How to Properly Optimize Your Images for Your Social Media Channels

By Lili Griffin

Images can play a crucial role in different types of social media posts. Whenever a person reads or skims a text, highly compelling visuals always tend to stand out. For instance, if you own a business, you can use the type of product photography that makes an impact, the one that effectively showcases your brand.

So, whether you’re a marketer or a blogger and you’re looking for effective ways to engage your audience, we’ve compiled some effective ways how to add a little flair to your social media images:

Social Media Image Types

Dell’s Twitter Page

Profile photos: Your profile picture should complement your corporate logo when it comes to style, colors, and size. It should be consistent in all social media networks. Remember that the size of this image is small and should appear right next to comments and posts that you publish. Therefore, ensure that it scales well.

Cover Photo: Otherwise known as the header photo, this type usually appears on top of your page. You can get creative here, by using eye-catching visuals. Ideally, update your headers whenever you hold off big events, and other holiday campaigns so that it always complements your brand guidelines.

Post photos/images: These are types of images that you add on your social media posts to make it even more engaging. Each platform has a specific size for this, so it’s better to optimize it accordingly, especially if you’re using the same image for various networks. Also, if you aren’t using your own images, you can still utilize a number of excellent stock photo resources that are available on the internet.

Decide on What Content to Post

Now, decide what you’re going to put on your social media image. Think of what kind of message you’re trying to get across to your followers.

Know what type of content you’re going to create because what’s the point of coming up with good visuals if you don’t know what kind of message you’re trying to communicate? But content isn’t the only thing that you should think about. You also have to understand the emotional tone behind it.

If you want to further understand the image’s emotional tone, go over these elements:

  • Typography: Particular fonts have the power to communicate different emotional tones.
  • Color: There’s always psychology behind colors, and colors tend to communicate with the brain and instantly puts the viewer in an emotional state.
  • Imagery: The type of graphics and photos you use can affect the tone.

Now that you know the message and tone that you want to send out, it’s time to proceed to the next step.

Sizes According to Your Platform

Keeping up with social media image sizes can be daunting because they change constantly. To help you out, here are a couple of sizing guidelines that are tailored to each social media platform. While you’re at it, also check out this social media cheat sheet infographic.


Profile picture: 400 x 400 pixels

Header photo: 1500 x 500 pixels

Post photo/in-stream photo: Ideally, keep a 2L1 ratio, preferably 1200 x 600 pixels or smaller.


Profile photo: 180 x 180 pixels

Cover photo: 851 x 315 pixels

Desktop newsfeed: 200 x 630 pixels


Profile photo: 110 x 110 pixels

Size of photo: Approximately 1080 pixels wide.


Channel icon: 800 x 800 pixels

Thumbnail of the video: 1280 x 760 pixels

Channel art: 2560 x 1440 pixels


Profile picture: 250 x 250 pixels

Cover photo: 1080 x 608 pixels

Post image: minimum width 497 pixels


Profile photo: 180 x 180 pixels

Pin sizes: 736 pixels in width with a scaled height.


Logo of the company: 400 x 400 pixels

Banner image: 1536 x 768 pixels

Profile photo: 500 x 500 pixels

Background picture: 1400 x 425 pixels

Images for posts: 700 x 400 pixels

Use some Tools

Canva- If you’re not using original images for your posts, Canva is an app that can help you create them. It has a mighty design suite that has an extensive collection of free templates. You also have the option to buy premium templates and images as well.

Photoshop- Allows you to reduce the file size of your image, significantly improving your site’s loading time without sacrificing the image quality. You have to choose between a JPEG or PNG depending on your image, as one is usually better than the other. You do this by selecting the PNG and see how big the file size is, then switch to JPEG and do the same thing. You can also tweak the quality settings to reduce the file size even more.

There are plug-ins, apps and other web services that allow you to reduce your image’s file size. Here are some of these recommended tools:

  • Image Optimizer
  • JPEGmini
  • CompressNow

Optimize for Google as well

Search engines are fantastic. They put your content in the right kind of audience. However, keep in mind that properly optimizing your social media isn’t just about keywords and the proper sizing.

Use a descriptive title. Search engines don’t see visual content. Instead, they rely on the title to understand what’s the image all about. Ideally, pick a short, and precise descriptive name. Make it feel natural, and include the long-tail keywords that you want to rank for.

Moreover, utilize alt tags, because it tells search engines more about the image, giving them details other than the image title. It also helps search engines to index your visual content making sure it appears in front of your target audience.

Wrapping It Up

You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ over and over, but its true. People tend to respond more to images and compelling visuals than they would in a text-based content.

That’s why, when it comes to boosting marketing strategies and engagement, it’s no secret that images are a significant contributing factor. Time and time again, highly engaging and relevant images in your blog posts and social media messages are vital to your success.

About the Author

Lili Griffin an e-commerce developer and Adwords specialist by day and a binge Netflix watcher at night. She loves sci-fi movies and laughs at silly YouTube videos.


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