Most of us know that social media can be one of the most under-resourced teams in an organization. Executives who do not know the ins and outs of social often think it should only take one person to post a few things on social. We all know it takes so much more than that to create graphics, write copy, strategize and community manage → especially if it’s a large organization. However, until companies are more educated on what actually goes into amazing social media campaigns, many of us have to live with an under-resourced team and a very limited (if any) budget.
Over the years, I have found my own ways to create impactful social media despite a low budget and not many hands on deck. While writing copy, strategizing and community management will have to wait for another blog post, here are five tools you can use to start creating stellar graphics with NO budget today:
Canva is by far my favorite photo tool for social media posts. It allows you to choose the perfect size for whatever you need and then provides professional templates for you to use. It is very user friendly and intuitive to use. I also love the fact that it is cloud-based, so you can access your photos from anywhere. This comes in very handy when you need to quickly make graphics for a live event.
Unsplash provides incredible photos from photographers who just want their photos to be used. I was leery of using them at first because I thought any good photographer would want to be paid. I was wrong. I have found the most beautiful images through Unsplash and now use them for everything → from the organization I work for to my personal brand. Another great feature of Unsplash is that their photos download as High-Res so you can even use them on large websites without losing their quality.
Pablo is a marriage of Canva and Unsplash. It provides quality images for you, as well as overlaid text and sizing for social media platforms. If you are in an absolute rush with creating graphics, this is the main editing tool to use because it provides you with everything in one place. It is a little more limited than Canva, so if you have time, I still recommend Canva above Pablo.
Gimp is great if you really want to dive into editing images you are using on social. It is a ‘free Photoshop’ that allows you to get a little more granular in photo editing than other free sites.
I know, I know, but it’s true! I use Instagram alot to edit photos before I transfer them to another social media network. For example, I will add filters and use the edit features of Instagram before adding a photo to Facebook. I save the photo to my phone and upload it to Facebook once it is edited. One fair warning, though → You do lose quality when editing on Instagram so this is not the tool to use for any high-res projects.
Hopefully some of these tips will help if you have little to no budget for social media. Do you have other tools you prefer? Share them in the comments below!
- Marji J. Sherman