Are you posting images and graphics on social media to advertise your brand, company or organization? Many people are these day. And chances are they are creating one image and sharing it across multiple platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and/or Google+. It’s so much easier to just create it once, right?

While it may be easier, the problem with doing it this way is that not all of the platforms support the same image sizes. A graphic you prepare for Facebook, which generally would be a wide image, is not going to look great on Instagram, which favors a square image. If that graphic has wording that is important to your message, if you haven’t arranged it just right, your wording is liked to get clipped, or cut off, when it cross posts to a different platform.

Determining Optimal Social Media Graphic Sizes

Generally tall (vertical) images play best on Pinterest and Google+, wide (horizontal) images work better on Twitter and Facebook, and square images are ideal for Instagram and LinkedIn. So, as you can see, not all sizes are going to look good on all platforms.

So, what sizes should you use? Ideally you would want the sizes for each social media network to be as close as possible to the following pixel sizes:

  • Facebook - 1200 x 630 (wide)
  • Twitter - 1024 x 512 (wide) Appears in stream at 506 x 253 pixels
  • LinkedIn - 800 x 800 (square)
  • Google+ - 800 x 1200 (tall)
  • Pinterest - 1280 x 1920 (tall) Appears in stream at 500 x 750 pixels
  • Instagram - 1080 x 1080 (square) Instagram scales these to 612 x 612 pixels

So, as you can see, six different social media networks, and six different optimal sizes.

Saving Time and Reusing Social Media Images

But, take heart, some of these can be grouped together so you only have to rework your image a couple of times, instead of six different times, as many are close enough proportionally to each other to avoid having to make six different versions.

Instagram/LinkedIn
For instance, both Instagram and LinkedIn prefer square images. This means you can create one graphic to use on both, at the 1080 x 1080 size Instagram prefers. Then just duplicate it and reduce the size on the second one down to 800 x 800 for LinkedIn. You don’t have to rework the entire graphic or photo, just the final size, which should only take a couple of seconds in Photoshop or a similar program

Facebook/Twitter
If you create an image for Facebook, at 1200 x 628, as long as you keep your important wording in the middle, away from the edges, you could probably get away with reusing it for Twitter, by resizing and cropping it a little, without having to redo the whole thing. 1200 x 628 reduces down to approximately 1024 x 536 (not the 512 suggested for use), but if you keep your important information away from the left and right sides of the image, it should work pretty well.

Google+/Pinterest
On the tall graphic, create your original at 800 x 1200 for Google+, then duplicate and reduce the second one down to the 1102 x 735 suggested for Pinterest. It is exactly proportionate, so that should work just fine.

So instead of creating six different images, you only had to do three (if you watch your margins on the wide one), and they should all look great when you are done!

Helpful Online Tools For Social Media Image Creation

If you don’t feel comfortable creating your own graphics, or don’t have Photoshop or a similar program, you can always use an online program such as Pablo, made by Buffer, and I am a huge Buffer fan, or Canva to help you create some beautiful social media graphics.

And, here is another useful resource from Make a Website Hub that can help you with sizing all of the images within your social media accounts.

2016 Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet

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Image Credit: herbalife / Pixabay

online marketing, social media marketing, image creation, graphics

Nora Kramer
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Nora Kramer

Lead Web Designer & Developer at Nora Kramer Designs
Nora Kramer is a website professional and online marketing consultant with over two decades of experience in graphic design, website development and company branding. She also has a passion for photography and writing. Nora received the Charlie Award (1st Place) in 2002 for "Best Magazine Feature Article of the Year" from the Florida Magazine Association.
Nora Kramer
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