Responsive Design for Social Media

Visual content plays an important role in marketing efforts. This is evident when you take a look at today’s campaigns. They’re jam-packed with promotional images, infographics, and videos. Businesses are increasingly investing in visual content because it consistently performs well on all the major social channels. In fact in 2016, 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%). (Source)

If you use Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram as your main social channels, you should be aware that they are all unique platforms. Too often, businesses don’t consider this and post identical visual content to each of these channels. This is a problem because every social platform has different preferred image dimensions for its posts, meaning you should not put the Instagram picture you just posted, on your LinkedIn page 5 minutes later in the same size).

Let’s think about a website for instance. What do you do when you see a desktop only version of a website on your phone? You leave and never come back, am I right? By now, you know that a website should be optimized for desktop, tablet and mobile. The same type of optimization thinking needs to be applied to your social channels. Your visual content should be reformatted for the platform it’s being viewed on. By not optimizing your content for every channel, you are giving your audience a mediocre viewing experience. Graphics that are not designed for the channel it is viewed on feel out of place and difficult to digest. Let’s take a look at how you can implement this into your content marketing strategy

Optimizing Your Content

At CGI Interactive, we use a Photoshop file that we made as a template for creating social media graphics. Each artboard (the digital canvas) has specific dimensions for each of the social media channels we use. Some people say that you need a different sized image for every single platform, but in my experience you really only need four image variations for your daily social posts. Here is what our template looks like.

Artboard 1: Facebook and Linkedin - Dimensions 1200px by 630px

Artboard 2: Twitter - Dimensions - 1200px by 685px

Artboard 3: Instagram - Dimensions - 1080px by 1080px

Artboard 4: Vertical Content/Instagram Stories - Dimensions - 1242px by 2208px

Artboard 1 creates an optimized image for Facebook LinkedIn. Artboard 2 will do the same for Twitter. Artboard 3 is a perfect square, Instagram users expect to see the standard square image in their feed. Give them one! Artboard 4 is for vertical content, vertical content is content that is optimized for a mobile device. You will see this format mostly on Snapchat and Instagram stories. We create Instagram stories religiously at CGI. (More on that in a future vlog coming soon.)

By adjusting the text and image layout to fit the different dimensions, we create native viewing experiences that fit seamlessly in every social media platform. Giving your audience the best possible viewing experience factors in more strongly than you might think when trying to make a memorable impression.

Creating great visual experiences for your audience is a must in 2017.