What can bring an old and static social media feed alive? A bit of animation of course! Add emotion to your images by creating animated GIFs. Animated GIFs can quickly communicate a feeling or concept.

Before you say, “I’m not a graphic designer. I don’t have the time, experience or talent to make an animated GIF,” don’t panic! They are super simple to make.

What are animated GIFs?

An animated GIF is just a series of still image frames mashed together into a single image. The image continues to loop.

Creating animiated GIFs with 3 static images

The three static images are combined to create the animated GIF you see below.

Create animated GIFs easily. Chris Craft Boat Example
3 static images combined to create an animated GIF

Why animated GIFs?

Your fans and followers scroll through endless streams of “sameness” on social media hoping a compelling headline, image or video captures their attention. With a bit of easy animation, you can stop your readers from scrolling and get them clicking on your content. Our eyes naturally are attracted to things that are “alive”.

A few benefits of using animated GIFs:

  • Your updates become more visible to your readers
  • They make a lasting impression. The brain continues to process an image for an additional period of time after we see it.
  • Animations are quickly consumed by your readers vs. a video which requires a bigger time commitment

Word of caution: Don’t overuse GIFs or you risk reader fatigue. Strategically sprinkle them into your social media visual strategy.

How do I create an animated GIF?

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create your own animated GIF. All you need is one of these handy tools and a bit of imagination.

The GIF below is an example of how to make an animated GIF with makeagif.com. GIFs can be created in 3 easy steps.

Making animated GIFs are easy using online tools

Tip: If you are using images to create a GIF, it is advisable that all the images be the same size. Your GIF will look more professional.

If you need some inspiration, Marketing Land put together an extensive list of the best-animated GIFs created by brands.

What social networks support animated GIFs?

You can add animated GIFs to your blog in addition to the following social networks:

  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • Facebook

UPDATE: Facebook now supports animated GIFs.

Facebook and Instagram does not support animated GIFs. You will need to convert a GIF to a video. With makeagif.com, the tool mentioned above, you can also export your GIF as an MP4, which can then be used to share on Facebook or Instagram.

Pro Tip: Share your animated GIFs using dlvr.it. Just upload your animated GIF and share across social media. There is a GIF for that too:

Use Q to easily share animated GIFs on social media