I'm a big believer in branding your social media photos. For one, editing the photos and adding your logo makes for a more polished image. More importantly, however, it lets that adorable puppy from exam room 2 act like your own private billboard. This is especially important if the photo is downloaded and/or shared from your clinic's Facebook -- anyone who sees that photo is also going to see your clinic's name and logo. Win-win, my friends.
Believe it or not, editing and branding can be easy and quick. Thanks to the world of technology, you don't have to be a graphic designer or even own Photoshop to create a great looking post.
In this blog, I'm going to walk you through the steps to create an overlay using your clinic's name and logo. Having this image on hand will make it even faster for you to customize your photos, and can be used over and over again. In the interest of making this blog easy to read, the images are small- but if you click on them you'll get a larger version.
For those of you who prefer a more real-time demonstration, I've included a link to my brand new YouTube channel. There, I've posted a screencast of this entire process. And of course, we're always available for one-on-one coaching sessions should you want extra help or learn more ways to improve your images.
To Get Started, visit www.picmonkey.com. PicMonkey is a great (and free!) website I use every day to edit, enhance, design and create images for my social media clients. While they do have a very affordable "Royale" upgrade option, you won't need any of those features for what we're going to learn today.
Next, you'll see four choices at the top: Edit, Touch Up, Design, and Collage. Select "Design." From there, a drop down menu will give you choices on various pre-made sizes, and you will want to select the square.
You'll be taken to a screen that looks like this. The toolbar on the left hand
side will be pre-loaded and automatically on the "Canvas Color" feature. You
should select the box just beneath the colors that says "Transparent
Canvas." Then click apply.
Your square should now look like this: a plain square box with small gray and white checkerboard for the background. See? You're already a designer. So far so good.
Click the Overlay Icon. See the tool bar to the left of the screen? There's a butterfly shape about half way down, and you should click on it. Even if you don't like butterflies. That's the Overlays tab. This will allow you to lay any image you want, including PicMonkey's library of objects or your own files, onto your square canvas.
Select "Your Own." Click the large button at the top that says "Your Own." Just as if you were adding an attachment, from here you can select your own images.
Upload your logo. Upload any logo or artwork you'd like to use.
The files must be in .jpeg or .png format. Simply locate your file, and click
"Open." Your logo will be dropped onto your transparent square canvas, ready for
you to move it around.
Drag your logo to the desired location. I would recommend a bottom corner, where it is least likely to block an important part of the image. We've added the logo here to the bottom right hand corner. Your overlay is now complete! Fist bump!
Save your file. Click on the "Save" button on top of your square to save your image. PicMonkey will give you a boost of confidence with their classic commentary. Save your file in an easy-to-find location.
When you see this "Save" screen, don't freak out. On the left, you can choose what to name your file. It will automatically save it as a .png type (you can't save transparent backgrounds as .jpegs, but don't worry, Facebook and other programs still widely accept .png). On the right, you'll see a preview of your image, which except for your logo, will be invisible because of the transparent background. Don't worry. I promise the whole square is there. After saving, you'll be returned to your image, and you can close it by clicking the x in the upper right hand corner.
Now you're ready to put this bad boy to work. Let's try your overlay on an
actual picture! After closing your image, you'll be redirected back to the
PicMonkey homepage. This time, you want to select "Edit" and
choose to upload a file from your computer. For our example, we'll use a photo
taken of a cat getting laser therapy at Plum Creek.
With your image loaded, you'll see our toolbars again on the left. This time, "Basic Edits" is preloaded. Your first editing option is to "Crop," but you can also do all of the standard photo editing from this toolbar as well. Select Crop for now.
Again, for social media friendliness, you'll want to make your picture a square. Select "Square" from the drop down menu, and then resize your cropping window to the desired area and size. Leave some room, especially in our case the bottom right, for your logo. When you're done, click "Apply."
Now you have a square image- the same size as your overlay! You can easily add your logo overlay on top of this- and since your overlay is largely clear (thanks the transparent background), all you will see on top of this cat is the logo. So head on over to the left and click on the Overlays icon.
Select your overlay. We named our Plum Creek Overlay so we could easily find it. Locate your file ad click "Open."
Your logo overlay will appear randomly on top of the picture and initially look very small. You can now resize it over the picture and drag and drop it wherever you would like. I usually move it to the upper left hand corner, then drag it out to cover the full square.
And you're done! Look at that! Your logo is now a part of this crazy cool laser cat image, and ready for you to save (use the same steps we followed above) and post on social media. High five, you rocked it!
Love your finished product? Send us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org or share it with us on Facebook so we can see what you made!
Too easy for you? Don't like the way your overlay looks? Want a larger area that includes your logo but gives you an area to add text to your photos? Have no fear, friends! Part two of this tutorial series will be released tomorrow. Don't forget: if you'd like a more visual demonstration of this process, check out our first video tutorial at www.youtube.com/user/thesocialdvm.