6 Simple Photo Tools for Creating Social Media Visuals

social media toolsAre you including images in your social media content?

Looking for easy-to-use tools to help you create images for your content strategy?

If the idea of using Photoshop makes your head spin or hiring a graphic designer isn’t an option, there are many easy-to-use, low-cost alternatives available to you to create social media graphics.

In this article, I’ll show you 6 easy tools that will help you create compelling graphics for social media.

#1: Use PicMonkey’s Online Photo Editor to Take Your Images From Good to Glorious

PicMonkey‘s free option has a wide variety of frames, special effects and font types to choose from.

With a touch of a button, you can crop and resize your photo, and add text to your images.

picmonkey image

Choose from a wide variety of free fonts on PicMonkey to create appealing images like this one with PicMonkey.

The paid option offers additional features that include more frames and photo effects.

PicMonkey is a great solution for all types of social media images. Not only can you create graphics for your posts, you also can make banners and buttons for your social media accounts, such as Facebook.

#2: Express Yourself Through Photos and Creations on LiveLuvCreate

LiveLuvCreate is an image-creation website most anyone will find easy to use.

With LiveLuvCreate, you pick from a variety of design layouts—from one image as a background to a collage of graphics. You can use images from your computer or choose from LiveLuvCreate’s library.

Choose up to three text areas with a range of font types, colors and styles.

You may also select borders, filters and photo effects for additional image enhancements.

liveluvcreate-app

An example of a social media graphic you can create on LiveLuvCreate.com.

Once you complete your graphic, you can share your creation on Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook, or download the image to your computer.

#3: Create Your Own Designs With Canva

Canva is a free application that offers a myriad of graphic types for use in everything from presentations and posters, to business cards and invitations. For social media use, consider Canva to help you design Facebook cover photos and blog images.

canva image

Canva offers many different layouts to help you create compelling and shareable social media images.

If you’re signed into Facebook, Canva can pull in your photos. You can also upload your own graphics from your computer, or purchase from Canva’s stock image library (most images are only $1 US).

Additionally, Canva has a unique feature where you can collaborate with other users, which is great if you need to share or edit your images with someone else.

Canva is currently under closed beta, but you can reserve your username and be placed on a waiting list. Then, you can try Canva out once you gain access to the beta version.

#4: Use Image and Photo Editing Software From Paint.NET

If you want some of PhotoShop’s capabilities, check out Paint.NET as an alternative.

Paint.NET is a free download for PCs and offers many of the same features available in PhotoShop.

It supports layers, has unlimited undo capability and offers special photo effects, including red-eye removal. You can also draw shapes, add text and recolor your images with Paint.NET.

paintnet-app

You can easily crop any image on Paint.NET and then resize to your specifications.

Because Paint.NET is a free download, tapping into the user community is the best way to get help with how to use it. Check out Paint.NET’s online forum for help, tutorials and plugins.

#5: Design Unique and Compelling Presentations With PowerPoint

It may come as a surprise to see PowerPoint on this list, but it offers another easy way to create social media images.

Any PowerPoint slide can be saved as a JPEG or PNG. Just click on Save As, and then select JPEG or PNG from the Save as Type drop-down menu.

PowerPoint then asks if you want to export every slide or just the current slide. Select Current Slide Only, and you have an image file of your PowerPoint slide. If you’re comfortable using PowerPoint, take advantage of this capability to create social media images.

And if you’re looking for an easy way to make Facebook cover photos, be sure to check out Tabsite’s PowerPoint Template for Facebook Cover Photos.

tabsite-facebook-template

Use Tabsite’s PowerPoint template to create eye-catching Facebook cover photos. Photo courtesy of Tabsite.

Tabsite made a free, easy-to-use template that even shows where your profile photo appears on a cover photo so you can design around it.

#6: Make Awesome Collages With PicCollage

Don’t forget that compelling social media images can include snapshots, and when you want to creatively display these types of photos, check out PicCollage.

PicCollage is an app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Once you download the app, use photos from your Facebook account or camera stream to create collages.

Select a background on PicCollage, add your photos, then text and stickers to your image. PicCollage also allows you to resize, rotate, edit and delete any of your creations. When you complete your collage, you can share your image on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

piccolage-app

You can choose from many different layouts for your collage. Photo courtesy of PicCollage.

Use PicCollage to creatively display photos from a client event, office party or conference. Or pull in a favorite quote and surround it with images.

With a little creativity, PicCollage helps you create social media graphics that show a more personal side to your business.

Final Thoughts

While hiring a graphic designer or learning to use PhotoShop may be the best solution, it’s nice to know you have alternatives to help you design graphics to share on social media.

