As a photographer, utilizing social media is a must. 

Must do. Must know how. 

Not all photographers use the same platforms. As content creators we pick and choose the platform(s) that is best suited to our audience. For instance, a business such as a law firm may find LinkedIn and Twitter works best for them to connect with the corporate crowd. A daycare may prefer Facebook Pages and Instagram. An artist or caterer may prefer Instagram and Pinterest. A fundraiser may use Facebook to take advantage of their Events and Groups. 

Businesses, entrepreneurs, and events will all utilize social media to find their audience, through one, or several channels. The common denominator of social media is that it is visual. You may have written the best story ever, but chances are it will get passed by if the photo does not catch the eye and make someone stop scrolling and start reading. 

Size Does Matter

Each social media platform has its own formula for image sizes.

For a quick visual, I put together a quick chart to display the optimized photo sizes for some of the most used social media platforms. You can see that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are very similar, and really could use the same size image without issue. However, even at a quick glance, you can see the difference with Instagram being a square format and Stories and Pinterest being vertical, or portrait mode.

DSRL or Smartphone?

A professional photographer will have a DSLR. A digital single lens reflex camera body that allows for interchangeable lenses. To post on line, whether it be a website gallery, on-line blog, or social media, that photo will need to be resized to offer the optimum display. Using photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop (as shown) allows us to set the dimension exact.


Resize image in Photoshop for social media

Many of us use our smart phone camera to take pictures and videos so that we can immediately upload to our favourite site, or even go live! The main thing to understand is the dimension of the platform you are posting to. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube may have a variance in audiences, but they all have one thing in common. They are all primarily a horizontal, or landscape platforms. You can post a vertical picture, but it may not fill the space nicely, or you may not see the entire image as you scroll by. So be sure your images are set to be best optimized on each platform.

Video is the same. Are you shooting live for a Story, or to post later on Twitter?

When shooting video, think of a movie screen, and turn your phone horizontally! Shot vertically, this video on Twitter via @HockeyCanada can not be fully seen until you click on the video to play it.

For the casual user who is all about the selfies, and the Likes, being concerned with various sizes that best optimizes a picture may not matter. For those of us who look to social media to impact our business, or the business of a client, it is an important factor to understand.

Do you have a favourite social media platform, and are you using the optimal image size for the best results, based on your camera and the platform you are posting to?


This post was originally published as the 4th in a series for the Algonquin College Social Media Certificate in June, 2019

References:

social media cheat sheet: Myers, L (2019, January 11) Social Media Cheat Sheet 2019: Must-Have Image Sizes! sourced https://louisem.com/2852/social-media-cheat-sheet-sizes

screenshot: Twitter for iphone @HockeyCanada (2019, June 18) https://twitter.com/HockeyCanada/status/1141052646947577856