How To: Select Photos For Different Social Platforms

We are a very visually stimulated culture. Social media, as a whole, appeals to a person’s senses emotionally and visually. Each platform performs differently and each platform has it’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to remember that there is not a blanket rule for all social media platforms, you should use each for their specific purpose for your brand. When choosing photos for each platform, they should say the same thing about your brand but in different ways. We wouldn’t want to choose the same kind of photo for Instagram that we would choose for Twitter. Below we break it down by platform so you get the best bang per post. #NailedIt


((The stellar photos shown below are from our first photoshoot with Imagine Media client, Gusto!))

INSTAGRAM - Square photos still trump the majority of Instagram posts. We recommend using your square, detail oriented photos here. You always want your photos to be crisp and high quality, especially now that the zoom feature is in full swing on Instagram! Photos should be at least 1080 pixels wide or they might appear blurry/low-quality. Horizontal photos do well, but don’t take up as much landscape on someone’s mobile device when scrolling through quickly. Square photos and vertical perform better on Instagram as a whole. Choose a photo that tells a story and completes the Instagram feed that is consistent with your brand image.

FACEBOOK - Your viewers are more likely to spend more time on a Facebook post than Instagram. Facebook is a place for your audience to learn more about the brand, store hours, location etc. So your content can be general brand-building with educational mix. More specifically, the images that you post on Facebook can be less square and more horizontal here. We like the photo below because it is horizontal, colorful and highlights a menu favorite. Someone could glance at this and know immediately that Gusto! is a restaurant offering bold, fresh flavors.

Pro-Tip: Adding a human touch (the hand here) personalizes the photo without it being too obvious. Having a human element on social media is a great idea to make the photos more personal and less ‘stock-image’ feeling. That’s the key!


TWITTER - Twitter is similar to Facebook in that horizontal photos do the best. You can also select up to 4 images to post in one tweet. However, if one of those images is a GIF then Twitter will not allow anything else in the post. 480 pixels wide is the recommended size for Twitter images. Generally, GIFs do very well on Twitter. We’ve seen great success in posting GIFs and cinemagraphs on Twitter.

PINTEREST - Vertical photos do well here! Photos that showcase a specific product with a descriptive caption perform well on Pinterest. Always make sure to link the photo back to the correct source. Use keywords when writing the description so that the products are utilizing their maximum searchability on Pinterest.

Ready, set, go! #StaySocial

Story By Carolyn Whalen