3 Must-Have Productivity Tools for Creating Visual Content for Social Channels | Beth's Blog

3 Must-Have Productivity Tools for Creating Visual Content for Social Channels

Digital Strategy

You are on a roll!  You’ve put together an editorial calendar for next month that lays out the themes, news events, and content ideas for all channels, including social media.  With your metrics in hand, you know that visual content like infographics or text overlay images work really well with your audience.     Unfortunately,  you don’t have an in-house designer to create this content for you and you barely have enough time to get all the tasks on the to-do list complete.      What to do?

Keep calm and create some text overlay images!   Text overlay images are a short form of visual content that combine powerful images and text into a story that supports your objective and resonates with your audience.    Text overlay images are easily shared on social channels by your organization as well as your champions and other supporters like the example above from Voices for Utah Children.  Using these three easy to use tools, you should be able to create out some pretty awesome looking text overlay images in less than 15 minutes!

1)  PowerPoint: Yes, I know, PowerPoint is a presentation tool.    But it is the quickest and easiest way to create text overlay images because you can easily compose one in PowerPoint and export this single slide as a jpg image.   And get this, it exports to the exact size for a Facebook Brand Page wall post!      Here’s some how-to steps.

You don’t need to be a professional graphic designer, but you want your text overlay images to look respectable.     Simply follow some basic graphic design rules and you should be all set.   That means don’t try to use ten different fonts on the same image!

2) Facebook Ad Image Tool: If you plan to use the image as a promoted post on Facebook, make sure you understand the 20% rule so you time isn’t wasted.   Facebook has a useful tool that can help you determine what percentage of your image is text.  (It seems to only work with the Explorer browser).

The tool divides your image into a 5×5 grid and you click the areas that contain text.  It tells you the percentage.  In the example above, if the strategy was to pay for a promoted post, it would have been rejected by Facebook because the tools indicated there was 28% text.

Try using the gridlines in PowerPoint or create a couple of templates for yourself and test with the ad tool.  Make sure your text does not occupy more than five of the boxes.

3.   Social Media Image Sizer: You can also create text overlay images for other social channels like Twitter or Pinterest easily as well. All you need to know is the image size and image editing software. But wait! The Social Media Image Maker does both!   You may discover that you might need to create and compose your image in an easy image editor.    My favorite, easy to use (and free) image editor is PicMonkey.

What’s in your visual content tool box?  What tips or tricks do you have for being efficient?

15 Responses

  1. Jo Miller says:


    Thank you for posting this information and linking to all of the tools. It is exactly what I (and some clients) need.
    Great stuff.
    I appreciate all you do!


  2. Beth Kanter says:

    Keep calm and make text overlay images!

  3. I prefer Keynote and strongly advice using it if you’re on a Mac. Not even a million strong wildebeest stampede could make me switch to PowerPoint. Two million, we’ll talk.


  4. Jackie says:

    I never would have thought of using PowerPoint! I will have to give that a try!

  5. You are my Yoda! Thank you.

  6. Lize says:

    Thanks for this! The link to the Facebook Text Overlay tool turns into a blank page though. I tried with Chrome, Firefox & Safari – so it needs to be Internet Explorer only to even show the description of the tool? So stupid.

  7. These are are great suggestions. Looking forward to trying the resizer!

    Thanks Beth

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  10. Gayle Carney says:

    Beth – Thanks for these suggestions. I can’t wait to try them out.

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  12. Am I crazy or did I read that the 20% rule is now gone and that requirement no longer applies? I could swear I saw that a few months ago but never verified whether or not it was true.

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  14. Fundchasing says:

    Wow great tools and tips! I didn’t know Powerpoint could do that. Thanks!

  15. Adam Housley says:

    I realize this post is old, but I just stumbled upon it today, and I wanted to share an app that has become my go-to tool for mobile posting: Studio Design by @madewithstudio, which allows for photoshop-like design on your iphone! As a school, I find that one of our main challenges is beating our constituents to the post–having this app in my pocket has won us many battles!