By Noelle Conrad
It’s no surprise that the world wide web of social media marketing keeps evolving. Images and videos continue to be the driver for brand identity and engagement, and with this, comes a continuous shift in the way marketers and consumers alike form their relationship with social media. From new platform guidelines to new capabilities, changes in influencer marketing, and of course the COVID 19 pandemic, the ways in which we produce and market content on social as well as the ways in which our audience consumes our content is adjusting to the signs of the time. And with that, so should our visual content. So, if you’re a social media marketer out there fine-tuning your 2021 social strategy, this one is for you.
I don’t know about you, but Instagram surprises me with their continuous updates. One day I can purchase that blouse I’ve been eyeing right from my feed and the next day I’m warming up my dance moves for Reels….yet, I am still sitting here begging for the swipe up feature to be available for my clients with smaller audiences. I digress.
As our favorite social media platform continues to update and evolve its capabilities, one thing is certain — our social media image strategy should update with it. Fall in line with the ‘gram’s image guidelines with these sizing recommendations for both organic and paid, and be sure to keep that aspect ratio in check to avoid pesky cropping!
- Square Image: 1080 by 1080 px, 1:1 aspect ratio
- Vertical Image: 1080 by 1350px, 4:5 aspect ratio
- Horizontal Image: 1080 by 566px, 16:9 aspect ratio
My morning routine usually consists of rolling over to – admittedly – check my Instagram, and I, like many others, will view Stories before giving my feed a quick scroll. This means your IG Stories need to be on their A-game and be the perfect size for sleepy eyes, as they might very well be the first thing your audience sees when they start their day. Keep visuals for Stories:
- 1080 by 1920px
- 9:16 Aspect Ratio
- Max 4gb File Size
IGTV – what a fun way to weave in video marketing into your IG strategy! Of course, you will definitely want to follow sizing best practices. Keep your videos vertical and follow these rules:
- Aspect Ratio: 9:16
- File Size: Under 650 MB
- Length: 15 seconds – 1 hour
Let’s talk about Reels, BABY! Saving the TikTok v. Reels debate for another day, let’s chat size guidelines. These fun and vertical videos are designed exactly like Instagram Stories at, you guessed it, 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels, 9:16 aspect ratio. Keep in mind, these videos cap at 15 seconds, so it’s best to keep them short and sweet.
Lastly — the good ol’ profile pic. For your brand’s sake, keep it simple and recognizable with your logo. So, what’s the perfect profile picture size? 110 px by 110 px with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
After nailing your images on organic Instagram, let’s chat paid image specs. If your audience is big on Instagram, you want to capture their attention quickly before they scroll past your ad without a second thought. Here are paid Instagram ad specs that you’ll want to follow.
- Instagram Feed Ads: 1080 by 1080px, 9:16 aspect ratio
- Instagram Stories Ads: 1080 by 1920px, 9:16 aspect ratio
- Instagram Explore Ads (square): 1936 by 1936px
- Instagram Explore Ads (landscape): 600 by 315px to 1936 by 1936px
- Instagram Explore Ads (vertical): 600 by 750px to 1936 by 1936px
The aughts have really ignited the best of user-generated content, and I predict the 2020s will be no different. TikTok presents one of the greatest ways to leverage user-generated content and a new generation of influencers to take brand awareness even further. While the future of this fun video platform may be uncertain, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t move forward while we can. TikTok videos are usually created natively on the platform, but for those times you are working with an influencer or want to upload a more polished video, follow these recommendations and keep those videos vertical:
- File size & type: no larger than 287.6 MB, no larger than 500 MB for ads
- 1080 by 1920px, 9:16 aspect ratio
- 15 – 60 seconds
*Fun fact, TikTok supports GIFs for ads, you’re welcome!
Whether it’s creative for ads, event promos or FB Stories, make sure your images or social cards stand out on your target audience’s feed with these recommended image sizes:
- Shared Image: 1200 by 630px, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Images with Links: 1200 by 628px, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Event Cover Photo: 1920 by 1080px
- Profile Picture: 180 by 180px, 1:1 aspect ratio
- Facebook Stories: 1080 by 1920px, 9:16 aspect ratio
Next up, we have Facebook Ad image sizing. With so many different advertising capabilities on FB, it’s important to note the sizing and best practices behind your chosen creatives.
- News Feed Ads, Marketplace Ads and Messenger Ads: 1200 by 628px
- Collection Ads: 400 by 150px
- Carousel Ads: 1080 by 1080px
- Video Ads: 16:9 or 9:16, 4GB Max
LinkedIn is a great social platform to really highlight the best parts of your brand or the inner-workings of your organization. Therefore, your images should be up to par. In 2020, LinkedIn also premiered LinkedIn Stories. These short snippets of images or videos can only be posted from your mobile device but are a great presentation into snippets of insights or your day-to-day. Follow these image guidelines to elevate your business’ presence on our favorite networking site:
- Company Cover Photo: 1192 by 220px
- Post Images: 1200 by 627px
- Company Logo Image: 300 by 300px, 1:1 aspect ratio
- LinkedIn Stories: 1080 by 1920px, 9:16 aspect ratio
Next up, we have LinkedIn Ad image sizing. With very targeted and competitive advertising capabilities on LinkedIn, especially for B2B brands, utilizing to the right image or video sizing can make or break the impact of your paid ads.
- Sponsored Content / Single Image Ads: 1200 by 627px, 1.91:1 aspect ratio
- Text Ads: 100 by 100px; upload a JPG or PNG
- Dynamic Ads Follower Format: min image size, 100 by 100px for JPG or PNG
- Dynamic Ads Spotlight Format (company image): min image size, 100 by 100px for JPG or PNG
- Dynamic Ads Spotlight Format (background image): 300 by 250px
- Dynamic Ads for Talent Media (logo): min image size, 100 by 100px for JPG or PNG
- Dynamic Ads Content Format (logo): min image size, 100 by 100px for JPG or PNG
- Dynamic Ads Content Format (document preview): max of five 81 by 104 px
- Carousel Image Ads: 1080 by 1080px with a 1:1 aspect ratio
- Video Ads (landscape): max 1920 by 1080px, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Video Ads (square): max 1920 by 1920px, 1:1 aspect ratio
- Video Ads (vertical): max 1080 by 1920px, 9:16 aspect ratio
You may only think of video when it comes to YouTube, but your YouTube profile is a great space to highlight your brand via static imagery.
- Profile Picture: 800 by 800px
- Cover Photo: 2560 by 1440px
- Video Thumbnail: 1280 by 720px, 16:9 aspect ratio
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