The best ways to use Canva for social media design

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Last updated on September 14th, 2017 at 10:44 pm



Canva.com is the number one tool for creating professional looking graphics in just a few clicks. Most business owners, entrepreneurs, and all types of creatives already know what a life saver Canva is. But what if you have only scratched the surface of what’s possible with this tool? Are you using it for just one part of your business? Are you unsure where you can use your designs to promote your business? Have you created an amazing design only to find out that half will be cut off because you created it in the wrong dimensions? Let me save you the trouble. Here’s a breakdown of how to use Canva for social media design on five popular platforms so that you can improve your online presence without wasting precious time.

Pro tip: Canva for work has a palette of useful features for branding. Before designing any graphics in Canva, go to the Brand tab on the left-hand side of the screen. Choose your brand colors, logo, and fonts in order to automate the design process and waste less time. The free version of Canva allows you to select up to 3 brand colors.

canva social media design

Canva Social Media Design for Facebook

Are you currently using Facebook Ads to create brand awareness, grow your subscriber list, or sell a product or service? With Facebook being super picky about the images and dimensions used in ads, it’s pretty convenient that Canva has a template for Facebook Ads. Simply go to Canva.com, click the More icon at the top right corner of the template library, scroll all the way to the bottom, and click on the template labeled Facebook Ad, which is automatically created in the correct size at 1200 x 628 px.

If you’re currently struggling to get your target audience to stop mindlessly scrolling and actually pay attention to your content, then you’ll be happy to hear about Canva’s new feature: Canva Animator. This tool allows you to create animated designs and save them as .GIF files, so that they automatically play where you post them. Make your logo slide in from the top or make your text pop out. The possibilities are endless. This feature is only for Canva for Work members but you can get a free trial to try it out here. If you’d like to see more detailed instructions and examples of Canva Animator in action, read this article.

Facebook isn’t the only platform where you can make fun, animated posts. What about Instagram?

Canva Social Media Design for Instagram

In order to properly post an image or .GIF on Instagram, create your design with the template labeled: Instagram post. You’ll find it after clicking the More icon at the top right corner of the template library. It’s a perfect square of 1080 x 1080 px so that nothing gets cuts off.

If you use Instagram as a platform to promote your blog posts, you can now do so by adding the title of the post to an intriguing image. Get inspired by the design samples in the left sidebar. Some stock photos in Canva are free, while some can be purchased for $1. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to the images that Canva provides. You can head over to a photo site such as Pixabay where you can download royalty free images. Then upload them into Canva for use.

Pro tip: Get the main parts of a picture within the frame while cropping out any dead space by sizing your images in Canva before uploading to Instagram. This will make your images appear centered and visually appealing.

Canva Social Media Design for Pinterest

Canva is the preferred tool for Pinterest users because users can easily create the vertical shaped pins that are popular and engaging for that platform. If you want to start pinning like a professional, you should know the preferred dimension sizes for different images. And even if you don’t, you can select the Pinterest Graphic template to help you out. Pinterest requires pinned images that are at least 238 px wide and board covers that are exactly 222 x 150 px. With this in mind, you can create either design in Canva by choosing the Custom Dimensions option at the top right corner of the template library. Enter your preferred dimensions and Canva will give you the correct size canvas to start your design.

Related: 12 Effective Strategies for Using Pinterest for Business

Canva Social Media Design for LinkedIn

One of Canva’s secret weapons is the resume tool! It’s one of the most underused templates in the whole library. The resume templates are professional yet creative enough to make you stand out in the crowd. Add clickable logos to link your social media profiles to your resume so that hiring managers can quickly get a glimpse of your personality. Add clickable links where they can easily browse your published sample work. I personally create my resumes using Canva and, and not only is it fun, but I see great results with it.

Where is it? Find the the resume template that fits you best by clicking more in the template library, scrolling down to the documents section, and choosing Resumes at the end.

Canva Social Media Design for Twitter

If you think Tweets can only contain text, you’re in for quite the surprise. You can also tweet photos that show up in the feed. As long as they’re the correct dimensions, they’ll never get parts of it cropped out. And the best part is, you’re more likely to get engagement on that tweet when you have an image attached to it. Of course, Canva’s got you covered with the Twitter Post template. It’s already sized with the preferred dimensions of 1024 x 512 px. Finally, get noticed on Twitter by creating interesting graphics that speak to your audience.

Having a custom header for your Twitter profile can also help your brand stand out. You can find this template under the Social Media and Email Headers category in the template library.

This category is full of additional ways that you can use Canva to improve your social media presence and customize your accounts. Some useful options include the Youtube Thumbnail template and the Tumblr Banner.

canva social media design

Now that you’ve created some engaging and eye-catching content, how do you get them all out on social media consistently without wasting hours?

Check out 3½ Social Media Schedulers to Streamline Your Posts

canva social media design

 

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