19 of the best tools for creating stunning social media graphics

Looking for some inspiration to take your social media marketing to the next level? Then look no further, here are some of the best graphics tools around.

social media graphics


A picture paints a thousand words, so the old saying goes.

That’s certainly true of social media marketing, where users are bombarded by an avalanche of posts, tweets and stories. Many will be ignored, particularly those from brands.

With that in mind, social media marketers have had to up their visual game in recent years to ensure their message cuts through news feed congestion.

There have been loads of studies about the impact of visual content on social media engagement, but one in particular found that content with relevant photos or Infographics saw a 94% increase in page views versus content without images.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to save your best efforts for Instagram and Pinterest. Even LinkedIn – the more formal member of the social media family – has become a more image-heavy platform in recent years.

So without further ado, here’s our selection of some of the best tools to help you take your social media graphics to the next level…

Adobe Spark

Social media images - Adobe Spark

Summary

It’s essentially a one-stop shop for creating social media graphics. Choose from a variety of pre-sized templates, then upload your image or choose from the stock library of freebies and edit to your heart’s content by tweaking the various settings for color, opacity, font, alignment and other variables.

Price

The basic package is free, but if you want access to the full range of branding options then it’ll set you back £10.10 per month.

Verdict

It’s perhaps no surprise that the software giant’s offering is one of the most comprehensive in our collection. Adobe Spark only launched in 2016, so it won’t have reached its full potential yet. A scary thought for its competitors.


BeFunky

Social media images - BeFunky

Summary

BeFunky is another all-in-one photo editing/graphic creation package – and splits its offering into three core areas: Photo Editor, Collage Marker and Graphic Designer. There’s also a large selection of templates for knocking up ad banners and infographics with the minimum of fuss.

Price

There’s a free option, but the ‘premium’ packages cost $2.91 p/m (billed yearly) or $4.95 p/m (billed monthly).

Verdict

What BeFunky doesn’t do isn’t worth doing. It offers comprehensive range of editing tools (as well as more than a million stock images) that will suit the needs of even the most demanding social media marketer.


Canva

Social media images - Canva

Summary

Canva offers an exhaustive range of templates, backgrounds and stock images, as well as a huge selection of graphics, shapes, frames, icons and illustrations that you can simply drag-and-drop until you’ve created your masterpiece.

Price

Free for the basic package, $12.95 for the ‘Work’ option, and a bespoke offering for enterprise.

Verdict

At the time of writing Canva had more than 10 million users, and it’s not hard to see why. Like most of the apps in this list, there is a learning curve involved, but once you’ve mastered it you’ll be throwing together eye-catching graphics for your campaigns like a design pro. A genuine heavyweight in the field and one you should at least have a play around with.


Creative Market

Social media images - Creative Market

Summary

Creative Market is pretty much what the name suggests – a marketplace for creativity. It offers a huge selection of images, icons, illustrations and much more uploaded by designers and photographers who charge for their wares. You pay for what you want, then take it away to incorporate into your social media designs.

Price

Items vary in price from a few dollars to a few hundred – though most appear to be in the $20-60 range.

Verdict

Most of the designs we downloaded were of a good standard, while some were excellent. However, as with any kind of marketplace, you make purchases at your own risk. We’ve seen some less than desirable reviews kicking around, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great designs in here that could enhance your brand’s social media graphics.


>> READ MORE: 8 of the best Google Chrome extensions for social media <<


Easelly

Social media images - Easelly

Summary

Easelly specialises in infographic design, with more than 6,000,000 having created and downloaded an infographic. Choose a template (blank or pre-filled), then get to work adding text, images, icons and a variety of other design assets to really bring your infographic to life.

Price

It’s free to access the basic package, but if you want access to the good stuff you’ll need to go premium at $36 a year.

Verdict

The editing dashboard isn’t the most sophisticated we’ve seen, but it gets the job done. Infographics are a little overdone these days, but if you have a good reason to share one with your audience it might as well be one of your own.


GIPHY

Social media images - GIPHY

Summary

GIPHY is the world’s largest collection of animated gifs, with a searchable database filled with millions of gifs that it adds to daily, and has created tools so anyone can easily create clips and add to the collection.

Price

Free

Verdict

Gifs may not be the most conventional marketing technique, but there’s definitely a time and a place for them. GIPHY’s library is eye-wateringly exhaustive, and their Gif Maker gives marketers the option to create their own branded gifs.


