How to Create Social Media Graphics with PowerPoint

December 27, 2013 | Sabrina Cote
How to Create Social Media Graphics with PowerPoint
This fall, Twitter introduced an update that changed the way it handles images in tweets. In the past, when users perused their timelines they had to click a “View Media” button in order to access images that were included in tweets. Thanks to Twitter’s October update, images now display automatically in users’ timelines.

Why is this important for your brand?

Since users no longer have to make additional clicks to view your images, you now have at your disposal some pretty valuable real estate to share your message.  Not only are images more eye-catching than plain text tweets, but they also open up the opportunity to share more of your content all in one tweet.

Consider this scenario – your company recently wrote a report that is chock full of fascinating data. You know many of the statistics would perform well in tweets, but the 140 character limit makes it difficult to provide the necessary context around the stat while still leaving room to include the link to your full report.

This is a perfect opportunity to use an image. Instead of trying to cram your stat into the tweet itself, create an appealing graphic that visually represents the data point, and include the statistic using a text overlay on top of the image. You have now freed up the full 140 characters in your tweet for the link to your full report, as well as additional commentary and a call to action. 

Creating the graphics is a snap, and you can even repurpose them on your other social channels beyond just Twitter. Here’s how to create social media graphics in PowerPoint in three simple steps.

1.  Choose an image

First select an image that helps convey the data point you’re planning to share.  Aim for images that exude authenticity, with simple color schemes that aren’t too busy.  Shutterstock is a great place to search for images if you don’t already have a library of your own. Once you’ve found an image that you like, add it to a blank PowerPoint slide by selecting Insert> Picture.

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2. Add a transparent text box

Next, add a text box to your slide, and include the stat you want to highlight. Stretch the text box so it spans the width of your image, then right click and select Format Shape. Choose Solid Fill from the Format Shape menu, select a neutral color for the text box, then push the Transparency slider to somewhere between 40% and 60%, depending on the color scheme of your image.

how-to-create-social-media-graphics-with-powerpoint

3. Emphasize keywords with color

As a final touch, use an accent color to add emphasis to important keywords and phrases.  Choose a color that’s featured in your image to keep the aesthetics cohesive. Once you have a final product, group all elements of your graphic by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking each. With the elements selected, right-click anywhere in the graphic, and select Group. This enables you to save the entire graphic as one image, and to use it as a template for future graphics. Just update the text and image, and you have a fresh graphic in a matter of seconds!

Pro tip: To quickly swap out one image for another and keep dimensions and alignment consistent with the original graphic, simply click the image then select Change Picture from the Picture Tools menu.

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For more social media inspiration, check out our list of the top 10 social media tips from 2013

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