How to Optimize Images for Social Media in 2021

How to stick to one composition style so that your social media profiles look perfect

Find out how to optimize images for social media, how to create perfect pictures for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks; all the requirements for social media images you should keep in mind, and top useful tips for a successful posting below.

But, before getting started with this social media image optimization guide, here are a few key rules you should take into consideration:

  • On all social media, it is advisable to upload pictures of the recommended size. Why? If not, they may lose quality when compressed or stretched, get cropped at random points, or simply not load.
  • It’s worth checking the appearance of images both on your computer and on your smartphone, as they often vary in size. This is especially important for decorative images — profile photos, page covers, or events.
  • An image with a width of 1000 – 1200 px in PNG or JPG format will display well almost everywhere.

Choosing the right size for your social media images

When creating content for social networks, it’s essential to consider the recommended sizes for different types of social network images — posts, ads, profile headers, or profile images.

If you upload a smaller picture, it will be stretched to the size set by the system, while a larger picture will be cropped. This is automatic and may result in a very sloppy or even incomprehensible image. If you have a photo with initially wrong dimensions for a social network, you can use the Movavi Picverse app to optimize photos for social networks. 

It has special presets for social networks, you just have to choose the right one. The app can be downloaded from the Movavi website; in addition to the mobile app, there are also desktop apps if you don’t feel comfortable enough editing from your phone.

Keeping an accurate picture size in mind for social media is not easy. An additional difficulty is that graphics requirements for social media are constantly being updated, and new formats are becoming available. Keeping track of updates to one or two social networks is not difficult, but if you are maintaining pages on several platforms, you might get confused — and use the wrong picture sizes.

There are tons of lists of social media image sizes for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube out there. Those tables are a good cheat sheet so that you don’t have to look up the correct settings in the social media guidelines every time you need to make a Pinterest graphic, a Twitter profile picture, or a Facebook page header.

Related reads:

All the smartphone photography tips you need to capture stunning landscapes

How to take better travel photos with your smartphone

Keeping the right dimensions of images for each social network

In order to study the impact of images on audience engagement — retweets, clicks, and so on, it was found that tweets with images received 150% more retweets than plain text posts.

Experimenting with picture sizes that are guaranteed to work well on social media while image posting, two universal image dimensions were found: 1024 x 512 pixels for landscape (horizontal) orientation and 800 x 1200 pixels for portrait (vertical) photos.

Square images at 1200 x 1200 pixels are the best image aspect ratio for the news feed on Facebook and LinkedIn, landscape images at 1200 x 627 pixels are also great for Facebook or Twitter posts, and you need to change the aspect ratio to 736 x 1128 pixels to use pics successfully on Pinterest.

Stick to one style so that the profile looks perfect

The main thing is not to stand out. Forget that principle because it doesn’t work in the social media world. You will see that if you check the examples of beautiful Instagram feeds. The key is to find an account style that brings you success and recognition from online critics. Note, we’re not talking about amazing photographic talents. Taking great amateur photos with a high resolution and an idea is enough, or taking content from photo stocks but applying the principles we’ve put together below:

Checkerboard

The checkerboard effect is one of the most common principles of profile photo layout. Remember the white and black checkerboard squares? Similarly, you’ll recreate frames with contrasting shades. You can also alternate between large-scale, plain, and detailed photos. In the case of a commercial account, a gradation of sales, informational, and entertainment posts would be appropriate, and if you run a personal blog, you could load up chessboard-style footage of life, quotes, or videos. Check @humansindonesia for a checkerboard kind of layout.

Vertical or diagonal rows

It’s also a very original way of presenting visuals. To make this idea a reality, you need an Instagram photo planner. It allows you to adjust the look of your account and publish only those pictures that fit into such a creative concept. By the way, minimalistic photos on a light or dark background look especially stylish in such a design. Not only bloggers but also commercial beauty industry professionals, designers, or experts will find this way of posting very elegant.

Columns or rows in a line

Similar to the previous method of uploading a photo, it has the advantage of focusing all of your attention on a series of posts that all share the same idea. In addition, different photo styles are allowed for different columns, especially for doctors or for Instagram shops, showrooms, and news accounts.

Frames

A wonderful tool and an important detail to help bring all the content together. The space here is open to experimentation, textures, shades, and the special mood radiating from each photo.

Collages

Collages may have long since fallen out of fashion and may even have become anti-trend, but we know how to make them great again! Choose your concept, take your photos in high quality and good resolution, then frame them. Voila, your profile is sure to attract an audience and make newcomers read the whole thing from cover to cover. On the downside, it’s a pretty short-lived format that will require modification, the slicing and shredding itself is a slow process until you get the hang of it, and it won’t have a cohesive look to it until it’s switched to your account. Keep that in mind as you work.

Puzzles

It’s a simpler, more intuitive version of tile design. To translate it into reality, choose a quality photo, cut it into 9 or 12 frames, and then in the correct order, upload them in the user’s feed. In essence, such pages serve as landing pages, which is relevant for commercial profiles.

Templates

Frameworks are used by everyone, from programmers to copywriters. So why not use templates as a unifying factor for your Instagram profile. Decide on an image you like (or buy a ready-made one).

Freestyle

After all, you can break all the widely accepted composition rules stated above and just have fun. Unless it’s your job, social media should never feel like a chore. @aworldtotravel Instagram feed is a good example.

Conclusion

You don’t need to seek a designer to take photographs for all the social media on which the business promotes itself. Anybody with no exceptional skills can change the image to the correct dimensions or slightly edit it. In any case, you should keep to key rules. 

Relevance. The image and the title of the post ought to be connected with one another. It’s not obligatory, if you write about a car, to put a photo of the car, but some logical or intuitive connection should be.

Uniqueness. Regardless of whether you take a stock picture or add something of your own to it — make a collage, add text. Experts say the audience is tired of stock pictures in their feeds. Indeed, you obviously need to put together an original photoshoot to promote something. 

Authenticity. On the off chance that you don’t have your own photographs, use free (or paid) stock pictures. Stealing pictures isn’t great; no one should forget about the copyright law. 

Size and quality. Should coordinate the site. 

Originality. It is very conceivable that an ideal outline of your post will be an image, a shot from a film, or a staged photograph. 

Style. You may set up your own picture rules for your organization page. For instance, make a frame in brand colors, add a logo, or consider another feature to make all the photos look identical.

Read also: How to make a great travel journal