Are you Optimising your Images for Social Media?

Facebook Timeline is now in the final stages of rolling out; those who have spent a long time resisting will now have no choice but to make the switch. With everyone now using the same style profile it’s more important then ever before to make sure that you optimise your social media images for the right social media network.

How often have you visited a page timeline and seen a promotional image cut off like this? It adds an extra barrier to entry, as the user will have to click the image and wait for it to load before they understand the offer.

I can’t help but wonder if this contest would have been more effective if the correct image dimensions had been used when planning this give-away. Although images are generally unaffected when viewed in the news feed, don’t forget to make sure your Page is looking good too!

So what can you do to optimise your images?

If you’re planning a promotion like the one above, you may need to come up with similar images in a variety of sizes to ensure effective cross-platform promotion. If you don’t have a graphic designer on-hand, consider investing in a program like Photoshop to make image manipulation infinitely easier. Otherwise, a free program like Gimp will provide adequate results.

Get to know your image sizes for all social networks. This cheat-sheet from Luna Metrics will help you get your bearings on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Bookmark this image for future reference as it also includes things like profile picture sizes, and cover photo sizes – this will save you from scrambling around searching for it on Google.

If possible, you should add the text over the image, rather than including it as additional text when you post it. Adding text to images gives you a wealth of opportunities to get creative; experiment with font pairing to create interesting looks. Or consider handwritten fonts next to interesting typefaces add a personal touch. Your image will be instantly more sharable, be more easily associated with your brand, and retain the original message even after it’s been shared by friends of your fans.

And finally, don’t wait for your fans to share your images across different social media sites; give them a boost by adding it to your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter accounts.

This method of optimising your images for social media can work for anything: product descriptions and updates, company news, competition announcements, holiday cards, and announcing blog posts. Just let your imagination run wild, but remember to keep the image size low!