One of the biggest challenges for any startup with social media is content creation. To keep your audience engaged, you need to post photos - and plenty of them! Thankfully, cameras are not in short supply. However, the one unchanging aspect of social media is that it's always changing. This is especially true with the dimensions of photos and how they are displayed on desktops and mobile devices. If you've ever looked at a list of all the variations of updated photo dimensions for social media, it can be a bit overwhelming. Not everyone has Photoshop to set up templates in accordance with the latest up-to-date templates. But no need to sweat it! There's a great tool that I use frequently.
How can I quickly crop for social media on my desktop or laptop?
Landscape by Social Sprout is a handy tool that makes cropping for social networks easy. Simply upload or drag your photo, choose the social media platforms you wish to crop for (Facebook Twitter, Instagram, etc.), then select how you want to crop.
If you are posting a photo to Twitter, I recommend In-Stream Wide. This ensures your photo doesn't display on mobile devices with the least interesting part of your photo showing. If you're posting a picture of you and your coworkers, it won't just show the feet.
If you are posting to Instagram, any size works. But remember, when your photo displays in the list of pictures on your Instagram page, it will appear as a square image until clicked to reveal the entire image. This is a good reminder when your focal point of interest is on the left or right edge of your photo when you want to crop a horizontal Instagram photo.
Landscape also provides options for cropping profile pictures and cover photos.
Can I crop images for social media on my smartphone or tablet?
Hootsuite offers an app called Enhance which makes cropping for social media from your smartphone easier. If you are in the field and have no access to a computer, this app is worth it. Not to mention, Hootsuite offers loads of other great features.
Before you post your photo...
I recommend a safeguard to make sure your photos appear how exactly you want them to. Test your posts on an account you use privately, or a public page set up for the purpose of testing that has no followers. Once posted, ensure everything looks exactly how you want it to on both desktop and mobile devices. Test accounts used for this purpose will save you from multiple edits, deleting and reposting, and running the risk of sabotaging the social media algorithms that have since looked favorably towards you.
If you're in a fast-paced social media environment where your content posting needs to be expedited, these cropping resources are wonderful for the serious social media master.