Buffer, one of my favourite companies, recently released an upgrade to their image sharing tool Pablo, allowing you to resize your images for different social media channels.
While it only offers three sizing options (horizontal, vertical and square) whereas Canva for Work offers the option to resize your image to any custom dimension of your choice, this is the only FREE option that allows you to resize images on the fly that are optimized for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Best of all, you can use it with any image found on the internet by right clicking the image.
Pablo 2.0 currently does not allow you to zoom or crop your background on your own and it does the resizing for you. Once your image is resized, you are not able to move it around. This works nicely if the focal point of your image is in the middle and Pablo does a nice job of resizing it, but is a problem if your focal point is either at the bottom or the top of the image. (See below for an example of an image that I loaded into Pablo, where I am unable to move my resized image up).
STILL TOO MANY STEPS
Whichever tool you use to create your images, the fact remains that if you wish to post across multiple social media channels (especially Instagram where you not only have to create the image, but also have to upload it to your phone), there are still a lot of steps involved. In this example, in order to post 3 image sizes across 4 channels, you need to:
That's a total of 11 steps and does not include posting to Tumblr or Google Plus.
IS THERE A 'ONE SIZE FITS ALL' HACK?
I have been hypothesizing about creating a single optimal size that works across all social media channels. Currently, if you use a Tall image on Facebook or a Wide image on Pinterest, while it is not ideal, you can still get away with it because the entire image is shown. However, using a Tall or Square image on Twitter does not work because Twitter will only show a portion of your original image to fit it's 2:1 image frame, with the rest of your image hidden unless someone clicks to expand it.
After a lot of experiementation, this is what I found. Twitter wlll post either the middle of your image (i.e. in the light blue section of the post on the right), or it will focus on showing faces found in the image (I suspect Twitter has some sort of facial recognition technology - if you go to my test Twitter account @allonesizefits, you can see that despite using many different Seth Godin image sizes and positions, Twitter shows the exact same shot of his entire face.) Therefore, if I want the quote to be shown in full, I have to ensure that the speech bubble is aligned with his head.
In the images below, the left one was made in Canva with the recommended Pinterest image size 735px x 1,102px. This does not work as a tweet (shown below, click on the link to see in Twitter), as it shows his face but hides the top part of the quote. On the right, I have the image which I uploaded to Pablo (just slightly smaller at 735px x 1,100px) but in this image, I moved the speech bubble down such that it is aligned with Seth Godin's head. If I tweet this image (see below), it works!
Now that we've established how to create one single image that is optimized for all four social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest), let's see how many steps we can eliminate in order to simplify the process. Please see the next post for my suggested approach!
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