Editor’s Note: Find our updated image size cheat sheet for 2016 here.
Social media trends are hard to predict.
You never know which social platforms will take off in a big way, which won’t, or what changes popular networks will make in the months ahead.
One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in the past year is the importance of visual content.
Great visuals have become a crucial aspect of online marketing. In fact, 63 percent of social media is made up of images!
How can you create the great images for your business’s social channels?
One of the most important things you can do is keep track of the optimal photo dimensions for all the social media channels you use.
Last year, we created a cheat sheet to help you determine the right dimensions to use when sharing images on social media. Because many of these recommended dimensions have since changed, we updated the cheat sheet for 2015.
We also pulled together some of our favorite tricks for using images on each of the top social networks.
See the new cheat sheet below, and read on for seven social media image tricks that will take your images to the next level!
7 Social Media Image Tricks
Facebook: Share photos on mobile
A recent report from Simply Measured determined that seventy-seven percent of brand engagement on Facebook happens on photos. However, only sixty-two percent of the posts shared by brands are photos!
While it’s important to pay attention to the type of content that generates the most engagement for your unique audience, it is worth it to experiment with sharing more photos in the coming year!
Facebook introduced a new auto-enhancing feature for iOS in 2014. Now, when a Facebook user posts an image using the iOS app, it is automatically “enhanced” for clarity, lighting and shadow.
Twitter: Use a 2:1 ratio
Although you can tweet an image of any size, Twitter’s in-stream preview is always 440 pixels wide and 220 pixels tall (a 2:1 ratio). This means that any horizontal image will be cut off at the top and bottom but not at the sides in the Twitter stream.
Creating and calculating the dimensions of an image that will perfectly show off the center of the photo in the in-stream preview is very tricky. We recommend creating 880×440 images to tweet.
One shortcut I’ve found is using the Facebook dimension (1200×627) on Twitter as well. While these images are not exactly a 2:1 image ratio, they still look great in Twitter’s in-stream preview and save you time!
Google+: Use “longer” images to increase engagement
When it comes to sharing Google+ images, many online marketers recommend uploading images that are square; however, we’ve found that uploading longer images — similar to an image you’d see on Pinterest works very well for increasing engagement.
Longer images take up more space in the feed and are more likely to grab the attention of a Google+ user.
Because Google+ displays shared photos as 497px wide and scales the height of the image, your image will also look great as long it is at least 497px wide. Check out this example on an image we shared that was 1056×1728 or this 854×1350 image.
LinkedIn: Add a photo to link posts
While some may consider LinkedIn one of the least visual social networks, reports have shown that you can increase your LinkedIn views by 11 times when you include a photo. We have found that including a photo with the content we’re sharing on LinkedIn from the Constant Contact page typically doubles the engagement rate.
For the images we’re sharing on LinkedIn, we’ve found that using square images works the best for increasing engagement, so try reusing the 1200×1200 images you’ve created for Facebook on LinkedIn in 2015.
Pinterest: Use content that stands out in the feed
Of all the social networks, Pinterest could be considered the most competitive when it comes to visuals.
Pins in the feed will have a width of 238 pixels and the length will be adjusted depending on the height of the image. We recommend and have has success with the pin size 736px wide by 1128px high.
The size of your pin is important but there are a few additional tweaks that you can try to help get your content found in the New Year.
Instagram: Take photos on your phone; enhance them with Instagram
The images you share on Instagram will always be square and 510×510 pixels in your image feed. Your profile picture will be square as well, but a bit smaller at 161×161.
One trick for making the images you take with your smartphone easier to use on Instagram is to change the size of your photo within the camera app. Before you take a picture, select the square orientation.
By taking square photos, you won’t have to worry about cropping out any aspect of your image for Instagram.
YouTube: Upload a custom thumbnail
Similar to Instagram, having the appropriate size photo for YouTube is mostly just important for your channel’s profile image.
One of the trickiest aspects of uploading a YouTube video is getting a great video thumbnail in one of the three thumbnails YouTube automatically generates. Luckily, YouTube allows you to upload your own image thumbnail!
Ready to take your social media to the next level?
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This on-demand training, hosted by our award-winning social media team, will give you the chance to learn first-hand from a team that has built active and engaged audiences across all of the top social networks. The presenters for the webinar, Azure Collier, Social Media Content Manager and Bria Sullivan, Content Developer will offer step-by-step training of the top five social networks — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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