5 Social Media Image Size Hacks for Quick Visual Content

Want to create visual content but feeling a little overwhelmed by all the different image sizes?

One size does not fit all but it definitely becomes easier if you use a few tips and tricks.

Here are 5 Social Media Image Size Hacks to Fast-Track your Visual Content Creation – across more than one social media platform.

5 Social Media Image Size Hacks for Quick Visual Content
Measuring Tape by Shutterstock

 

I’m often asked how it is possible to create a “one size fits all” image.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple.  If you read this post, you would understand that it’s important to respect the individual differences of each platform.  This includes image size.

Some image sizes are more suited to some platforms more than others.

One size might not fit all, but there are shortcuts, tools and tricks you can use to make the whole process a heck of a lot easier.

Ready?  Let’s jump in and take a look at them:

 

#1  Square, Landscape, Portrait

You may have seen many really cool (and complex) infographics over the years showing every possible size permutation and combination under the sun.

Often called “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Sizes” or something similar, these infographics are a one stop shop for every size and dimension you need to know.

Literally dozens of them – everything from Facebook ads to Twitter banners and Pinterest images.

The problem is that it’s too complicated. Nobody is going to remember all those sizes!

Now, if you have been around my blog for a while you will know that I like to make things simple.  So here it is…

All you need to know are 3 sizes:   Square, Landscape, and Portrait.

The 3 Image Size You Need for all platforms - Square, Portrait , Landscape

Square suits Instagram and Facebook (and … as of January 2016… suits Twitter as well as Twitter now shows square images on the twitter feed). 

Landscape suits Twitter and Facebook.

Portrait suits Google+ and Pinterest.

One size may not fit all but you can definitely double up on an image or two by using these 3 sizes.   And if you read on you will see some easy ways to do more than one image size at once!

Another blogger (who is also a savvy designer) that advocates the use of square, portrait and landscape is Dustin W. Stout from Dustn.tv.

Dustin has written an awesome blog post outlining the only social media image sizes you need…  and some helpful templates for you to use. You can check it out here.  Dustin goes into a little more detail about how these image sizes can be used, including how versatile Landscape-size is (I concur!). So be sure to check it out.

 

#2  Get Clever with Square Images

I was talking to the super savvy Rebekah Radice recently (if you don’t follow her, then you should start… she always shares quality social media tips on her blog).

Rebekah has a square-shaped image on her blog posts as her featured image. You can see it here:

Square Image Trick by Rebekah Radice - click through to find out more!

But look closer. See how she has designed the image?  If you look at all of Rebekah’s blog post images, the most important information is in the middle third of the image?

By “most important” I mean the text overlay header. If this image is shared to Twitter and separated from the Blog Post, it can still stand alone and provide context about what the person is clicking through to.

And because of the placement of the text in that middle third, when it is shared to Twitter… Boom!  Perfectly Sized for Twitter. Let’s take a look at how it shows up when I tweet it out:

Perfectly sized image for Twitter by Rebekah Radice - click here to read her trick!

Super clever Rebekah. Super clever.

If you have a square image that you are sharing, consider using a text overlay to add your header in the middle third.  It allows you to share it more easily on Twitter without redesigning a whole new image.

The bonus?  You can now share this image on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and it also looks fine on Google+.  Just by taking into account the way in which you lay out the image.

Note:  as clever as this is, we may have an even better option – Twitter has started to show square shaped images on the newsfeed, so you can more easily mix and match your images. 

#3  A Quick Canva Hack

Until recently (until #4) I would do this in Canva.  I would create a landscape image, and then copy a second copy of it, then merely move the elements around, copy them, resize them till I had the following – a portrait and square image to go with my landscape image.  It takes a little manouvering but it is much quicker than designing each image from scratch.

I will usually create these three images for every blog post – so that I can promote the post across any of the platforms as I have all 3 of the basic image sizes.

How to create 3 image sizes on one Canva Screen

As you can see above, I first created a landscape image.  Then I copied the entire image on to a second landscape-shaped background.

From there I copied each element using the copy and paste function and then reduced the size of various fonts and images until I had a Portrait sized image on the left and a square shaped image on the right.

Each image needed a little cropping for which I used a simple cropping tool but the result was – one square image and one portrait size.

No they were not perfect in dimension, but you know what? They worked and they were quick!  Sometimes when uploading images, near enough is good enough.

