Ultimate Guide to Using PicMonkey to Create Social Media Images

Editor's note: Sam Peagler is our new Content Developer at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com. He's a student at Austin Community College studying Photography and Technical Communication.

How often do you need images for your small business marketing?

Daily for social media?

Weekly for your email newsletter?

Monthly for events?

The good news is you don't have to use an overly-complex tool like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Instead, you can use a simple online image-editing tool called PicMonkey (7-day free trial here). 

In this article, you'll learn how to do the six most-common image edits you'll need for your small business, from basic cropping & lighting changes to changing out backgrounds and collages.

Let's get started . . . 

Make Basic Image Edits

Resizing Your Image

Does it seem like every social network needs a different-sized image? No worries - with PicMonkey, it's easy to resize your image to exactly what you need. 

Here's how to resize your image to a specific size:

picmonkey resize image tutorial
  1. From the PicMonkey Home page, select Edit>Computer, and choose the image you want to resize. Select Open.
  2. Select Crop from the left sidebar and enter the width and height you need. Check the Scale Photo box, and then drag the image handles to include the image area you you want.  You can then position the cropping boundary up or down to refine what's included in the cropped section.
  3. Select Apply. PicMonkey crops your photo the perfect size.
  4. Select Export and name your photo.

You can also resize your image using a predefined template. Watch the video below to follow along as I resize using a template (the text version follows the video):

  1. From the PicMonkey Home page, select Edit>Design>Templates, and choose the image you want to resize. Select Open.
  2. Select Crop from the left sidebar and enter the width and height you need. Check the Scale Photo box, and then drag the image handles to include the image area you you want.  You can then position the cropping boundary up or down to refine what's included in the cropped section.
  3. Select Apply. PicMonkey crops your photo the perfect size.
  4. Select Export and name your photo.

Give Your Image a Makeover Using Lighting & Contrast

If you'd like to enhance your image, you can use PicMonkey's Exposure settings to improve it.  This photo was dark before; after tweaking the Exposure settings, the image is brighter and you can see the subject more clearly:

Here's how to using PicMonkey's Exposure settings:

Step 1Open Your Image

Open the image you want to edit and select the Basic Edits Panel (the Sliders icon in the left sidebar). Then, select Exposure:

Step 2. Use the Sliders to Adjust Your Photo

  • Brightness changes the overall exposure of the image
  • Highlights and Shadows adjust only the light or dark areas of your image
  •  Contrast changes the intensity of the colors and tones

Step 3: Remember to select Export to save your enhanced image to your computer.

Congratulations! You just gave your image a makeover and made your brand look awesome.

Removing an Image Background

Removing a background has long been a major hassle. Now you can use PicMonkey to remove the background from any image easily (without straining your eyes or pulling out your hair).

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    To remove an image background, you need to turn your image into an Overlay (PicMonkey's term for clip art). We'll show you how below:

Step 1: Open a Blank Canvas and Add Your Image

  • From the PicMonkey Home page, hover over Design and select Custom Design. Specify the size you need and select Make It!
  • Select the Overlay Tool (Butterfly icon), and Add Your Own. Select the image you want to use, and select Open.

PicMonkey displays your image along with the Overlay settings, shown below:

Step 2: Remove the Background

Now that you've opened your image as an Overlay, you're ready to start removing the background. Here's how:

picmonkey zoom in while removing background
  • Select the Eraser Tool from the Overlay tool box to remove the background. Your cursor turns into an eraser you can drag over the image to remove the background.
picmonkey remove image background
  • You can adjust the size of your eraser by dragging the Eraser slider in the Overlay settings toolbox.
  • Too zoom in on your image while you're erasing (and reduce eye strain), use the Zoom Tool slider at the bottom of your screen.   You can also move the image around using the Image Box in the lower right corner:

Step 3: Save your image by selecting Export.

Bravo — you successfully removed an background from your image.


Add a Watermark to Your Image

picmonkey final watermarked image

Adding a watermark to your image can be essential for a small business: it promotes your brand, while also protecting your images from being stolen. Using PicMonkey, you can create a great-looking, reusable watermark to give your images their own branding.

Creating a watermarked image is a two-step process: first, you'll create the transparent watermark; second, you'll add it to your image.

Let's get started:

Step 1: Open a Blank Canvas

  • From the PicMonkey Home page, hover over Design and select Custom Size. Select a size that's around 1000x1000 pixels (that's big enough to create an easily readable watermark). 

Step 2: Make the Canvas Transparent

  • You want your canvas to be transparent, so your watermark won't have a background. Select Transparent Canvas (checkbox in canvas color), and select Apply:
picmonkey transparent canvas

Step 3Add Your Watermark Text

  • Select the Text Tool (Tt) then Add Text . Choose your font, and type away:
add watermark text picmonkey

Step 4: Customize Your Text

  • You can adjust your watermark's size, alignment, and color using the Text Adjustment Box (left side box):
add watermark text picmonkey

Step 5Add Overlays 

  • Apply any overlays you'd like to add to your watermark. Overlays can add flair to your watermark, and give it some character. Choose the Overlay Tool (Butterfly), and select on the overlay you want to use:
picmonkey watermark text adjustment

Step 6: Save Your Image

  • Click Export (top left) and save it as a .png:
picmonkey watermark text

You now have a complete watermark to use on any of your branding!

