Week 8: Photos, graphics, and illustrations

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

For all the content you create, you should think about the best format for the story (is it written? Photos? Video? A short story told using infographics?)

No matter which format you choose, imagery is really, really important. Scroll quickly through one of your social feeds and make a note of the posts that make you pause – it’s really likely they contain an image.

All longer form written stories online and in social feeds also contain a strong featured image and other photos or graphic elements to break up walls of text.

Photos and illustrations shouldn’t be afterthoughts; they should add to your story, or even tell a story on their own.


12 Expert Tips for Creating Engaging Visual Content on Social Media (HootSuite)

A summary of HootSuite’s tips:

  1. Think about purpose, narrative, and timing of posts
  2. Know how to create good images (think back to Weeks 2 and 3 of MoJo)
  3. Use available free tools and other resources
  4. Know the laws relating to copyright
  5. Make sure your images are the correct aspect ratio and size for their purpose
  6. Text should improve, not obscure, your images
    – triple check spelling and grammar
    – use easy to read fonts and text colours
    – keep your line length short
  7. You can add a logo if you have one
  8. Think about representation – do your images resemble your audience?
  9. Try moving images (GIFs, animation, video – more on this next week)
  10. Write alt-text descriptions (they allow people with visual impairments to appreciate your images), use captions and subtitles (in particular in video, more next week)
  11. Optimise for SEO and use keyword hashtags
  12. Be creative! Try to push the capabilities of each platform (and have a look at the work in the bottom of the HootSuite post linked above – amazing!)
Image sizes on socials

Each platform heroes images of different sized and aspect ratios (e.g. a Facebook cover photo is a different shape from a Twitter banner, etc.) and this is a great guide: Social media image sizes cheat sheet

An important note about alt text image descriptions

People with sight impairments use social media too! But they miss out on a huge amount of visual content, because a lot of us don’t use alt text image descriptions to offer a different way of ‘seeing’ photos and other illustrations. Dr Amy Kavanagh explains how to do it on Twitter (follow the thread):


So now you know now how to use alt text image descriptions on Twitter. Find out how to do it on Instagram, Facebook, and WordPress.

  1. Choose a platform and use one or more of the tools below to turn one of your three story ideas into a visual story
  2. Draft a caption or text to accompany your story, ensuring it contains no typos or grammatical errors. Remember to include hashtags and emojis that align with both the story content and your social media personality and tone of voice
  3. Post your story on your chosen platform – bonus points for adapting it for more than one ๐Ÿ˜‡
  4. Upload a screenshot or other doc to your folder in the Online & Socials folder in the Drive
  5. Remember this exercise can form part of your Online & Socials assessment portfolio (Social Media students it’s ok to add to your Live Socials portfolio ๐Ÿ˜˜)
snapseed app logo

Snapseed – excellent photo editing tool
Mobile: Android/iOS
Read: Getting Started with Snapseed +
Snapseed photo editing tutorial

lightroom photo editing app logo

Lightroom – photo editing + pro camera
Mobile: Android/iOS
Read: Snapseed vs Lightroom +
Get started with Lightroom on mobile

canva app logo

Canva – easy to use graphic design
Web: https://www.canva.com/en_au/
Mobile: Android/iOS
Read: Getting started with Canva

pic collage app logo

PicCollage – collages, photo editing, text
Web: https://piccollage.com/
Mobile: Android/iOS
Read: Getting started with PicCollage

stencil graphic design logo

Stencil – graphic design
Web: https://getstencil.com/
Read: Canva v Stencil

giphy logo gif

Giphy – GIF and sticker maker
Web: https://giphy.com/
Mobile: Android/iOS
Read: How to make a GIF

piktochart logo

Piktochart – charts and other graphics
Web only: https://piktochart.com/
Watch: Piktochart tutorial

Caption Writer for Instagram – fonts, spaces and line breaks, generate & save hashtags
About: https://www.captionwriter.app/
Mobile: Android/iOS

Imgflip – meme generator with templates
Web: https://imgflip.com/memetemplates
Mobile: Android only

Imgur – meme and GIF maker
Web: https://imgur.com/
Mobile: Android/iOS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.