Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and a wealth of other social networks facilitate image sharing. Some of the most commonly-shared images are digital posters or ‘memes’, which are basically text added to a photo or other background. Networks like Facebook now facilitate animated gifs that you can customize for your business as well. Shareable images may be quotes, captions, deep thoughts, charity messages, advocacy, humourous, etc.
There are several ways businesses can benefit from shareable images:
- Brand the image with your URL or logo so it’s shared with the meme.
- Link the image to your website on networks that allow it (such as Pinterest).
- Post a clever image on Facebook to boost shares and likes. Shares and likes promote your business on Facebook and it has a positive impact on search engine ranking.
- Illustrate blog posts to encourage visitors to share them on photo-sharing networks and other social media.
- Scream “I am Canadian” by using red and white, photos of popular Canadian tourist attractions, or by adding a maple leaf or flag. If you’re targeting local traffic, add a city flag so it catches the eye of your target market.
Creating customized images to share on social media, is as easy as finding an image that isn’t copyrighted (or creating a suitable background) and personalizing it with your text. To be sure you have a legal right to use them, you may want to purchase royalty-free images and fonts from online collections, such as Deposit Photo or iClipart. Use a text colour that shows up vividly and a clear font for easy reading at a reduced size. Using text borders or shadows will make the text pop out even more.
Web-based Tools for Adding Text to Images
Fotor – Features various fonts, bold, italic, size and colour options. You can also rotate text and change text opacity.
Meme Generator – A popular, free tool for creating social media memes.
AddText – Drag & drop your own image into this free online editor, or choose one from their gallery. The editor includes font style, colour and size options which you can drag into your desired position. When you’re done you can download the meme or share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Imgur – Photo hosting and free meme generation tool. Use your own photos or select one of their meme backgrounds.
Picfont – Place your text on an image, canvas or shape with the Picfont free text tool. Text options include fonts, basic clipart (dingbat font style), colours, sizes, effects, and rotation. The canvas and shape options include a choice of background colours. You can download or share your final creation.
Cheezburger – A popular, feature-rich, free meme tool with a large selection of images (or you can upload your own). Text options include basic and dingbat fonts, colours, sizes, effects, and opacity. Choose from different styles, from classic poster to breaking news.
Ribbet – Text options include 100 fonts (or add your own), bold, italicize, align, resize, blend, rotate and flip. Add stickers, frames, effects, borders or captions to your image. You can share your creation on social media and they offer a Facebook app. Ribbet is a free, web-based text editor with some photo editing perks.
Quick Picture Tools – This free tool offers a good font and dingbat selection for adding text to your photo or other image. Quick Picture Tools includes sizing and quality options, along with the standard text options.
Quozio – Intended for quotes, Quozio asks for the quote and who said it, then you choose a background.
Gif Magic – Add text to animated or static gifs with this free, web-based image editor. Gif Magic also offers special effects and image optimizing. It’s modeled after the old ‘Gifworks’ tool that is no longer available.
Glitter Photo – Use this free tool to add text (normal or glitter) and other effects to your photos. Options include frames, animations, glitter images, stamps, and backgrounds. Download your edited image or save it online.
PicMonkey – You can do basic customization online with PicMonkey, or upgrade for a range of photo editing options.
Livememe – A free meme builder that has a big library of some of the most popular meme background images online.
Download Free Image Editing Software
All of the below software is fully-featured freeware for design and photo editing:
There’s an App for That
The following Apps are designed to create memes on your smartphone:
Text On Pictures – Easily add any text, captions, stickers or ’emoji’ to your pictures and share it via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Available for download free from iTunes.
InstaQuote – Turn words into art with this app. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Available for download free from iTunes.
Phonto – This app features 50 fonts and you can import your own fonts to add text to pictures or other images. Rotate and add shadows to the text, and change the colour, size, etc. Phonto is available free through iTunes and Google Play for Android.
Instanote – Add text to images or make custom notes. Share them on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. Instanote is an Android app available for download free from Google Play.
You’ll find many more options if you do a search on iTunes or GooglePlay.
Canva is a popular design tool for amateurs and professionals alike. You can use it to create professional marketing and design collateral using a range of premium tools and content.
PaintShop Pro – Besides Photoshop, PaintShop Pro is a tool we use frequently for our memes and other illustrations. PaintShop Pro is a feature-rich design and photo editor with less of a learning curve than PhotoShop.
What has your experience been with sharing memes and animated gifs? Please let us know in the comments below.
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