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How to Use Canva to Create Easy Social Media Posts in 2017

Create Amazing Social Media Posts with Canva

Readers respond to Social Media Posts with good visuals and precise words.Even if you don’t have a graphic designer background, you can create attractive social media posts quickly. You can use a pre-made flyer, or create your post graphic with any photo editing program like Photoshop or Pic Monkey. I use Canva.com for its simplicity, pre-designed flyers, and great ideas.

How to Use Canva.com

  1. Upload your picture if you are using your own.
  2. Choose the type of media you are creating.
  3. Canva has pre-created templates. The berry mode below is one of them. All I changed was the wording, so it took about 2-3 minutes to create several social media posts.
  4. You will see a blank screen. Pick your background color.
  5. Insert your uploaded picture or choose one from Canva’s choices or choose a template with a picture you like.
  6. Size the image until you are satisfied with the look.
  7. Download.
  8. Then upload to the social media page.

You can use any photo editing program you wish, but Canva comes out clean, the right size and the print is not blurred. If you do not have the automatic resize that comes with the paid version of Canva you can still easily resize images yourself. Below are samples of posts in different sizes.

Facebook Post 940 x 788 px

Facebook post 940 X788 px Woodlake Berry Festival

Steps to Change Sizes Manually in the Free Canva Program

If you have a paid Canva.com account, you can instantly resize your graphic to fit different social media. The paid program is $9.99 a month. Otherwise, you can note the size here and recreate it yourself. It is not hard to do this.

Canva.com screen

  1. Go to the file menu. Make a copy. VERY IMPORTANT if you are using the free version, not the Magic Resize.
  2. Change the name of the graphic by clicking on the menu bar that says “copy of…”. I keep the name of the flyer and identify the social media in the Design Title.
  3. After you resize, rearrange the items in the image to fill the spaces attractively.
  4. Extend elements like the rectangles you see in these templates to completely cover the background. Sometimes you can’t see the design clearly in the size it displays. You can enlarge it by clicking the % button in the lower right corner of the screen. One of the problems that I sometimes have is that the rectangle elements do not always come out to the edge of the background. Then you have an unwanted halo around your graphic detail.

Google + Post 426 x 213 px

Google + varies with their required sizes and Canva doesn’t offer a magic resize for a Google + post, although they do for the cover photo. As I researched Google + photos, I found different articles recommended different sizes. I chose Buffer’s explanation because it was the least complicated and because I use Buffer. Even Buffer had three suggested widths 426, 506 and 886 px (for a double column) for the width.  Google will resize heights automatically. Buffer recommended two other excellent sources for resizing photos for all social media services. The Omnicore cheat sheet is the only 2017 version and is easy to read. Omnicore includes banner and profile sizes as well as posts. I bookmarked this resource.

Social Media Design Cheat Sheet by Omnicore

Google+ Post 426 x 213

Instagram Post 1080 x 1080 px

Instagram 10080 x 1080 px Woodlake Berry Festival

If you forget, you can find the size for the design in the file menu where you can click to change the dimensions. Expect everything in the design to look out of place after you resize.

Twitter Post 1024 x 512 px

Twitter post  1024 x 512 px Woodlake Berry Festival post

Features of Canva

Canva is more intuitive than Photoshop and performs many of the same functions. I rarely read all the instructions before I dive in and try a product. Maybe you do the same. When I run into a problem, then I check out the directions. Canva hasn’t come with any instructions that I could find. Even though Canva is intuitive, it has many features that I didn’t realize it had until I had used it for a while.

  1. On the upper right under the menu bar are some icons that change as you click each element of the design. For the background, you can change color and transparency.
  2. The text function has many options: font, size, bold, case, alignment, copy, transparency, and a link. So it is easy to add a bold heading or a faint watermark. I don’t think the link option is available in the free version. Most of the frequently-used options you have in Word or Google Docs are available in Canva, but the computer shortcuts don’t work. If you want to copy, you have to press the Canva “copy” button.
  3. Elements like shapes, lines, charts, grids, pictures, illustrations have three design options: copy, arrange, transparency, and link. You can also group items that overlap.
  4. One of the most useful elements in Canva is the assortment of images and templates they have. Many are free. The most you pay is $1 for a picture you can use without worry of copyright infringement.
  5. Pictures have several more editing options. You can filter, crop or flip. Again, some of these might not be available with the free program.
    1. Filtering gives you a simplified version of changes you can make in Photoshop. In the $9.99 version of Canva, you find 13 ways to alter the picture in addition to changing contrast and brightness. It is so much easier to use for simple changes than Photoshop. One click, one swipe of an arrow. Major changes like erasing wrinkles, changing eye color, moving objects from one picture into another work on Photoshop, but not Canva.
    2. Cropping is easy.
    3. Flipping is available in the $9.99 version, but I’m not sure about the free version. I remember wishing it was there.
    4. Copy, arrange and the link features are available for pictures, too.

Tumblr 540 x810 px

Tumblr post 540 x 810 px Woodlake Berry Festival poster

A mistake that I make is forgetting a minor detail in the text like I did in the picture below. You have to go back and fix it in Canva, which takes time, download it again, reload it into your post. Bummer! It is best not to put text on a photo that you use in Canva. If you do, then you have to alter in two programs if it is wrong.

Pinterest Graphic 735 x 1102

Pinterest 735 x 1102 px Woodlake Berry Festival

Conclusion

Visual social media posts take 15-30 minutes to create and even less if you use a template. Canva has free templates and stock photos you can purchase for $1 each.  Below is a Facebook post I made out of a quote that had no illustration. It took less than five minutes to create. I hope you enjoy creating with Canva. Always Write is not an affiliate of Canva.

Picture of Dogwood flower Quote “Live Simply. Dream big. Be grateful. Give love. Laugh lots.” Unknown author

Related Posts

  • How Canva.com Turned Me into a Graphic Artist
  • Where to Find a Fabulous Offer for Free Photos 
  • How Much Is Too Much Retweeting and Post Sharing?

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The post How to Use Canva to Create Easy Social Media Posts in 2017 appeared first on ALWAYS WRITE.



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