When you need help to create social media graphics, consider any of these tools to help you get the job done.

Do your research. Finding the right image design tool is a bit like trying on shoes; you need to choose the best one to fit your needs. You may find that it’s best to use multiple platforms to create your social media graphics, like KJ Ammerman who likes to use Picmonkey and Canva.

picmonkey and canva image

KJ Ammerman likes to use Picmonkey for backdrops, Canva for layout and then back to Picmonkey for text.

What do you think? Do you use other image-creation tools besides PhotoShop? What other sites or apps would you recommend? Share your comments and suggestions in the comments box below.

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About the Author, Jill Celeste

Jill Celeste is a personal branding coach who teaches entrepreneurs and professionals how to use social media to boost their personal brands. Connect on Google+. Other posts by »




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  • http://navneetsau.com/ NavNeet Sau

    Great collection of photo editing tools Jill. Picmonkey is my all time favorite tool that I use in my day-to-day work, but you have shared 2-3 new tools that I need to explore to use in my future work. Thank you for exploding your thoughts :)

  • http://www.mikegingerich.com/ Mike Gingerich

    Awesome list of easy and free tools Jill! Thanks for mentioning our PowerPoint Template! Trying to keep it easy for marketers to create great images is so important. Social is so visual, so images are so, so, so very important! Great list Jill!

  • http://www.davidbcrowley.com/ David Crowley

    Thanks! Definitely going to try Picmonkey!

  • http://www.ravishukle.com/ Ravi Shukle

    Great list of tools thanks for sharing Jill. There are also a few more that I use which i think people would find handy
    * http://www.sumopaint.com
    * http://www.pixlr.com
    * http://clippingmagic.com

    Enjoy!

  • http://www.TheSpreadsheetGuru.com/ Chris Macro

    Another useful tool that I like to use is Ribbet. If you ever used to use Picnik, it’s basically the same program

  • Kaitlin Hawkins

    I absolutely LOVE Canva! It has seriously made an amazing impact on my social sharing, especially on Facebook. I really love it because of the unique layouts they offer pre-made, so you can cut, copy, and edit as you see fit. Best of all, it’s so user-friendly – no learning curve involved!

    Thanks for the list – I look forward to trying out these other tools as well.

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    I LOVE Image App Tools, and these all sound like great ones Jill! I personally like PicMonkey because of its variety of features for both free and paid members. It also has a very user-friendly platform and I really like the effects and filters you can use to turn a simple image into an amazing one!

  • Guest

    So glad you discovered new tools, NavNeet! I hope you find one or two to help you out even more (I love PicMonkey too!). Thanks for your comment!

  • ArtaGene

    Thanks Jill for a super list.
    With a new install of Windows7 because my old computer
    bit the dust, can no longer access programs I used before.
    This answers a need to put a quote on a new header for a Facebook group…Had an image but the font was so large it didn’t work.
    Bet one of these will solve the problem.

  • http://www.hounddogsocialmedia.com Hound Dog Social Media

    Hi, Mike! Thanks for your comment. I am a fan of your PowerPoint template – I use it all the time. Glad to share this great tool with others! =)

  • Jill Celeste

    PicMonkey is a GREAT tool, David! Even their free options create stunning visuals. =)

  • Jill Celeste

    Whoops! That comment was from me, NavNeet! Sorry for the “guest” look! LOL!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Ravi! Thanks for sharing these great tools. I need to check them out!

  • Jill Celeste

    Doesn’t Canva have such great layouts? So much to choose from! I hope you find other tools to help you too. Thanks for your comment, Kaitlin!

  • Jill Celeste

    Yes! They have such great effects and filters. I also love the wide variety of fonts available on PicMonkey. Thanks for your comment! =)

  • Jill Celeste

    Oh no, so sorry about your old computer! I would try PicMonkey for adding the quote. It’s really easy to add text in that tool. Best of luck! =)

  • http://www.ftlcollective.com/ Miguel Bravo

    I’ll also throw in QuotesCover.com for general social media images and Timelineslicer.com to make cool Facebook Timeline images.

  • http://naturapentrusanatate.com/ Cristina Carmen Dascalu

    Great list, thank you. Another tool that I use is http://ipiccy.com/.

  • AngelaEatSpinRunRepeat

    Great roundup! Canva is definitely my favourite – I’ve used it for so many content pieces and graphics in the last couple of months and it’s been a great experience so far. Their support teams are really good too, and have been very responsive in answering to the few technical issues I’ve had. Haven’t heard of LiveLuvCreate yet but I’ll check it out next!

  • JoelinPDX

    I’m guessing you’ve never heard of Pixlr.