Hootsuite Enhance

Social media images - Hootsuite Enhance

Summary

Hootsuite Enhance is a mobile-only app currently restricted to iOS users. It’s a separate app entirely from Hootsuite, and comes with a range of editing options, as well as the ability to add text and watermarks.

Price

Free

Verdict

It may only be a smartphone app, but it definitely punches above its weight – as you might expect considering who developed it. Being mobile based it won’t be your go-to tool for image editing, but it’s a great option for on-the-go visuals.


Infogram

Social media images - Infogram

Summary

Making charts, graphs, tables and maps look snazzy is Infogram’s thing. There’s an extensive library of templates just waiting for your data, while you can either make use of the range of design themes or create a customized one for your brand. There’s also a huge selection of stock images, icons and gifs, as well as an intuitive drag-and-drop editor.

Price

There are five packages, starting from the free basic plan up to a bespoke Enterprise option for larger brands.

Verdict

Numbers aren’t always that appealing to look at, but if you do have some interesting data you want to share with your social media audience, then you probably won’t want to look much further than Infogram.


>> READ MORE: 10 of the best free social media monitoring tools <<


Landscape

Social media images - Landscape

Summary

Developed by Sprout Social, Landscape is a simple tool that enables you to upload photos and then resize them for use across your social networks. Upload a pic, then choose from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube – or all at once if you’re going to use the same image as your profile pic across the board. There’s also a custom option to choose your own output size.

Price

Free

Verdict

Landscape couldn’t have a simpler premise, it would have taken all of five minutes to develop. That said, there’s nothing wrong with simplicity if it’s done well and that’s definitely the case here. We’ve bookmarked it and reckon you should too.


Over

Social media images - Over

Summary

Another iOS-only app, Over has been around since 2012 and has built up a dedicated army of fans. Users upload an image, and can then add text, shapes and clip art with a couple of taps, while swiping can change colors, fonts and spacing. What’s more, there’s also a massive library of images, graphics and fonts to overlay.

Price

Free, though there’s also a Pro option which costs $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

Verdict

It looks great, is easy to use and – most importantly – is capable of producing results that look like they’ve been professionally designed. Designing on a smartphone won’t be for everyone (and where’s the Android app?), but its user reviews are overwhelmingly positive and with good reason.


Pablo

Social media images - Pablo

Summary

Another tool supported by a major social media player – Pablo is the image-editing offshoot of Buffer. There’s a fairly basic dashboard in which images (either stock or your own) can be tweaked with filters, resized for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and embellished with text and/or logos. There’s also a Chrome extension so users can have Pablo on hand while browsing.

Price

Free

Verdict

Pablo provides an easy way of converting images into engaging social media posts. The dashboard is scarily easy to use, and most people reading this would be able to produce something vaguely artistic in no more than a minute or two. However, its functionality is firmly towards the basic end of the scale and you can’t help but feel that an outfit the size of Buffer really ought to be offering more. But, hey, it’s free.


PicMonkey

Social media images - PicMonkey

Summary

PicMonkey has four strands to its offering: a photo editor, collage maker, design tool and touch-up. The editing panel includes a wealth of options for altering and embellishing your images to the nth degree (there are options to apply ‘weight loss’ and even ‘whisker growth’!).

Price

Premium costs £6.49 p/m (£77.88) billed annually or £9 p/m billed monthly; while ‘Supremium’ will set you back £9.99 p/m (£119.88) billed annually.

Verdict

The editing panel isn’t the most easy-on-the-eye, but it’s certainly comprehensive. The editing options are almost endless, probably too extensive for some, but there’s no doubt that PicMonkey is a powerful tool that will unleash your inner graphic designer if you’ve got the time to experiment.


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Piktochart

Social media images - Piktochart

Summary

Piktochart offers a number of design solutions, including presentations and print formats, but it also provides an infographic option. It offers a number of templates, interactive charts and maps, a large library of icons and images, color schemes, an SEO-friendly metadata and the option to share to social from within the editor.

Price

The three regular packages cost $12.50, $24.17 and $82.50 per month (billed annually), but there are also special pricing options for non-profits and educational establishments.