But I have another way of doing this that might excite you – read on to #4.

#4  Canva’s New Pro Account

Canva‘s New Pro Account “Canva for Work” has now been released and is being loved by many of us.

There are a number of features with the Pro Account, including:

  • saving your own layouts
  • resizing designs (something that makes #3 a lot easier!)
  • setting up your brand assets
  • organise images and designs within folders (being added to beta soon).

So far I am loving the ability to resize designs. Take for instance, the image on this very post.  After I created it I have the option to resize the imnage… see, in the top left corner?

Have you heard about Canva's new pro account coming soon? Click this link to find out more...
Resizing your image is as easy as one click with Canva’s new Pro Account. Coming Soon!

 

Then simply choose the image size you want to resize to – all your elements carry over to the new image template after you choose the correct size from the drop-down menu.

5 Image Size Hacks for Social Media - click through for more!
A drop-down menu gives you a choice for resizing your image.

 

In this case, it was a portrait size image for Pinterest. As you can see the raw elements are carried over, but need a little tweaking:

5 Image Size Hacks for Social Media Visual Content Creation - Sneak Peek of new Canva Pro Account

(and now you can use a one click MAGIC BUTTON feature where you can just click the template sizes you want and your design will be re-designed into not one but 2 or 3 or more different sizes. We are liking the magic button, oh yes we are!

Whether it’s the resize feature or the magic button you use, all you need to do then is to make few changes in font size, and some repositioning… and voila.. here is the finished image:

5 Social Media Image Design Hacks for Creating Visual Content Quickly and Easily - Click here for more!
Love this post? Pin it for later!

 

and there’s one more…

 

#5  Use a Rockin’ Plug In

For those of you on Word Press, a great Plug-In can make all the difference for sharing your visual content – and it provides an easy “Social Media Image Hack” for you.

A great Plug-In will allow you to choose the image that you want to be shared to a particular social platform when someone shares your content. For instance on this post, I have allocated a particular image to the Facebook Open Graph – so that when this post is shared to Facebook, Facebook knows to pull in the title image. People are out there ready to share your content – make sure the right images go with it!

Two Plug-Ins you can use for this are:

1 –  Yoast SEO for WordPress 

This is a great plug-in for sharing images as well as providing you with a helping hand if you don’t understand SEO (or don’t have time to become an expert in it!).   It gives you the benefits of simple tips for SEO for each post and your images, as well as the opportunity to specify which images you want to pull in for Twitter, Facebook etc.

2 –  Social Warfare

There’s a new kid on the blog and I am loving the sound of it, and look forward to trying it.  It’s called Social Warfare:

Social Warfare is an awesome new social media sharing tool - find out more!

 

Social Warfare is a sharing Plug-In that also allows you to add beautifully responsive sharing buttons, total share counters, easy click-to-tweet quotes, custom social media image uploading, Pinterest-specific share customization, and a widget to display your most popular posts in order of most social shares.

I am loving the Pinterest sharing option – it ensures that the image you want to be shared gets shared… great for visual content.

 

Over to You

Have you been frustrated with trying to keep up with creating visual content on more than one social media platform?

Will these hacks help? Share your next action step in the comments below!

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, a Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner in 2015 & 2016, and winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition (Business Category). Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more traffic, shares and sales in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online and Social Media Examiner and has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Yahoo, the Huffington Pos, Entrepreneur and Problogger.
  • Anna Zubarev

    What a fantastic source and tips on images! I’ve been a Canva user and a fan for some time now, but didn’t think of that trick of adding 2nd image under and resizing it bit.

    Truly great tips here Donna!

    • No problems Anna! And when you get access to the Pro feature it becomes even easier… but in the meantime that copy function is great for resizing images… it’s just a matter of resizing and manouvering a little!

  • You’re the best. That is all

  • Stephen Mayall

    I’m very excited to see this new pro account from Canva, I’ve been asking for the ability to resize images for a whilst, this will save a tonne of time. I even got to the point that I’ve been trying to get as close to a one size fits all as possible to save time – not any longer. Hopefully it won’t be long until its rolled out!

    • It will be very soon Stephen! So many people are going to love the option to move to Pro, I am sure!

  • Oh my gosh, thanks for #3! I never, ever had the idea to copy the landscape image and edit it to get a square image o__O Great tip! And I’m looking forward to #4, sounds great.

