When I blog, I usually spend more time finding and formatting a photo than I do writing the post. I pay careful attention to my pictures because I know that 63% of social media is made up of images and engagement with images is a whopping 77%. In an online world filled with short attention spans, great images jump off the screen and capture someone’s attention more quickly than mere words.
I use images to invite people to my blog pages. Aside from Google searches, almost all my traffic comes from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest image sharing.
Each platform demands a different type of image. Facebook favours a square image, Twitter a landscape image and Pinterest a portrait image. It can take a great deal of time to prepare a different sized image for each platform. Here’s what I do to optimise the impact my image have on social media.
1. The Post Image (+ Facebook)
I start with my post image in a square format. This is just my personal preference. Depending on the setup of your blog, you might prefer a landscape image.
My dimensions are 570 x 570 px because any larger than this and Mailchimp squashes it in the email sent to my subscribers. I haven’t worked out how to prevent this happening so I just work around it.
I use vintage photographs that are out of copyright and free stock images from Pixabay and Unsplash. I usually change my levels in Photoshop to get a more blue/cream feel — just personal taste.
The text banding bar at the top is in the right position so when it is linked on Facebook (landscape format) at worst just the subtitle shows, and at best all the text shows.
Of course, you also have the option to share the image on its own (square format) on Facebook. As it has the headline and subtitle on the photo, all you need in the comment is the URL.
2. The Twitter Image
Post images work at a pinch on Twitter but at their full size they get cut off and people have to ‘click more’ to see the whole visual.
I make a smaller version for Twitter by cropping my post image to 525 x 250 px right on the text box line.
When this image is shared on Twitter, it shows in its entirety without the need to click on it.
3. The Pinterest Image
Up until recently I’ve been simply pinning the blog image. But a square image doesn’t work so well on Pinterest so I’ve started creating specific portrait style images for this platform.
I have also changed the font because it doesn’t stand out as well on the smaller Pinterest platform. Note also the use of capital letters and the coloured text to give some visual interest.
The dimensions I use for Pinterest are 600 x 1051 px.
I realise it would be simpler if I started with the Pinterest image, then cropped it for the blog, and then cropped again for Twitter, but I like to compose my blog image first because that’s the most important one to me. The others are far more disposable — short bursts of pixels in a never-ending stream of data.
The longer I look at the Pinterest version, the more I like the font . . . Oh no, I feel a blog redesign coming on!
Although I use Photoshop, I have recently been impressed with Canva which does all the things you would need to make images like mine.
Here’s the image optimisation cheat sheet. Feel free to share it on social media.
Do you love having beautiful images on your blog posts and social media or are they just a pain in the arse?
→ If you would like some help creating your social media images for only $5, click below.
16 thoughts on “Image Optimisation • making the most of your images on social media”
I am bookmarking this page. So much good information to use on all platforms! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Glad to be of help ♥
I use Canva, and I just choose the “Social Media” setting because I am lazy and figure they must be splitting the distance somehow? I’ve pinned this to return to later when I am able to spend more time improving my blog. I use all my own pictures and editing all of these even on the minimal level I do does take a lot of time. If blogging had not become such a visual thing I would be able to get a lot more posts out.
Great images do take a lot of time, and it can get a bit boring if you don’t love it. I’m happy you’ve found something of use here.
Great post, Katie! And super timely for me; we’ll start promotion on the book soon, and your cheat sheet will be tacked to the wall next to my computer screen 🙂 Yep, I love images, and although I’m still a novice at Ps, I adore it and can spend hours just playing around with it. I spent all of May on it to make the images for the book (not the cover; that was the publisher), and now I’m looking forward to designing the posters and flyers (and bookmarks? coasters? my imagination soars, haha) for promotion. So thank you so, so much for this post. Synchronicity 🙂 (And yes, I’ll share everywhere.)
Good luck with the book launch. Making pictures is a lot of fun!
AHHH I NEED TO READ AND REREAD AND REREAD AND REREAD THIS ONE.
Give me a shout if you need a hand with anything 😀
Great eye, great post. Love your stuff, as you know. Saving this link and also sharing!
Thank you lovely Carol ♥
Great information. I am a Canva user and love it!
I don’t know how I missed your comment before, Sharon. I like Canva too, it’s great.
Nice post….I also use a different size for instagram!! jodie
I’m not so good with Instagram because I don’t have a smart phone and all the computer upload programs are shite.
This is a very useful post,Katie! Shortly after I started blogging, I quickly realized I needed to use images. Shortly after that I started using my own (have 1000’s of ’em). I use Picmonkey premium now and it has proved to be really useful. Plus I watermark all of mine. Thanks for the image with proper sizing. Do you have a size recommendation for Instagram? I find I have to crop a lot! Glad you posted this on Midlife Bloggers Assoc on FB 🙂
The minimum instagram size is 640 x 640 px although they can be larger. There is a great post about it here ~ http://louisem.com/5915/instagram-photo-size
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