  • http://www.ravishukle.com/ Ravi Shukle

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts on them Jill :)

  • Donna M. Young

    Nice list, Jill! I’d also like to add Ribbet to the mix! I enjoy working with it, along with Canva.

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Chris! Awesome! I will check it out. Thanks for your comment. =)

  • Jill Celeste

    One of the other commenters mentioned Pixlr, and I am eager to check it out. It’s great that there are so many options – something for everyone. Thanks for your comment! =)

  • Jill Celeste

    Thank you, Donna, for your comment! I will have to check out Ribbet. I love discovering new tools. Canva is a great one too! =)

  • Emilee

    Thank you so much for this great post! Canva is exactly the kind of tool I’ve been wishing existed for years and I’d never heard of it before. Thanks!

  • Pel Abbott

    Thank you! Excellent article.

    I’ve been wading through Photoshop tutorials a little at a time trying to figure out how to create memes – sheesh. Too complicated for what I want to accomplish.

  • Lenzie O. Winstead

    Thank Jill.Learn a great deal from you sharing these tools with me you making me smart,and that a good thang… keep up the good work. :-*

  • maryannehahn

    This is truly terrific information, Jill. Thank you so much for sharing–can’t wait to dig in!

  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ KJ Ammerman

    Great article, Jill! I’m glad you shared picmonkey and canva – they’re definitely my go-to resources for making images. The scuttlebutt is that picmonkey and canva will both be rolling out new features soon. Do you have any details on that and what the benefits will be for social media managers?

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Thanks for the great list of image editing tools!

    Photoshop is my go-to tool, but I’ll tweak photos in Google Plus. You can make basic image adjustments.

    Fotor http://www.fotor.com is another tool I’ll use. You can add effects, make a collage, put a frame around a picture and so much more.

  • Jill Celeste

    Thank you, Emilee, for your comment! Canva is a great tool for creating all sorts of social media images. Glad to be able to help you!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Pel! I couldn’t make heads or tails of Photoshop. I am so glad there are tools like these to help out! Have fun playing around!

  • Jill Celeste

    You’re welcome, Lenzie. Any way we can work smarter, not harder, right? =) Thanks for your comment!

  • Pippa Akram

    Some new ones here, I’ll be having a look at those! I love Pixlr too, it’s my most used image making tool to date – I really think it ought to be on the list!

  • Jill Celeste

    Thank you, Maryanne! Something for everyone here! =) Have fun!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, KJ: I have not heard about any new features for PicMonley or Canva. I will definitely keep my ears to the ground. Thanks for your comment!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Pippa: Yes, several others have commented about Pixlr; it must be a great tool! I will have to check it out! Thanks for your comment =)

  • Pippa Akram

    Pleasure Jill. I generally use the Express level but Editor has photoshop capabilities for sure.

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  • Kesenya Moore

    I always use Fotor http://www.fotor.com/ for everything I do on my blogs, work imaging and marketing, and anything personal. Its brilliant.

  • Rod Simmons

    I love this Jill.! Thanks for taking time to write this! Is there another software or than GIMP or Photoshop that removes background from a photo?

  • Bette Stevens

    Very helpful. Shared… Thanks!

  • Jill Celeste

    Thanks, Miguel! I had not heard of those tools, so I will check them out!

  • Jill Celeste

    Thank you for your comment, Cristina! I will check it out. Love learning new tools! =)

  • Jill Celeste

    Thanks, Angela! Canva is such a great tool. So glad you have used it successfully!

  • Jill Celeste

    Yes, Google Plus does have a nice, clean editing option – and very easy to use. Thanks for your comment!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Kesenya! Others have mentioned Fotor as well – I will have to check it out. Thanks for your comment!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Rod! You may want to check out Paint.net. I am not 100% sure, but I think it has that functionality. (Maybe someone with a better design background can answer this question – let’s hope!). =)

  • Jill Celeste

    Bette, thank you so much for sharing! =)

  • Katherine Kotaw

    Hi, Jill! First off, another big congrats on this great article of yours :) I’m so happy to see your byline here on Social Media Examiner. And second, what a great list you’ve compiled of tools/programs to help you design images to use in social media promotions. I personally LOVE PicMonkey and am excited to try out Paint.NET. I’m glad I pinned this so it will be easily accessible whenever I want to try out a new design too! I see this article of yours is getting mega attention and I’m so thrilled for you, Jill!

  • Graham Holmes

    Excellent list, Jill, thank you. Another incredibly versatile free programme
    is PhotoScape.

    http://www.photoscape.org

  • http://www.nolongerunemployed.com/ Matt Schmidt

    Great ideas. Seems like the idea of downloading photos from places like Istockphoto is getting to be same old thing. These places also seem to be raising their prices as well. These are some great alternatives.

