Your Graphics are Honey to the Bees Or How to Find a Great Graphic for Your Content

Your graphics are honey to the bees, irresistibly drawing your worker bees – er, readers & fans – to your posts from all across the internet. Graphics are King! Don’t you believe me? You say, “It’s content.” Yes, you are right. Content is king, but only if you can get the attention of your target audience, and tempt them to click on a link to actually get to your content. A great graphic for your content makes it more shareable, more enticing to click on it and more successful. 

Plenty of stats have been published showing that posts with graphics receive much more engagement from readers, followers, and friends than mere text and link shares. Many content producers struggle with the task of creating engaging visuals for social media. Where do we find common licensed, free graphic, that does infringe on any one’s right?

The next hurdle is to downsize high-resolution photos from smartphone cameras, SLRs or the Internet spaces. High-resolution means heavyweight which slows downloading from the source to your site on all devices. What is the proper optimized format/aspect ratio? Square & Rectangle?

Each of the social media networks has different width and height measurements recommendations for images. There is a lot to remember. And many people need help with it. But, with the right tools, you don’t have to worry about it all. And we will show you how to create a social media graphic within a few minutes.

Video: How to Build a Social Media graphic and post it to Twitter.

We created this video tutorial for content producers in four parts:

  • Part I: How to find and download a photo from an online site
  • Part II: How to resize the photo for web usage
  • Part III: How to create a social media graphic w/ Buffer’s Pablo
  • Part iV: How to post a tweet for an event, using the social media graphic and tag the people/brands involved.

Software and tools demonstrated in this video are freely available on the Internet. See the notes below. Please leave your questions in the comment section, and send us links to the social graphics, you created. We would love to see your work and show it off! What the hardest part of finding or creating engaging graphics for you?

Tools & Software demonstrated in the video

Find awesome graphics for your content on Unsplash 

Unsplash provides visitors with high-resolution photos you can use for all purposes, commercial, non-commercial, with attribution or without, you can change them as you see fit. It’s the hub for very generous photographers, and I am amazed at the quality of the shots. I make it a point, whenever I can, to give credit where credit is due. The photo used in the video and the graphic came from Markus Spike, a fellow Bavarian. Spiske also publishes his free photos on Flickr in 45 sets.

Create a social media graphic for your content on Pablo 

Pablo’s motto is “Social Media Images Made Simple”. It is a free service created by a long time social media tool Buffer App, that helps you schedule and post to various social media outlets at the best times for your audience. Pablo is a strategic side project by the company to help their clients and the rest of the world to create great images for social media fast. I first found out about it when I saw a graphic pop up on  NYTimes Twitter stream, and researched, which tools they have used. Pablos started as an “Engaging Image Project”. You can read more about it via this reflective post on its 1-year anniversary. 

Crop Resize, Correct your Graphics via GIMP

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), the free & open source image editor, has been around for many years. I first encountered it during the four years when my secondary work computer was Linux based, and I needed a graphic manipulating program for that platform. When I migrated to Mac and OS X, I of course stayed with it. The software is also available for Windows computers. There are plenty of How-to-videos out there, about how to use it. In this video, I only demonstrate how to resize and compress a large photo to a manageable size for web-usage. You’ll see how to reduce a 5MB file to a slim 120kb, without losing any quality for screen display.

Software we used to create the video

And don’t forget to leave your comments!

Posted by Birgit Pauli-Haack

Since 1998 Birgit Pauli-Haack has worked with nonprofits as a web developer, a technology strategist, a trainer and community organizer. She founded Pauli Systems, LC in 2002, now a team of six. It is a 100% distributed company. Since 2010, her team has used WordPress to build new nonprofit sites and applications. In her spare time, Birgit serves as a deputy with the WordPress Global Community team, as a WordPress Meetup organizer and a Tech4Good organizer.

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