Verdict

Piktochart describes itself as a “simple, intuitive tool”, and it’s hard to argue with that assessment. The editor closely resembles Canva’s offering, which is a definite plus – as anyone who has used Canva will agree. The pricing model might be a little steep if you’re only looking for an infographic tool to use occasionally, but bear in mind you can also create a range of other marketing materials for the money.


Pixlr Web Editor

Social media images - Pixlr

Summary

Pixlr is another online photo editor that offers a comprehensive range of editing options, including a large selection of filters to try, plus support for layers and masks (advanced editing features). The various brushes and other tools are customizable, and there are quick keyboard shortcuts for commonly used options like levels and curves.

Price

Free

Verdict

This probably isn’t an option if you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use tool that produces quick and easy social media graphics. There’s a steep learning curve involved if you’re a design novice, though anyone who’s used Photoshop before will fly through it. Best of all, it’s free and you can use it in your browser.


Placeit

Social media images - Placeit

Summary

Placeit offers a design solution for anyone looking to mock up an image on a device screen – an image within an image if you like. There are thousands of templates covering every device worth covering, and a range of stock images from a huge range of categories. Want to display your new website on a Sony Xperia Z3 held by a woman in a gym? Done.

Price

You can buy images on a one-off basis, but subscription options cost either $29, $99 or $199 per month.

Verdict

Unlike most of the tools in this feature, Placeit provides a very specific solution. With such a narrow focus they need to make sure they nail it, and we’re happy to report they have. The platform isn’t the best looking and the pricing is on the steep side, but if you need device-based mock-ups then look no further.


Recite

Social media images - Recite

Summary

Recite – as its name suggests – creates visuals based on quotes. Simply type your desired text into the box and you’ll be able to see how your quote will look in the wide range of templates. When you’re happy with your creation, hit ‘Create’ to finalise your image. You can also share to a range of social networks from within the editor

Price

Free

Verdict

Recite does what it promises and it does it with little fuss. It would certainly benefit from the option to amend fonts and sizes, or even just to move text around, but the templates are well designed and will suit most tastes. Aside from one or two reliability issues (several of our designs got stuck on 99%), Recite is a nifty little tool that we enjoyed playing around with.


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SumoPaint

Social media images - SumoPaint

Summary

SumoPaint is an online photo editor that comes with a huge stack of editing options. Its interface resembles Photoshop, and you’ll find a familiar range of tools such as clone, gradient fill, smudge and more. There are also layers, an all-important undo tool, blending modes, filters, layer effects and brushes.

Price

Free, though you can upgrade to Pro for a variety of prices depending on the timescale you choose.

Verdict

Launched in 2008, SumoPaint has a decade of development behind it and it shows. The editing tool is similar to Pixlr in some ways, but arguably more comprehensive. The range of editing tools are simply staggering and are probably suitable only for those with some kind of design experience. If you’re looking for a quick and easy design solution, look elsewhere. But if you want more control over your social media visuals, then SumoPaint is worthy of serious consideration.


TouchRetouch

Social media images - TouchRetouch

Summary

There’s nothing more annoying than having a perfect image ruined by an ugly telephone cable or some other unwelcome photobomber. TouchRetouch gives you the option of removing said intruders – be it an out-of-focus car or a skin blemish you’d rather your social media followers didn’t see. Select what type of removal tool you want (line, object, blemish etc), then drag your finger over the offending object and watch it disappear.

Price

Free

Verdict

TouchRetouch is an impressive little app, especially so considering it won’t cost you a dime. Okay, so the process doesn’t always work first time, but our success rate approached a better-than-satisfactory 70%. Stick with it and you’ll find yourself delighted with the results – most of the time.


WordSwag

Social media images - WordSwag

Summary

An Android and iOS app, WordSwag enables you to add stylish text to your images all from the convenience of your smartphone. Upload your own pic or choose from one of the 290,000 free stock images, add your text (or choose from WordSwag’s library) and allow WordSwag to work its magic. There’s also the option to add your brand’s logo.

Price

$4.99

Verdict

WordSwag’s tagline is ‘Add awesome text to your photos in seconds’, and that’s pretty much what it does. Trying to precisely place text using your fingers can be a little tricky, but the wealth of fonts on offer and intuitive layout more than make up for any placement niggles.


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Have we missed your favorite image-editing tool? Let us know and we’ll take it for a test spin.

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