4 (Free!) Ways to Create Polished Social Media Images - True Co. Marketing
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4 (Free!) Ways to Create Polished Social Media Images

Written by Darci Ellenberger

Currently, almost 3 billion people around the globe are active on social media. Getting your name out on these platforms is a vital component of building your brand in 2019. Here we’ll show you how to create polished social media posts that will drive brand engagement and increase your profits, all on a shoestring budget. 

Though all of these tips require some sort of equipment, chances are if you’re trying to build a brand you probably own some type of technology (a current smartphone for example) that will work for what you need.

1. Learn the Basics of Composition

Taking the time to educate yourself on the basic rules of composition will pay off in spades. Knowing how to capitalize on good lighting, use the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio (explained below by a great infographic from Canon), utilize negative space, and experiment with different camera angles will allow you to create polished, professional looking content that draws the consumer’s eye.

2. Get the Most Out of Your Equipment

Whether it’s a smartphone, a DSLR camera, a GoPro, or something else, figure out how to maximize the equipment you already have. 

The internet has a wealth of free tutorials on how to use easily accessible technology to its fullest potential, like this fantastic comprehensive guide to smartphone photography from the blog Photography Concentrate.

If you’re more of a visual learner, try going the YouTube route and check out one of their many amazing video tutorials like this one from vlogger Potato Jet that guides you through the ins and outs of the latest GoPro.

3. Be Prepared

Before you get started, make sure you’ve prepared your shot. Trying to create content on a whim is unlikely to result in an optimal finished product. 

If you’re taking photos that rely on natural light, are you shooting at a time of day that will give you the type of lighting you need?

If you’re filming video, have you made a storyboard so you know exactly what you need to capture in each setup?

Have you planned your talking points so that your language sounds smooth, without awkward pauses? 

What’s in the background of your shot? Does it look neat and curated or messy and distracting?

Do you have a mic or a tripod if you need it? Viewers don’t want to watch a video with crackly audio or shaky camera work.

Have you cleaned your lenses? Many people forget this small but important detail!

Making sure you have everything in order before you start will help ensure your final result is the best it can be.

4. Fine Tune Before You Post

Taking the extra step of fine tuning your content using free editing software is an easy way to take your content to the next level. 

For photos, free apps like Canva and VSCO will let you make professional quality edits, right there on your smartphone.

For video, many users still prefer to edit on a desktop using programs like iMovie or Blender. If you don’t have access to a desktop or would just prefer to edit video on your smartphone there are great options like FilmoraGo and VideoShow.

Play around with the different tools in these programs until you achieve results you’re happy with. No need to over-edit! Small changes like adjusting lighting, cleaning up background noise, and adding transitions will help your video seem smooth and professional. Something as simple as applying a preset filter could be all you need to make your photo pop!

Though it may seem like a lot to learn, taking the time to familiarize yourself with the basics of shooting and editing photo and video is going to elevate the content you create. Like most things that require a little sweat equity, the end result is going to be worth the time you put in.