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Wouldn't it be nice if all the different social media channels were consistent with content requirements? Instead they need images of all different types and sizes and sometimes uploading an image without the exact right dimensions works providing it has the right image ratio - but lets face it, we rarely get this lucky. Usually it goes all wonky and just looks kinda...wrong. Follow this guide to make sure you're not disproportionally stretching someone's bum, chopping off half their face or missing some of your logo.
Below is a collection of all the image requirements for most of the major social media channels out there and for most of the reasons you'd need to upload an image. I've also detailed some basic settings too if you're interested in editing and uploading your own videos (psst - if you're creating content for your business you need to be looking into video)
Overall Facebook is the fussiest when it comes to uploading images with a few different dimension variants required, Instagram is pretty straight forward with a square format (for most, unless you're adding the white border as a visual device), Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn are all pretty straight-forward too.
You'll notice that there's heaps of information and a few little images along the way - don't worry about writing everything down or saving all the images as I've created a nifty all-in-one guide at the end 🎆.
But first....the technical photo stuff
When it comes to resizing images you will either need to resize them to suit a ratio or specific length and height in pixels.
Image Aspect Ratio
This may be the very first time you've heard of aspect ratio but its certainly not the first time you've used it.
"What? What?" I hear you say, yep every time you crop a photo you are selecting a particular aspect ratio which is the proportional relationship of an image;s length to it's height. The most common ones are 1:1 and 4:5.
1:1 - a square image where the length is always identical to the height
4:3 - this is a rectangle where the short side is 75% of the long side. For example it could be 8 x 6 cm or 12 x 9 cm
Pixels are the most common way of detailing size for digital images destined for screens. A pixel is the smallest possible element on a digital image which means when used as a point of measurement we're talking BIG numbers
Resizing your Images
Sometimes the social media channel may allow you to do this online and that is by far the easiest way but it doesn't always work perfectly nor do you always get the option. During these times you can use the following options:
Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom - if you're just doing a quick resize this isn't the first option I'd recommend as it requires more steps to get the job done which can make it a little slower. However if you're already editing or tweaking your image just resize/crop as part of your standard workflow
Window Photo Edit: if you're using Windows 10, just right click on the image and select "Edit with Photos" - by far one of the speediest ways to complete a quick resize I've found (note: I don't use a Mac so I personally am not aware of quick in-built options so drop me a line if you know a way)
Online: I bet there are tonnes of options but I like the free and safe option on my computer. However if you must use an online option make sure it's legit so you're not accidentally downloading 'dodgy' stuff onto your computer.
I'm going to be using some jargon to categorise the different reasons you'd upload images and where they are on a Facebook page. These diagrams below just give you a quick
As you can see from the diagrams above a lot of the different variants are in relation to the different types of promotional content that you play with.
Additionally if you don't have a Facebook Group linked to your brand or you don't organise events you won't need the additional cover image information.
Below are all the specifics that you'll need so you can either bookmark this page for future reference or download the free resource PDF below.
Below are all the details for the different types of Facebook promotions you can set up. You'll notice that some of them share the same requirements (thank god!).
The dimensions for video are pretty standard but just be careful when you're editing your video that you're exporting it using these settings. This will help ensure it plays without issues that impact overall engagement.
Because of Instagram's default square format there isn't as much confusion as there is with Facebook.
One thing to note is that I've detailed the aspect ratio as 1:1 - as we know with Instagram you can choose to have extra white borders added if you'd prefer a landscape rectangle. For the purpose of this blog post I've kept it simple by just referring to the most popular option of 1:1 but if you'd prefer landscape video posts you'll need to change the aspect ratio to 16:9.
Instagram Stories are the exception to the 1:1 rule. If you're creating content specifically for Stories and you need the aspect to stay on point you're image needs to be 1920 x 1200 px.
It's important to note here that Instagram videos can't be greater than 60 seconds - this little trick catches people out a lot as Facebook allows longer videos. When you're editing your video down you need to decide if you create teasers or a series or if you can afford to cut content without degrading your video or message.
This really just tackles basic video for Facebook and Instagram - YouTube is a whole 'nother beast that I'll tackle on it's own post at a later date. For now I'll just mention the absolute basics and the still image dimension requirements that Google have demanded.
Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+
These guys are definitely less used here in Australia but still great channels for businesses depending on the audience you're channelling and the purpose of your Brand's social media channels
You can either bookmark this for future reference or you can get a free social media dimensions PDF for quicker and easier resource with less scrolling required.
Who are you & why are you giving me all this awesome help?
Hi, my name is Millie and I’m a Tasmanian digital marketer, word nerd and coffee addict. Squawk Digital is my Hobart based digital marketing studio.
We're all about custom solutions that are highly practical and designed to work with your current structure, processes and workflows. We don't do cookie-cutter, boring arse generic marketing because it doesn't work, and we’re all bored with that shit - you know that’s true.