This article is written by me and sponsored by Sprout Social.
Incorporating engaging imagery in your social media marketing is necessary to create a consistent brand that is memorable, appealing and engaging for your audience.
Visually focused content is 40X more likely to be shared on social networks as Facebook posts with images drive 2.3X more engagement and tweets with images included generate 150% more retweets than a plain text tweet.
Yet, only 27% of marketers have a process in place to aggregate, organize and manage their visual assets today.
The problem is creating worthwhile visuals for use across every social network is time consuming, resource intensive and requires a creative skillset.
A free solution to this problem is using Landscape by Sprout Social to manage your image resizing needs for social media.
Learn how Landscape is an effective and easy to use tool for quickly creating the right images for each of the major social media channels.
Landscape by Sprout Social
The team over at Sprout Social have built a simple, efficient and no-frills online tool for resizing images for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.
The most refreshing aspect of Landscape is how laser-focused it is on achieving one task and funneling all of its powerful optimization into making that goal as easy as possible.
Upon visiting Landscape, you’ll be greeted by a simple and elegant homepage. The homepage makes it incredibly clear what task Landscape is primed to perform. However, scrolling down just a little tells you exactly what you have to do.
However, to save you the hassle of fiddling with Landscape on your own, let’s walk through the process step-by-step.
Step 1: Upload your image
Step one is to upload the image you want to resize. You can upload either by drag-and-drop or by manually selecting the file you’d like to resize.
[Pro Tip: Landscape accepts JPEG/JPG, PNG and GIF files up to 10MB. Animated GIFs are not yet supported.]
Once you’ve picked the image of your choice you will be prompted to choose what social networks you’d like to resize the image for. You can choose to resize the image for one social network or as many as you’d like.
The top seven social networks are fully supported, and within each there is support for various image-types (e.g. profile pictures, cover photos, in-stream graphics) customized according to platform. In case that wasn’t enough, you even get an option to set a custom size (ideal for blog headers or other website visuals).
For anyone who’s spent countless hours either stumbling through Photoshop, or breathing down a designer’s neck just to get slightly tweaked social photos, this tool will quickly become your best friend.
[Pro Tip: Landscape allows you to resize according to various specifications within each platform, but if you’re looking to save even more time, there is a one-click feature on the bottom left of the tool that allows you to crop/scale an image for every social network simultaneously. Simply click on Have Landscape auto-crop instead to use this image resizing shortcut.
Although you won’t have the fine-tuning we’ll review in later steps, the savings in time might be enough to justify this option especially if you’re trying to share the same image across multiple social channels.]
Step 2: Choose Social Networks
If you opt to manually resize according to each social network, the next screen will prompt you to select which platform you’d like to optimize for and then further specify which variation/s you are looking to tailor your image to.
[Pro Tip: When resizing by network you can choose to scale/crop for multiple networks and variations in one go. Simply select all the platforms you’d like to optimize for and then you will be guided to choose the variations you’d like to scale/crop for each selection.]
Step 3: Crop Images
After choosing which social media networks you’d like to optimize your images for, the next step is to fine-tune the cropping and scaling of your images.
The tool makes this step incredibly easy. Landscape will automatically make it’s best guess for how you’d like the image to be cropped, and then allows you to adjust this setting by simply dragging a slider and/or sliding the image within the frame.
[Pro Tip: Give yourself plenty of wiggle-room by designing your images at ultra high resolution and then giving plenty of extra space around the margins before uploading to Landscape. Building your images this way will allow you more flexibility when it comes to the final look and feel of all the different variations.]
Final Step: Download Your Images
Following all the prompts will take you to a final page where you will be given the option to either proceed with your download or go back and make any last-minute corrections.
Hitting “download” will initialize the rendering and resizing process. Anyone with experience using similar online tools will appreciate just how lightning fast the processing/download speeds the Sprout Social team has achieved here really are.
Even the full batch-download of 41 separate images took me no more than a minute on a basic wi-fi connection from a coffee shop.
To make things even better, the downloads are delivered as a neatly organized, and appropriately labeled, ZIP file. All you need to do is open the archive and, voila your images are ready to make you look great on social.
The images below are a quick test that I ran.
They came out crisp, professional and perfectly optimized in about 30 seconds of total time spent in Landscape. Awesome.
Get Even More out of Landscape
Landscape is helpful on it’s own, but there are a few more bits of advice I’d like to share on how to get the most out of the tool.
1: Find really useful, free images
Stock photography is often cheesy, repetitive, expensive or all three.
Luckily, there are a lot of really helpful options to work with if you know where to look.
Here in no particular order are some of my favorites sites for finding mostly free, beautiful images for uploading and resizing on Landscape.
2: Design your on-site images with social in mind
At the top of this blog post, you’ll notice that I have included a header image. These header images accompany every article I post, and their size is consistent in every piece for a specific reason.
The dimensions I chose for my blog post headers are the same as the sizing for an ideal image included with a post on Facebook and a tweet on Twitter, allowing me to use the same image on the blog post and for the promotion of articles on those two social networks.
This small, simple hack can help cut down on the time you spend editing images and (especially with a tool like Landscape by your side) supercharge your content marketing process.
3: Keep your imagery consistent
In a previous post, I spoke of the importance of visual content marketing.
Specifically, I highlighted how vital it is to use consistent imagery to reinforce and build a visual brand.
Beyond it’s practical applications, tools like Landscape are important because they help to ensure this consistency across platforms and throughout your entire social presence.
Branding is all about creating a seamless experience (verbal, visual or otherwise), so ensuring that your imagery looks impressive on every platform you’re on is not just best-practice, it is mission-critical.
Start developing a consistent visual experience across your social media efforts by quickly and easy resizing your images with Landscape by Sprout Social.