  • Valerie McCartney

    Thank you for a well-written article. I love PicMonkey and was elated the first time I used it because it was so easy. I thought I also read about a program that helps retain a photo’s quality when it’s downsized. Thought I saw that mentioned in your article, but after re-reading, I can’t find it. Do you know what I’m talking about? Thank you.

  • Lee Perry

    Fantastic list. I just came across Fotor.com today which is great for different fonts and allows you to add filters.

  • nisha

    Good Tips! Thank You :)

  • Kapoor Ajay

    Thanks for this! awesome tools.

  • http://usefulgraphicdesigntutorials.com/about-useful-graphic-design-tutorials Caroline

    Ipiccy is a really great tool too. As simple to use as Picmonkey but it has extra functionality for those wanting a little bit more oomph! http://ipiccy.com

  • Max

    Not surprised at all to see Powerpoint. :)

    In fact, I mostly use Apple’s Keynote for pics, which is conceptually the same (presentation software) but has proved to be better in my experience. Don’t know about the latest PP, but Keynote allows decent quality and idiot-proof color deletion (good for deleting background in pics), and this, combined with a smart use of image borders, can also create “cell-shading style” pics.

    Also, I can use it on my iPad and iPhone too. All synced via iCloud.

    Hey SME staff, if I send you a quick tutorial with some details, would you be interested?
    My friends loved it, and maybe my fellow SME readers would, too.
    (I’m not asking anything in change, not even a link as I still have to open my website.)

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Katherine! Thank you so much for your kind words (as always)!. =) PicMonkey is one of my favorites, too! It is so easy to use!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Graham! Thank you for commenting and for sharing Photoscape in your comments. It’s wonderful to have such a wide variety of tools to choose from!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Matt! I use Flickr images (under the Creative Commons License) to find photos – or I will take them myself if I can. Lots of options! Thanks for your comment!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Valerie! I read about that resizing tool before and now I can’t think of the name of it! Darn! If it comes to me, I will let you know. Thanks for your comment!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Lee! Thank you for your comment! Fotor sounds like a great tool; others have mentioned it in their comments as well. I will have to check it out! =)

  • Jill Celeste

    My pleasure, Nisha! =)

  • Jill Celeste

    I love free tools! Thanks for mentioning Pixlr Express. Sounds like one to check out.

  • Jill Celeste

    You’re welcome. Kapoor! Thanks for your comment. =)

  • Jill Celeste

    Thanks, Max, for your comment! Sounds like you have a winner with Keynote!

  • Valerie McCartney

    You’re welcome Jill. It’s called smush, smoosh or something like that. I’ll keep looking and will tell you if/when I find it.

  • Mona

    I liked this article! Than you Jill!

  • Greta Weiner

    Pixlr express is fun too

  • Greta Weiner

    OOO have you seen prezi?

  • http://www.jinmasmarket.com/ Jin Mas

    I started using Pic Monkey several months ago after seeing a post here and find it extremely useful and very simple to use. Thanks for turning us on to them!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sophietran Sophie Tran

    In terms of content and social media, text is just as important as visuals. What a great list of tools mentioned in this post. I know it takes extra effort to use multiple tools, websites, and apps to great the perfect visual content but it is so worth it: like using PicMonkey for a backdrop, Canva for layout, and PicMonkey again for text.

    Even if the process requires a few extra steps and a bit more patience, it is so worth it.

  • LisaE

    Thanks Jill! I can’t wait to try out PicMonkey!

  • http://www.it-sales-leads.com/ Barbara Mckinney

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I think the most common problem of startups are the tax issues. For me the best thing to do is to hire a lawyer to settle everything so that you could focus on your business.

  • Max

    Nope, I’m a loser with Photoshop. :P

    Keynote started as my “plan B”, but it’s a good plan B if you don’t have to do fine art.

  • Guven

    Thanks it was so help full.

  • http://www.hotlollies.com/ Maria Inoa

    Awesome post and perfect timing! Thanks for this list, I knew about 2 at least but many others to check out now. I need to design postcards so going to give it a shot myself.

  • Melissa Olges

    I just checked out LiveLuvCreate, and their Terms of Use state that all submitted content immediately becomes their property. Many other services (including PicMonkey and Canva) require users to provide a license for the service to distribute the content, but they expressly state that the originator retains ownership.
    Does that raise red flags for anyone else in terms of using LiveLuvCreate, or am I being too old-fashioned in the way I think about intellectual property?

