How to Create GIFs for Social Media

Creating GIFs for social media

Every time we come to write a post on our blog or on any of our social media channels, we always think 'what do our followers want to know?' and that is the greatest question any small business can ask themselves when deciding what content to post. In light of this, I thought this week you might like to know how to Create GIFs for use on Social Media.

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Why should we use GIFs?

A GIF is an image that moves and plays in a loop. You can post a GIF on many social media apps these days - Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook just to name a few.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, it's not yet possible to post a GIF on Instagram (unless it's made in their Boomerang app) - but you can get around this by saving your 'GIF' as a mp4 (or movie file) instead.

In this post we're going to show you exactly how we do it for our clients, and how you can do it too!

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1. What content should you use as a GIF?

First of all, you've got to decide what content you're going to make to animate. For us it depends on the client due to their brand identity and tone of voice. Most of the time a GIF should just be an animated version of an image to catch the eye of your followers. It should also be something that appears to loop seamlessly so that it's more appealing to the eye. For example, one of our clients is a health food brand which means we get to have a fair amount of fun playing around with their content. See below...

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You need to decide whether you want to create a stop/start animation type of GIF, or something a bit more editorial or graphic that shows text moving. Different types can be used for different purposes. For example, we used the above GIF to promote a product, but you can easily make an eye catching competition post by placing text over images and put them in quick succession.

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Once you've decided on the content, let's learn how to make them.

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2. Creating GIFS

There are a few different programs you can use to make your own GIFs such as Giphy, Photoshop, Canva, and even video editing apps such as iMovie or Splice.

To begin with, try to familiarise yourself with whichever method you find easiest and stick with it. If you're fairly tech savvy, switch it up depending on what it's for and what size GIF you need to make. Canva is brilliant for moving text, video editing software is great for start/stop animations and Photoshop is great for slightly more intricate animations.

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3. GIFs for Instagram Stories and Snapchat

Making short videos for Instagram stories and Snapchat is brilliant if you like both the content on your Grid and your story to look editorial. We wouldn't recommend doing this all the time, because generally speaking Instagram stories and Snapchat should be a way of 'micro-vlogging' and you speaking to your followers in real time. 

It's a great way to promote blog posts or promotions in store. Due to the new algorithm on Instagram it's now essential to do daily Instagram stories to keep your followers engaging with your product/service.

We make a lot of GIFs for stories in Canva - all you need to do is upgrade to premium, create your image and when you go to export click on the Download as "Animated GIF/Movie".

The great thing about Canva is you can also upload your brand colours, logo and fonts so that you're ready and set to design quickly!