By now we are all aware of the importance of social media marketing for businesses. According to Hubspot, 80% of marketers in 2014 claimed that their website traffic increased as a direct result of their social media activity, and this is a trend that is increasing year on year. Social media platforms are continuing to evolve and grow, and with it the way people use and interact with them is always changing.
One of the biggest trends to emerge in recent times is the importance of image-centric content on social media. Traditional text based posts are no longer given as high a value. Studies have found that people process information better and quicker if they are looking at an image instead of simply reading text. Between 65% and 85% of people consider themselves as visual learners (Sendible Insights, 2015). With this in mind, it is vitally important for businesses to realise the importance and potential of images in getting their message across on social media.
Images in social media have the following benefits:
- They help your posts stand out in the crowd
- They help capture your audience’s attention
- They can get the message across much more efficiently than long text-based posts
- A splash of colour is visually stimulating for your audience
- They allow you to tap into social media sites that are purely image based (such as Pinterest & Instagram)
Knowing how important images are to social media, it is important to get it right. There is nothing worse than coming across images on social media that are blurry, are too large/small, or have part of the image cropped out because they don’t fit the screen. If your images look poor, it gives the user a poor image of your brand, it will increase their likelihood of moving on without engaging, and it cheapens your overall social media profile.
Getting the images right might seem like something simple and obvious, but countless businesses are falling victim to this mistake. There are many social media sites in existence and they all have their own rules when it comes to image size. Here is our guide to getting it right for some of the top social networks.
The king of social media sites, images on Facebook have come to the fore front over the last few years, particularly in the last few months. In January 2015 Facebook officially changed the way content from Pages gets shown to audiences. With an ever-increasing focus on the quality of content, Facebook tightened its controls on pages that consistently over-share promotional updates. With this in mind, now more than ever it is vital for businesses to include images in their Page posts. As we said above, these will help grab your reader’s attention, making them more likely to click in and read more. By doing this they are telling Facebook that they find your content valuable and worthwhile, therefore your posts are more likely to get shown to that user again. Here is our guide to image sizes on Facebook:
- Profile Image: 180 x 180 pixels
- Cover Photo: 851 x 315 pixels
- Post Images: 1200 x 512 pixels
Arguably the second biggest player in the world of social networking, Twitter is a vital platform for businesses to:
- Engage with their audience
- Become part of a network of businesses and people commenting on industry trends
- Build brand reputation
- Tap into the discussions of your audience to discover their behaviours and interests
As with Facebook, images are very important for Twitter. In early 2014 Twitter updated its mobile apps with the ability to tag users in images and upload up to 4 images at a time in a tweet. This update pushed Twitter even further when it comes to its importance for brands and businesses. In the same year, an experiment conducted by Twitter in 2014 found that tweets that contained an image received an average of a 35% increase in the number of retweets. And as digital marketers we all know that retweets are the best way of getting your message out there in the Twitter-sphere.
This result is easy to justify if you imagine yourself scrolling through Twitter. With an average of 500 million tweets per day, a person’s newsfeed on Twitter can be a minefield. If you are like myself and follow a couple of hundred users, every time you click onto Twitter during the day you will have potentially hundreds of new tweets to scroll through. Which tweets are the ones that jump out at you and are most likely to make you stop and read? The ones that have images. Here is our guide to getting images right on Twitter:
- Profile Image: 400 x 400 pixels
- Header Image: 1500 x 500 pixels
- Tweet Image: 440 x 220 pixels
Instagram arrived late to the social media party and as a result is sometimes overlooked by businesses and marketers. Nonetheless, Instagram is taking a large bite of the social media pie with over 150 million active users.
Instagram is completely based around visual content, with users having the ability to share stories through high quality images and video. It can be used to promote products and services, and businesses can also engage with users on a more personal level by sharing content that is engaging and appeals to the user on a personal level that is not solely promotional.
Because social sharing on Instagram is completely reliant on visual elements, it is important to make sure that your pictures are high quality. Do not make the mistake of copying an image you share on Facebook or Twitter and posting straight to Instagram. More often than not, the image will be the wrong size, therefore will appear cropped or pixelated. The dimensions for a perfect Instagram photo are 640 x 640 pixels. Once you have the perfect image size, don’t forget to make use of one of Instagram’s many filters to give your photo that high quality, professional look.
Launched in 2010 and made public in 2012, Pinterest is another social media site that is mostly image-centric. Companies have the ability to add a ‘Pin It’ button to their websites, meaning that users can easily share images of your products and services. Businesses can share stories through Pin Boards, which like Instagram can have the potential to resonate with your users on a personal level. It is still a great way to reach out to your customers in a non-promotional way. You can develop a relationship with them around common interests, which can help build brand loyalty and trust. As with Instagram, it is important not to make the mistake of just copying and pasting images from your other social media sites. As a social network that is mostly about images, this will not give your brand a good image.
The optimum image sizes for Pinterest are:
- Enlarged Pin Image: 660 width
- Feed Image: 236 width
We hope our guide to images will help make your social media activity a little easier! As with all areas of digital marketing however, social media is constantly changing and updating. So while this guide is relevant today, things are likely to change over time. If you feel you need assistance with your social media campaigns please do not hesitate to contact us to see how we can help.
Images : sumall.com