  • Jill Celeste

    Thank you, Mona!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Greta! Thanks for your comments! =)

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Jin: PicMonkey is a great tool. Glad you’re having success with it!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Sophie: You are very correct – it is worth it! When an image can help your social media or blog post, it’s worth the extra time create that stunning image. Thanks for your comment!

  • Jill Celeste

    My pleasure, Lisa!

  • Jill Celeste

    Thanks for your comment, Barbara.

  • Jill Celeste

    You’re welcome!

  • Jill Celeste

    Canva would be great for designing postcards. Good luck with your project!

  • Jill Celeste

    Hi, Melissa: I don’t think you’re being old-fashioned! If you’re not comfortable with the terms and conditions for LiveLuvCreate, then I think you should use another provider. Thankfully, there are others to choose from. I appreciate your comment and your question!

  • Bette Stevens

    My pleasure, Jill. Have a great weekend! Bette

  • Mill Montejo

    Thanks for the great list Jill. I also use pixlr for quick edits when I don’t want to pull out the photoshop. It is located at pixlr.com/editor

  • Natalie Sparcle

    I use MS Word for my FB images and then use a Snipping Tool to save it as jpg. Word does have a lot of functionality for layout work, not as much as Photoshop, of course, but it’s easy and saves a lot of time that Photoshop would take anyway.

  • Natalie Sparcle

    just tried the pic-monkey, and I loved it – so many tricks, and most for free. Thanks for sharing this post!

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  • http://www.epossolutions.org/ David Boland

    Hi Jill,

    I’ll have to check some of these tools out. Currently we’re using GIMP in the office though it might be worth testing some of these tools for quick web graphics.

    All the best,

  • http://www.cricklewood-removals.co.uk/ Christian Reese

    Thank you for posting.

  • http://www.cricklewood-removals.co.uk/ Christian Reese

    You should. It really is incredible.

  • Avra Robinson

    What a great article with so many neat tools introduced! Thank you for taking the time to share your ideas! I was just going to mention that I am an educational technologist and teach K-8 (as well as teachers) to utilize technology. I just used PicMonkey and Pixlr Express to spice up the average science report! The students chose from a variety of biomes and created a photo collage of images & text that demonstrated their understanding of the biome: the climate, temperature, plant and animal species, etc. They loved it! We created images in PicMonkey and then put them together in a collage format in Pixlr Express. It ended up being a neat experience. Next, we’re going to take them into ThingLink to make them interactive! Long gone are the days of a tri-fold cardboard report! Ha!

  • makiomilano

    I recommend Snapseed and Vintique. Love this tools.

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/kmadhav Sourabh Rana

    Thanks Jill for sharing these tools with us… I was in process to hire new web designer only for this work… but you saved my money & efforts…. let’s I try these tools & see the results… again thank :)

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sophietran Sophie Tran

    Thank you, @jillceleste:disqus, for sharing these tips. I really enjoy the image you posted under your ‘Final Thoughts’ in this post.

  • Roslyn Tanner Evans

    Been using Ribbet.com- free graphic editor with so many options.

  • Emma Craig

    Canva.com is my new favorite! I’m also a fan of ipiccy.com, for all it’s fonts options.

  • Vikki Woods

    I’ve used Pixlr and find it very helpful. I also do amazing things with Microsoft’s photo editing software

  • Penny Raine

    I use picmonkey most, but what is the best way to do quotes in various fonts all in one graphic, it seems SOO time consuming

  • http://www.javamazon.com/ Navneet

    ipiccy is all good one to work with .

  • http://daveshrein.com Dave Shrein

    I send clients to Pixlr… I actually can’t believe it didn’t make this list.

  • http://daveshrein.com Dave Shrein

    I recommend Phonto for iOS because it’s free and allows for some great customization and collage making. Seems like HUNDREDS of fonts to choose from and amazing precision controls for moving, resizing and adjusting text and objects.

    Check out Phonto for the iPhone.

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  • http://www.olawaledaniel.com/ Olawale Daniel

    Good addition @ravishukle:disqus I love Pixlr from the list. I will surely check the rest out. Thanks @jillceleste:disqus for the resources

  • Allan Gaddi

    I use Pixlr too. :)

  • http://www.theperfectblog.com/ James Scott

    I’m amazed at the amount of free tools available. I learned about 3 new ones on this post. Visual is the new you.

  • http://www.papiermousedesigns.com/blog/ Grace Keogh

    Great links here Jill. I am addicted to Canva myself and use it every day in some way or other! Off to check out Live Love Create… I haven’t played with that one yet. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Kelsey

    Can’t wait to use all these free tools, thanks for sharing!

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