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Finding agile tools to create engaging visual content has never been more crucial. New image-based social networking sites launch every day, while existing ones continuously roll out new features favoring visual interaction. Even Twitter, which used to focus on ultra-brief combinations of text and links, now displays images automatically in users’ timelines. It has been reported that photos now average a 35% boost in retweets, and they are also the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with a whopping 87% interaction rate from fans. On the other hand, primarily image-based platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have focused on visual power all along.


To help you capitalize on the power of visual content, I will share five exceptional tools to build compelling brand graphics:


1. Canva: this free tool offers “amazingly simple graphic design” and makes photo editing, text overlays, finding graphics, collaborating and image resizing a breeze. Though the tool itself is free to use, you can purchase low-cost background images and other assets to enhance your designs. No need to download software: Canva operates in your browser. Potential uses include social media graphics, presentation covers, posters, flyers, and blog graphics.

2. Piktochart: This tool helps you design infographics from the ground up, without starting from scratch. They offer over 100 ready-to-use themes, and allow you to visualize data with charts, graphs and maps. Piktochart offers special non-profit and education pricing, starting at free with limited access to their graphics library.



3. PicMonkey: This extremely user-friendly editor allows for complete control over your photos, including touchups, filters, effects, collage creation and overlays. PicMonkey offers a design feature set similar to Canva’s: easy sizing, font overlays, textures, frames, and browser-based functionality. They offer both a free and a paid plan.


4. Recite This: This free tool lets you convert any quote into an engaging graphic to inspire your audience using any of 20+ pre-designed themes. To make things even easier, Recite This provides an extensive quote library to grab and go.


5. Word Swag: On the move? No problem. This $2.99 mobile app “magically” lays out text over a solid or photographic background of your choice. Mainly used for quotes, Word Swag can work just as well for any type of short text (like a call to action or sale announcement).