a good graphic design and do not require any kind of previous design knowledge.
With this software you do not depend on a freelancer or external person because - once you get the feel - you will spend only 5 minutes building a wonderful image.
Of course, these are not intended to replace a professional designer, but they are handy for daily posts and graphics.
All are also suitable for other formats too (eBooks covers, blog posts, twitch banners, etc.) and some provide infographic templates as well.
Snappa focuses on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitch, YouTube and Soundcloud, blog images, eBook covers, custom templates, and infographics.
All templates available in this graphic tool are pre-made with the right resolution, and this is a big time saving advantage because once the template is selected, you know that it will be saved with the correct sizing and there is no further need for any post processing.
Using Snappa is easy and you will be creating a fancy image after a few minutes, but in case you need there are tutorial videos to help.
This app works well with background images and text overlays and is way simpler than Adobe family of products.
The software is intuitive, and things are where you look for them. It offers a cloud-based platform including 3,000,000+ hi res royalty free photos and 100,000+ graphics to choose from, but you can upload your own images and make your custom template starting from scratch.
There is a huge number of fonts to choose, but in case you do not find the right one or your branding uses a special one, you can upload your own.
Available shapes are somehow limited and do not allow for coloring.
The interface uses a drag-and-drop menu and here what you see is what you get. The learning curve is really smooth and once you are ready with your design it can be saved and/or downloaded.
Snappa allows posting directly on Facebook and Twitter, useful for those posting a lot on a regular basis.
Snappa offers up to three downloads free per month with no watermark and the whole set of images and templates are available (this is an interesting difference from other similar apps), then you must spend $10 per month for unlimited graphics.
Canva is perhaps the most used design platform for custom graphics.
With this software you can create social media design, banners, posters, presentations, book covers, business cards, resumes and more.
Templates are organized in lots of categories: marketing, education, Facebook posts, Facebook presentations, and many more.
A key point of Canva is that the free plan has lots of options, and this satisfies the needs of many casual users.
Canva has 8,000+ templates, 100+ design and thousands of free photos. As with many other apps, once you register there is a left sided dashboard where to choose images, forms, texts and more in a drop and drag style.
Once you choose a template, insert your texts and graphics in a simple manner. As many other apps in this segment, you can upload your own images to work with.
But as some templates and shapes are not free, you must navigate to the one you choose and check its availability for free members, and this is not straightforward at all.
Templates are pre-formatted to the right resolution, but for an unknown reason this data is not available on the screen. And keep in mind that without a paid subscription you cannot resize your design, so better check it twice before starting although in most cases a posterior external image processing can do the trick.
Some features are not for beginners, although this graphic tool offers several tutorials for a better understanding for paid and free members. This is somehow compensated by the huge number of graphical items, and almost endless possibilities.
There are plenty of integrations available and you can post right on your social media platform from Canva.
Canva offers a bunch of premium features that make this app unique.
You can turn designs into GIFs and videos, upload your own fonts, resizing, a brand kit (where all of your designs, logos and fonts are available for easy access) and the ability to save designs in PNG format.
This software is in a permanent evolution and is continuously adding more and more features, but the amount of options may turn it clunky sometimes.
Canva has a free plan, and the paid plan starts at $9.95/mo. billed yearly.
Adobe Spark makes it easy to create social media graphics, videos and single-page websites. Since it comes with web and mobile version makes a difference from other similar software.
Adobe shows a fresh approach here with a beginners friendly product that offers a smooth learning curve that stands out from what we are used to know from this company; top level products like InDesign and Photoshop aimed at professional users and with tons of high-end features.
This product has three main sections:
Adobe Spark Post:
This allows to create beautiful designs for social media, blog post images, banners, brochures and more.
There are hundreds of high-quality free photos to choose and you can upload your own.
Adobe Spark Video:
A tool to create videos for Facebook Ads, promo videos, sales videos and more. Pick up a provided template or start from scratch with your own, add a voice over and text.
Since Adobe provides its own hosting, you can share videos directly from the app ( or download in case you need them)
A downside of videos is the resolution limited to 720 px, and on some screens and devices this may not be the best option. Also, video length is limited to 30 seconds, although this may suffice for most needs.
Adobe Spark Page:
This graphic tool allows to create a single page site with beautiful design, with a mix of photos, videos, and animations. Web pages are responsive, which means they do not lose functionality when viewed on mobile devices.
There are thousands of photos to choose, and Spark also integrates with Google Photos, Dropbox, and Adobe Creative Cloud.
Hosting is free and included into this product, but please note that you cannot use your own domain and only get a link to share your page with an Adobe proprietary domain url.
Although you can embed this webpage in another website, this functionality is quite limited and not intended to replace a full website builder.
Adobe Spark Pricing:
Adobe offers three plans, free and two paid options. In the free plan there is a fixed Adobe watermark added to your content, which may be removed when you upgrade to a paid plan and paid plans start at $9.79/mo.
This is a web-based tool intended to create social media and graphic images for absolute beginners with a focus on speed and simplicity. This easy and intuitive tool also offers a chrome browser extension for better integration.
Here you can find 1,000,000+ images and 1,000,000+ icons and illustrations royalty free. This is a valuable feature since you need not look for photos, images or icons outside the platform which is a time-consuming task and even frustrating sometimes.
Stencil also includes over 600 templates and thousands of Google fonts, although you can upload your own.
This tool works on a drag-and-drop basis like many others in this segment and provides a clear interface because is not intended to be a full featured design suite but a social media quick and efficient image creator.
A unique recently added feature is “Quotes” where you can search 100,000+ quotes to add some emotional touch to your social media.
Stencil offers a free plan and two paid plans. To begin with, the free plan allows the user to save up to 10 images per month and is limited in photos and icons availability but is a good starting point to test this software.
In the free plan a lock icon appears on the right down corner when you chose an unavailable icon in the free plan, this is annoying if you have just finished your design and are prompted to upgrade or delete it.
The Pro plan is $9/mo. and top plan is $12/mo.
If you need an online tool for designing all kinds of graphics these listed here are the most popular, all of them have plenty of options, but keep in mind that there are many others apps out there.
After testing all of them, we choose Snappa for its simplicity and fast loading times. But all of these are good, go ahead and try for yourself.