Create Easy Social Media Graphics for Free with Canva
Make shareable graphics for your social media marketing (no design experience necessary!).
If you've put in the hard work to have a beautiful brand and a stunning website created for your business, the worst thing you can do is let it all fall flat by not carrying it through to your marketing activities on social media.
Having branded social media graphics to share on your profiles can make all the difference between looking professional and looking like an amateur, but it doesn't have to be expensive.
What is canva?
Canva is a free online design tool that allows you to create graphics right in your browser, with an easy drag and drop editor, meaning you don't need to have any previous design experience or knowledge to use it.
I've been using Canva for several years now and I always use it to create social media templates for my brand clients because it's so easy for them to use (and means they don't need to go out and purchase Photoshop etc. to edit their templates).
Canva is free to use but you can upgrade to 'Canva for Work' to access more features. I personally have Canva for Work because I'm a designer and I need all the premium features, but for the purposes of this tutorial, you don't need it :)
How to create graphics in canva:
Obviously you first need to create your free account at https://www.canva.com/, then you can select from a range of pre-made design templates with pre-determined dimensions (eg. If you select 'Pinterest Graphic', it will open a blank canvas at the optimum Pinterest graphic dimensions of 735px by 1102px).
Once your canvas is open, you can see on your left hand side you have a tab that says 'Canva layouts'; here you can scroll down to find a range of pre-designed layouts that you can select (just click on it and it will add the layout to your canvas!) and customise to suit your branding by changing the text, fonts and colours. You can also move elements around by clicking and dragging too.
You can also upload your own images to use in these graphics or as backgrounds, by going to the 'Upload' tab on the left hand side, uploading your own image (make sure you own it or have a license to use it) and clicking and dragging it onto your canvas. You can turn it into a background by expanding the image so it covers the whole canvas, and it will automatically 'snap' to the back of your graphic, or just hovering over an existing image background with your new image.
In some cases, rather than using one of Canva's premade layouts, you may have a template created for you by your designer or by your manager, for example. You'll be given a link, and when you click on it, it should take you straight to an editable canvas with the template in place. Editing this template is just the same as editing one of Canva's pre-made layouts. You can edit the text just by clicking on it and typing, and you can change the font size and colours if you need to as well.
Alternatively, you may like to create your own graphics from scratch, starting from a blank canvas. In which case, take time to explore the 'Elements' tab, which has loads of different shapes, patterns and icons you can use to create your own unique graphic. You can then go to the 'Text' tab to add your own headings or use pre-made heading layouts for ease.
When creating your own graphics, you can also upload things like your logo, or brand icons to make your graphics really personalised.
I've gone a little more in depth on the different elements you can use to create unique graphics in the video tutorial at the end of this post.
How to save & download graphics in Canva:
Once you've created your graphic or made changes to any existing templates/layouts, you need to make sure your changes are being saved by Canva. You may notice in the top bar it says 'Unsaved changes', so to prompt Canva to save your graphic, just click 'File' in the top bar. You should then see that this has prompted it to save and it will now say 'All Changes Saved' there instead.
Then to download your design, you simply click the 'Download' button the top right hand side. Make sure you are downloading a PNG file (best for sharing graphics on social media), and untick the 'transparent background' box. Then click download, and it's done!
Watch my video tutorial:
Go get creating!
(PS. I'm not sponsored to say this and I don't get any affiliate income for mentioning Canva, I just think it's a great tool that I wanted to share!)