Step 7: Add Your Watermark to Your Image

Now you're ready to add your new watermark to one of your images. Here's how:

  • Open up the image you want to watermark (Open New from the main menu).
  • Select the Overlay Tool then Add Your Own.
  • Choose the watermark you just saved, and add it to your photo!
  • You can resize it and change the transparency using the Adjustment Box as shown below: 
picmonkey watermarked image

Step 8: Save Your Watermarked Image

  • Select Export and give your new image a name.

You can use your watermark on any of your images to give them a branded look.

Create a Facebook Cover Image

One of the most common images you'll need for any social media marketing is your Facebook Business page cover. 

Here's how to create your cover from your favorite image:

Step 1: Choose Your Image

  • From the PicMonkey main screen, select Open New from the main menu and choose your image from your computer:  
picmonkey open new tutorial Socialmediaonlineclasses
  • Select the Crop Tool (located on the left sidebar) to resize your image to 851 x 325, as that is what loads the fastest and looks the best:
picmonkey facebook cover image

Step 2: Adding Text and Overlays

Here is where you transform your plain image into a working Facebook business cover with your brand name, hours, location & other relevant information:

  • Choose the Text Tool (Tt) (located on the left sidebar), then Add Text and type away!
  • You can modify your text's appearance by doing the following:
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    resize the text box by dragging its sides
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    resize the text by dragging the text box corners or the Size slider
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    select a different font by choosing one from the left sidebar
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    change the text color by selecting a color from the Text settings box

Want to make your text stand out even more? Easy! You can add colorful shapes and backgrounds:

  • Select the Overlay Tool (butterfly icon). PicMonkey displays a list of overlay types in the left sidebar.
  • Select the type of overlay you want and PicMonkey adds it to your image. I'm adding a red rectangle behind my brand's name and I can move and resize the overlay, as well as change its color.
  • To move your overlay behind your text, select the Layers icon in the bottom toolbar. PicMonkey displays each element of your cover image in the Layers box, and you can drag your overlay below the text:
picmonkey facebook business cover tutorial

Brand Your Content Using Consistent Colors & Fonts

Want your audience to recognize your images instantly? Use the same color scheme and fonts to give your content a branded design.

Watch this brief video tutorial to learn how to change your colors & fonts easily in PicMonkey:

Create a YouTube Video Thumbnail

A YouTube thumbnail is the still image appearing as the cover of your video. It can be a still frame from the video itself, or one you've created outside of the video.

In this example, let's start using a plain image to use as our thumbnail:

Step 1: Choose the YouTube Template

  • Hover over Design, then select Templates. Select the template for a YouTube Thumbnail (scroll down the bottom to find it):
picmonkey youtube template

Step 2: Choose Your Image

  • From the PicMonkey main menu, select Open New and choose your image. Resize & reposition the image to your liking. 

Step 3: Add Your Title to the Thumbnail

  • Using the Text Tool (Tt), you can write your full title, or just a keyword or two to grab attention. Again, you can customize your text's appearance so it stands out against your image:

Step 4: Apply Overlays

You can use overlays to make your text stand out, frame your text or images, and add a little bit of flair. In this example, I'll add a frame around the text and erase a portion of it to make the model pop out in front of it:

  • Use the Overlay Tool (Butterfly) to select the frame or other object you want. I selected a rectangle from the Geometric overlays, made the center transparent by changing Color 2, and the border white by changing Color 1.
  • To position an overlay behind your text, Fade it using the Adjustment Box (right-side box). Move it behind the text by using the Layers toolbox from the bottom toolbar.
  • Select Erase (right-side box) to remove parts of the overlay.

These effects can help parts of your image pop out, and give it dimension:

picmonkey youtube thumbnail overlay

Step 5: Save Your Image

  • Click Export (top left) and save it to your computer. You're now ready to upload your image to YouTube as a video thumbnail.

Create a Collage for Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest

Step 1. Choose Your Images

  • From the PicMonkey's Home page, over over Collage, and select Computer. Choose your images, and open them in PicMonkey:
picmonkey collage images

Step 2. Choose a Layout

  • Select the Layout Panel (Three Tiles) and PicMonkey displays the collage layouts you can choose from. Review the ones you're interested, and click on the one you want.
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    for a collage to use on Facebook, select the FB Cover layout
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    for a Pinterest collage, select the Pinter-etsy layout (you need a premium account for this)
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    for an Instagram collage, select the Square Deal layout
picmonkey collage layout

Step 3: Add Your Images to the Collage Layout

  • In the Images Panel, you can either click and drag your images to the collage panel you want, or simply click autofill and let PicMonkey do the work for you:

Step 4: Edit the Background

  • You can edit the shape of your cells and the background color using the Background Panel (Paintbrush). Here, you can change your cell spacing, round the corners, and change the background color:
picmonkey collage background

Step 5: Save Your Collage

  • Click Export (top left) and save it to your computer. You're collage is complete and ready to use on on your favorite social network.


I recommend you bookmark this post and return to it when you've got an image you need to edit for your brand. It walks you through a simple workflow editing the image itself, as well as transforming it into multiple social media images.

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