    • You are very welcome! And #4 is very very very close to going public. Watch for it!

  • Hi Donna.

    This is a good read. I think it’s really helpful. Uploading the right image size is often overlooked… That quick canva hack is nice. Thumbs up on the whole article. 🙂

  • Oh so many great tips! As a designer l find myself getting frustrated with the various different (and ever changing!) size demands for social posts. But simplifying things like this is a HUGE time saver-and it means my clients can save some time and do it themselves too!

    • Thanks Cat (sorry I missed this!) – I was the same – so many different sizes it was too much! Definitely sign up to try out Canva at Work – the resizing function is amazing – it will be open to the public soon and well worth the cost – I use it every day!

  • MalikaBourne

    WoW! Ilearned a lot. (Now to apply it all! ) Ioved the info you shared so much that I Pinned it on my “From the Best Blogs” board on Pinterest. I hope you don’t mind.

    • Thanks and of course I don’t mind – that’s what blog posts are for, sharing, so thank you and share away! Have a great day!

  • Kriket Broadhurst

    Hi Donna, thanks for this great info.
    I have what may be a daft question regarding where the images are pulled from when specifying which image you want posted when using Yoast SEO?
    So I upload an image to my blog (with text overlay) that I want to share to Pinterest – so it is the right size for Pinterest; but where do the other images ‘sit’ that are then to be pulled to the other social media platforms, such as FB etc? thanks in advance
    Kriket

    • Hi Kriket – I use the socail tab on Yoast – for Facebook Image, I have twitter cards set up for Twitter but you can allocate an image there too – for Pinterest, you would need to try Social Warfare as I don’t think that Yoast does Pinterest as yet…

  • Very helpful post. I love how you make it so easy. This may be a silly question. What’s the best process for posting your canva created blog image to Instagram? Thanks, Heidi

    • Hi sorry I missed this – not sure if you mean something else but the only way is to download the image and then upload it into Instagram – even if you use a tool – there’s not a direct share via Instagram from Canva as they have not opened up their API… then of course you have to make sure the size suits Instagram – ie square shaped. Sorry that there is no short cut as yet!

  • Awesome hacks Donna! I am super excited for Canva’s new Pro account. I have been using the square size and keeping everything in the middle forever, so this will be nice to tailor for different platforms. Thanks for sharing all this good stuff with us! Have a great day!

    • Awesome – you will love it. They are already teasing on the dashboard for Canva for work that fonts are coming soon too – yay!

  • Veronika med K

    Thanks for the Canva resizing guide. I’ve been trying to figure out some shortcut and there it is! (until I upgrade 😉 )

    • You are very welcome – glad you found it useful. Relay is good for getting different sizes too – and I definitely use the Canva resize button every day! You can do a one month trial free with Canva here: http://www.canva.com/brand/upgrade to check it out and see if it is worth the investment for you. Have a great weekend!

  • L.M.

    Hi Donna. Thank you for your article. I have a question regarding social feeds on the back end. I’ve run into a dilemma where a designer repeatedly creates social footer feeds in a large, square card layout. Not every photo that gets pulled in from FB or Twitter or Instagram (or
    perhaps worse…Youtube video stills) can scale to a square. Often
    images are lower res and get pixelated. I asked if there was a way to
    make a combo of shapes (rectangles and squares) and have some sort of back end recognition to pull the image into the proper orientation (rectangle or square) before
    it automatically scaled with poor quality into a square. Is this possible via css? is their a plug-in you’d recommend? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi L.M. I have to say when it comes to CSS and all things website language I am not the person to ask – I am not honestly sure if there is a solution that will automatically resize the image you have… you really need more than one image. You can use a tool like Relay that creates multiple image shapes – http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/relaythat to get a trial or you can use Canva and use their Canva for Work level of membership and resize the images using their magic button feature (ie one click and it will create a square image from landscape and you just have to tweak it a little). But as far as some automated system that turns your designers square images into other shapes,I don’t think there is one. You could get them to design a landscape version each time to go with it – seriously for a skilled designer it should take them a few minutes to modify the original design to landscape and move a few fonts and titles around and change the shape of the image – I would ask them. Other than that, if you are in Word Press, the plug in I recommend (once you have an option of image sizes) to use is Yoast SEO plugin to specify which images you want to pull into Facebook – ie nominate the landscape image (you can do the same for Twitter, Google Plus etc). Hope that helps…

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