I never describe myself as a visual person. I can open the refrigerator door expecting one of our lunchtime salads to be gobbled up and not see a big, fresh salad that my husband made for me in the morning.
Really, I won’t see it.
Or I can walk into a friend’s home and not notice freshly painted walls or wallpaper newly added to the entry.
If there were an accident while I was standing on the street corner, I would not be able to give the police any details. I wouldn’t recall the color of the car or any details about the suspect.
Despite this quirk of mine, I am always drawn to visuals on social media. In fact, I more often gloss over (or not read) text posts on Facebook and instead jump ahead to the beautiful images and short, meaningful quotes.
I’m not the only one who prefers visual posts over text. Look at these statistics from Wishpond.com:
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
- Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%.
- Visual content is social-media-ready and social-media-friendly. It’s easily sharable and easily palatable.
- Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.
- 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to carry more weight than product information or customer ratings
Canva – A Free Application to Create Visuals in Your Messaging
I signed up for Canva about six months ago, and I’ve used it extensively to create Twitter and Facebook headers and images with text for Pinterest and other social media platforms. Canva is free to use (so far) and easy to learn.
Take a look at a few of the images I’ve created. The first image is my new Twitter header.
This is one of the images I created for Nina Amir’s Author of Change Program last December.
Create Your Own Visuals
To start creating your own visuals, go to Canva. You can select a template or create your custom dimensions.
Next, you will need to select your layout and image and your text. If you’re not using an image, you’ll need to select a background. If you don’t have any images of your own that you’d like to use, you can select from Canva’s one million images.
Canva provides some images for free and charges $1/image or $10 for eleven images for other pictures. In this example, I typed the word clouds and selected an image that will cost $1.
My next step is to add a text overlay to the image. Once I selected the text overlay, I changed the color from green to a pale blue. Then I added my text, added my branding at the bottom, paid for the image, and saved it.
Canva will remove the watermark overlay once you purchase the image, and you can revise the image as often as you’d like over the following 24 hours.
Here is the visual I created. You’ll notice my branding at the bottom.
If you are artistic and you enjoy playing with visuals, you will enjoy this application. If you’re like me, you will be happy to discover how easy this application is to use. Canva has a series of short videos that will help you select complimentary colors and mix designs.
Use Canva to create visuals to market your books by creating images for your blog, workshops, Goodreads giveaways, and book promotions. Once you create them, upload your visuals to any of your social media platforms, especially Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
What’s exciting is that now you can use Canva to create a cover for your ebook. Check out their pinboard on Pinterest to see their different layouts.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web