Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Quotes Cover

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Quotes Cover.

Quotes Cover turns quotes or short text into images for social media and high resolution image for posters or other print design.  It’s so simple to use. Simply enter your quote or text and then choose your preferred design elements, such as font, shadow effect, and color.  You can upload your own image as a background, or keep it plain as I have in the following example.

When you are happy with your design, simply save in JPG or PNG format and it’s ready for you to use on your chosen social media sites.   Here’s my finished design:

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: GIMP

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is GIMP – a free and open source image editor for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

GIMP (an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program) has many uses from a simple paint program and a quality photo retouching tool to an image format converter and an online batch processing system. Here’s an example from one of GIMP’s step-by-step tutorials showing how to modify the filesize of an image when exporting it to a format like JPEG.

This  is a basic feature, but there are many more advanced features to explore. It’s a useful alternative to Photoshop for those who don’t have access to it. Check it out at www.gimp.org and see for yourself.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Freerange Stock Images

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Freerange which provides free high res stock photos for commercial and non-commercial use.

The photos either come directly from  in-house photographers and archives or they are contributed by a growing community of  photographers. Images provided directly (in-house) by Freerange Stock originate one of two ways. They are either digitally photographed on Canon DSLR cameras or they are a high resolution (4000 dpi) Nikon scan of an original 35mm slide. Once the image is acquired, the photo is sharpened, color corrected, cropped and keyworded. Some images are manipulated in Photoshop to make them more effective. Then the original is archived and a 2400×1600 version is optimized and output, then posted on the live site.

It’s certainly one of the best sources of stock photos I’ve come across – and it’s free! Try it today.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Hemingway Editor

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Hemingway Editor, a proofreading tool which clears your copy of all unnecessary copy.

Just paste your text into the editor and you’ll get an analysis that highlights lengthy, complex sentences, adverbs, passive voice, and common errors.

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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Picovico

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’ve been having fun trying out Picovico, an online tool which converts your photos into videos. There are three different pricing structures – for now, I’ve gone with the free option to test things out – this comes with water-marked logo and a lower resolution, but it gives you an idea of how it works. Here’s a link to the video I created to show you. It was a really quick and simple process.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Create Screencasts With Quick Cast

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Quick Cast, an ios app to help you make quick 3 minute screencast videos.

Once installed, it’s easy to record. Simply select the QuickCast logo in your toolbar and then click record. You’ll get a 5 second count-in. The app allows you to record for up to three minutes and you can even talk, so it’s a great tool if you want to make a guide or a tutorial. The QuickCast icon will indicate how much time you have left and you can preview or re-record.

Your recordings can be saved directly to your device and/or you can share them online through the QuickCast portal. You can also embed them into blog posts and webpages  using a unique URL and embed code for your own site.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Text Readability Consensus Calculator

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week.

This week’s cool tool recommendation is the Text Readability Consensus Calculator. It takes a sample of your writing and calculates the number of sentences, words, syllables, and characters. It then takes the output of these numbers and plugs them into 7 popular readability formulas to help you find out the reading level and grade level of your materials and help you to determine if your audience can read what you have written.

Here’s what happened when I plugged the above paragraph into the tool.

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And the result

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So I come out with a difficult to read score – ironic given that I took much of the text from the description of the tool pasted on the website! That aside, it’s a good reminder to us to write more clear, accessible, and understandable copy when we write for a general audience.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Adobe Spark

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Adobe Spark, a free suite of apps which allow both web and mobile users to create and share visual content – like posts for social media, graphics, web stories, and animated videos.

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It comprises three separate design apps: Spark Post, Spark Page and Spark Video.

  1. Spark Post is aimed at letting you create professional graphics in minutes.
  2. Spark Page is focused on helping you craft web stories. That means you can use it for things like magazine-style travel stories, photo albums, online newsletters, reports, or anything else that you want to present on the web. It’s basically a simplified web editing platform, with tools that let you mix text and imagery in a highly visual way.
  3. Spark Video lets you create animated videos. Note, this isn’t a tool for filming content – instead, you combine text, images, icons and themes in a presentation, then speak your voice over the story in order to create the video.

Here’s how I used  Spark Post to create a quick and easy quote graphic for Instagram:

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Top Design Tip!

Follow CoSchedule‘s best design practice to create even better graphics.

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