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4 Free Tools That Will Rock Your Social Media Photos

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Social media marketing continues to become more visual in nature. What tools do you have at your fingertips to make the most of your photos, images, and illustrations?

I’ll share with you my four favorite image editing tools.

Try Pixlr Express if you like to edit images on your desktop.

If you post often to Instagram, check out Pixlr Express’ collage feature. You can choose from almost 100 different ways to combine multiple images in just one square, shareable photo.

Here’s a fun one I made for a fictitious Throwback Thursday (better known as #TBT on Instagram). If I were a rock photographer or legendary night club owner, I might post this collage with a description like, “That’s @teganandsara in 2002 — moments before playing to a crowd of 200. #tbt”


Pixlr also offers vintage filters, image adjustments, cute stickers, and text overlays for you to add more visual oomph to your images.

PhotoGrid is a nice mobile alternative to Pixlr Express.* winter-filmstrip-photogridIt has a collage function that seems to sense the orientation of your photos and picks a great layout that best flatters them — at least that’s happened with the photos I’ve uploaded on this app. If you don’t like the way your collage is oriented, simply shake your phone for a random grid alternative or choose from the app’s other options.

The app easily integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that posting to your accounts from PhotoGrid is just a click away.

If you’re not looking to create a square photo, try the app’s filmstrip function. The “high” filmstrip option, seen with my snow scenes from 2014, works well for Pinterest.  If you’re a jewelry designer, you can use the panels in the strip to show followers the various stages of making a jade necklace. (I bet you can think of other uses for a “high” filmstrip if you’re a chef, fitness instructor, or home repair expert.)

The “wide” filmstrip option is a handy option for posting photos geared for your Facebook fans’ newsfeed (including promoted posts). It’s also useful to use for the time being on Twitter until its “you can post four photos at once!” function goes beyond the iPhone and becomes available on other mobile devices and desktops.

Canva is a Web-based, desktop tool that I use on a daily basis. Currently in beta, Canva offers preset sizes for Pinterest pins, Facebook ads, and Facebook cover photos.

The tool also gives you tons of editable icons, shapes, and frames to choose from. I used Canva to create this image for an article I wrote about Facebook advertising.

Favorite Musical Artists of People on Facebook

Canva is also a repository of tens of thousands of photos to use in your images  – for just $1 a piece. Nice to have a photo bank and an editing tool in one location, don’t you think? (The polaroid-on-a-clothesline photo that starts this article comes from Canva.)

Shareroot Board Cover Creator is a great little tool if you’re looking to add consistency or branding to your Pinterest cover pins — as SK Skin Clinic and Day Spa has done here.

Simply choose which of your existing pins would make a great board cover, adjust the brightness of the photo, overlay text, and let the tool size your photo to make a perfectly sized cover pin. Here’s how I made a cover pin for my “Social Media Tips” Pinterest board.

There are heaps of other image editing tools on the market, but why not start with these four? If you do, let me know what you think about them!


*Pixlr Express is also available on iPhones and Android devices.

Photos of Tegan and Sara/Winter Montage: Lisa Kalner Williams

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  1. Surprised you didn’t include PicMonkey.com?

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      I know some real PicMonkey addicts, Tina! But I’m partial to Canva.

  2. Great seeing Tegan and Sara in your example… LOVE them! :D Haven’t heard of Shareroot or PhotoGrid, so thanks for sharing them. I like Canva but it’s been buggy for me lately, so I’ve really grown to love PicMonkey.

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Another Tegan and Sarah fan in the house! I’m happy to share new tools — if you use either Shareroot or PhotoGrid, let me know what you think of them.

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