If you are sharing content to social media, you will know how important visual content has become. But sometimes we find content that has no image and it makes it impossible to share to platforms such as Pinterest and it will mean that on Facebook there is little chance that it will be seen in the news feed.
I very often receive press releases where the images are either missing or they are so unengaging that I just do not post about the event or programmes someone is sharing with me if I do not have the time to create a relevant image – it is rare that I find a press release has really engaging photographs.
I have personally used Pinterest almost exclusively as my content curation platform of choice for over a year and with the availability of unlimited secret boards, it has become a platform that helps me with my productivity. Yes I have used Digg, Delicious, Evernote and many other tools, but nothing works for me as well as Pinterest. So when there is no image with a resource I want to share I have to find an alternative place to curate the content or find a work around.
There are a number of free platforms around but they usually have their own branding on them, so last year I invested in a tool called Share As Image. Late last year they invited users to participate in a survey, and as a result of my participation I received a wonderful gift of free access to their improved and enhanced product which you can invest in on a monthly or annual basis.
I was so impressed with the tool that I created a video tutorial showing how to use it.
Essential Features Of Share As Image
The tool does have a free version that you can try, but with the paid subscription you are able to:
– choose images, photographs or patterns from their library of content
– choose to upload your own image to use
– select a blank image and change it’s colour
– change the filters over the image you select just as you would with Instagram image editor
– add a text overlay, for example a call to action or a quote changing the colour, size and font of the text – you can position the text anywhere on the image you choose
– add a separate text overlay, for example you could use this to provide a URL or the name of someone you are quoting – again this can be positioned anywhere on the image, and you can select the colour, size and font
– add a personalised watermark to the image – this could be words or your logo
– share the image to Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter (see the examples below of how to this appears)
– download the image in two different resolutions
– save the image in the app so you can use them again in the future.
How To Use Share As Image
Here are a series of screen shots that show you how you can use the tool to help you quickly create images for your social media posts.
You can upload one of your own images from your desktop, Instagram or Facebook account to the tool which works on your browser. Alternatively you can use one of the images or patterns available for use.
You can add filters to the patterns or to the images you choose to use.
You can add your text to the image including a watermark which could be your logo. You can change the font, the size and the position of the text.
You can connect your Facebook account to share the image to Facebook Pages or to your personal profile.
The image will appear as an image post on Facebook – you can therefore change the text later. Remember to add a URL if you want to include a link you want to direct people to. this is an example of what it looks like on of my test Pages on Facebook.
When posting to Pinterest a new feature that is available allows you to select the URL you want to direct people to if they click on an image on Pinterest.
When sharing an image to Twitter, I recommend that you add your words and a call to action in the centre of the image as your image may not render to the full size when people are looking at Twitter.
Before you share the image to your Twitter account (you can add multiple accounts) make sure that you add the URL you want to include in your Tweet – you will be able to see a character count for your post.
Including images in Twitter has become a key way to increase engagement including people highlighting your content in their ‘favourites’ or re-tweeting content.
You can share the image to Google Plus – if you do not add any text to the image the image will render fully.
If you add a trext overlay the image shows as the small thumbnail preview. That for me is a disappointment and I hope it is something that can be rectified in a future update of the app. I also hope they make available sharing images to Google Plus Pages in the future.
You can see an example of the post to my profile on Google Plus below – ideally you want to include a large image to increase engagement on Google Plus.
Unfortunately there is no cropping tool that you find is available with PicMonkey and of course the designs you can create are limited versus what you can create with Canva, so you can not create portrait images which work especially well on Pinterest. But I know my content workflow would be more complicated and slower without ShareAsImage.
There is an incredible offer available from AppSumo which expires at midnight CST on 9 April 2014 where you can purchase ShareAsImage for just US$25 for a lifetime licence versus the usual US$ 8 a month. Please note that if you do decide to purchase through the link I will receive a credit from the seller as I have referred you to their tool. You can read my disclosure policy here.
If you do invest in ShareAsImage I hope you will enjoy using it as much as I do especially as the team keep developing new features that make visual content marketing even easier.