My first piece of advice: If your church has the budget to bring on a social media manager or a marketing consultant, do it. If you can’t afford someone full time, get a social media audit to give you some direction going forward.
My second piece of advice: Get a graphic designer and a video editor. It’s true, you can do it yourself. However, what might take you 10 hours would take a professional 1 hour. It’s worth your time and the results will be amazing.
That being said, if you are going to do social media yourself, here are some tools for you.
This website allows you to upload audio, video and photos to create short, noticeable videos for social media.
You can put a waveform on them (the cool lines that move around as people talk). Headliner can even transcribe your videos and audio for you. Everyone’s trying to make those cool 5 minute clips of the pastor’s sermon. This would be a great place to start if you’re not an AV wiz.
You can choose from 3 standard sizes optimized for regular posts or “stories” and a free account allows you to download 10 videos a month without a watermark, so that gives you at least 2 per Sunday.
For one thing, you can easily find a template for any project. They have templates for every social media platform, flyers, posters, infographics and so much more. They also recently added animated effects, many of which are free. You can create a design and download it in any format (jpg, png, mp4, pdf, etc.)
Canva has been cutting down on what its free version allows, so you will come across many elements you cannot use without paying for their upgrade. It will require more time and creativity to work around them, but they still have a lot to offer for free.
And if you even consider going for the paid version, I would strongly recommend you try contracting a freelance graphic designer with that money and see what value they can bring to your team.
This website is a decent photo editor. It’s also good for one thing that free Canva does not do: To make things transparent.
To do it, select the paint bucket from the menu on the left. Then choose “transparent” from the drop down menu. Click away to your hearts content, but remember to click save below the picture. Then save as a png or gif file with the menu at the top.
The process is tedious, which is why I’m telling you to hire a graphic designer instead. Or just have a creative budget. There’s that…
Royalty-Free Photos, Videos & Music
Remember when creating that it’s best to use royalty-free images. You don’t want to get in trouble for using someone else’s work, especially since there are so many sources for amazing pictures and video. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Unsplash (Photos)
- Pexels (Videos)
- MixKit (Photos, Videos & Music)
- Pixabay (Photos & Videos)
- Free Images (Photos)
You are not going to become a stellar graphic designer overnight, but sometimes when you’re in a tight spot, you can’t pay for the talent you want. If that’s you, I hope you find these tools helpful.
If reading about these tools just reminds you of how much you dislike doing your own social media, stop by Share and find out how much it would really cost to get a freelancer’s help with your graphics, video and social media. I bet it’s less than you think.
To get started on outsourcing social media or if you need some help with your socials, you can get a social media audit. Have a freelancer who specializes in social media review all of your social profiles and postings for the last 60 days. Get a one hour video call where you and your entire team can hear the findings, ask questions, and develop actionable strategy. You’ll get a customized follow-up report that outlines the audit and your clear next steps.
Happy posting, friends!