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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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?
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.
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:
(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:
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:
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 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!