Social Media Image Sizes — 2015

Images improve social media engagement on every platform — but beware the temptation to apply a “one size fits all” approach.
What's the ROI of social media images?
If you’ve ever seen a picture quote on Facebook where some of the words were cut off, you know what can happen when a graphic isn’t sized properly before posting. That’s a dead giveaway that it was designed for a different social platform. You can be sure there’s a photographer or graphic artist writhing in pain when this happens. 

Forty-seven percent of tweets with highest interaction included photos.The hard truth of the matter is that there is no standard. What works on one site could be disastrous on another. Facebook and Twitter like images that are wider than they are long (landscape orientation) while Google Plus and Pinterest work better the other way (portrait orientation). As if that weren’t enough, they each have specific size requirements measured in pixels.

But wait… I haven’t told you the worst part yet. Image requirements change without notice. It happens all the time. This is one area where it really pays to stay current.

So Why Bother With Graphics?

Social Bakers studied one million branded tweets to find out which ones performed best. Forty-seven percent of tweets with the highest interaction included a photo. Interaction means engagement. It tells us that these were the tweets that grabbed their audience sufficiently that they acted. They clicked, shared, and replied. And that’s exactly what you want to see happen.

Visuals cut through all the digital noise we’re subjected to. They get attention.

Maintaining Graphics Sanity

How do you keep it all straight? Here’s my best tip: Create a workflow document that lists the platforms where you intend to publish and the image size required for each.

My graphics workflow for Plugged In looks like this:

  • Featured image 1024 x 390
  • Twitter image: 1024 x 512
  • In-line article graphic 300 wide based on featured image
  • Pinterest image: 735 x 1102
  • Facebook and Google Plus image: 940 x 788

My graphics workflow tells me that for a typical blog post, I need five images if I’m going to socialize it widely.

Recommended Graphics Tools

My main tools are two open-source programs called Inkscape and GIMP. If you want to know why I like them and what the differences are between the two, read “Easy Ways To Make Your Own Graphics.” I also use Canva and PicMonkey. Every day. They’re that good. All four of these tools are free to use.

Additionally, Canva has a design school that is second to none. I’ve learned a ton from them. That’s where the infographic below comes from.

If this has been helpful, please consider tweeting a link to this article. I started a tweet for you here.

Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet

This image is posted with permission from designschool.canva.com

The Complete Social Media Image Size Guide: With Awesome Design Tips [Infographic]
This image is posted with permission from designschool.canva.com


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