Hootsuite Image Test: which image/photo sizes display correctly on social media platforms?

Marketing Consultants in Eastbourne, East Sussex

What we did…

We have always found the idea of using a social media management platform useful – but they are not perfect in every way. You need to be aware of some things… particularly image display, because this can impact the level of engagement with your posts.

We thought we would test four different social media platforms using Hootsuite with landscape and square images. We tested Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

All the results are below – but if you want to skip through to our final thoughts – scroll down to the heading saying OUR OPINION.

 

Using a landscape image

First, we created a landscape image in an image tool called ‘Canva’ to use across all platforms. The size was 1200px x 628px. Unfortunately, this size was too big for Instagram. Hootsuite showed an error message and would not let you post:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then created a new landscape image size, 1080px x 566px. This image size worked across all platforms on both mobile and desktop. See the results below:

Mobile results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram from a mobile viewpoint:

Twitter

Twitter results for Hootsuite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn results for Hootsuite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram

Instagram results for Hootsuite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desktop results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (Instagram is rarely used on desktop):

Twitter

Desktop results for Twitter via Hootsuite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn

Desktop Results for LinkedIn via Hootsuite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook

 

 

Another image size… let’s go square

Not only did we want to test landscape images, we wanted to test square images to see how these worked. Again we created an image in Canva at the size of 800px x 800px. Hootsuite did not display any error messages when using this image size, however, the results prove that all is not well…

From the results below you can see that the square sized image did not display correctly on LinkedIn and Twitter.   

  • For LinkedIn, the image did not display in full on both mobile and desktop (parts of the image were cut off). So we would strongly recommend not using square images on LinkedIn!
  • For Twitter, the results showed that the image displayed correctly on desktop but not on mobile. Again, we would advise you not to use square images on Twitter.

This is the image we tested:

Mobile results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram:

Twitter

Hootsuite test on Twitter using a square image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn test on Hootsuite using a square image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desktop results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (Instagram is rarely used on desktop).

Twitter

Twitter test on Hootsuite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn test via Hootsuite using a square image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook

 

In the moment photos… Portrait

Not only did we want to test how images that have been created look like, we wanted to test photos that have been taken on a mobile (in this case it was an iPhone). For this test we didn’t use the desktop version of Hootsuite, we used the mobile app version.

This is the image we tested:

Katie in Pearce Marketing Consultants Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, we tested a portrait image. When adding the portrait image to Hootsuite this size was incorrect and displayed an error message was shown and would not let you post:

Instagram error message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The results from this image size test proved very interesting!

  • The portrait image displayed correctly on Facebook for mobile and desktop.
  • For LinkedIn, the image did not display in full on both mobile and desktop (parts of the image were cut off). We strongly recommend not using portrait images on LinkedIn!
  • For Twitter, the results showed that the image displayed correctly, however, the image was cropped on desktop but not on mobile (note: be aware of what is at the top and bottom of your image). Again, we would advise you not to use portrait images on Twitter via Hootsuite on your mobile.

Mobile results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook:

Twitter

 

 

 

LinkedIn

Facebook

Desktop results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook:

Twitter

 

LinkedIn

Facebook

 

Let’s try landscape photos too!

We wanted to test how landscape images that you’ve taken on a mobile display when using Hootsuite. Again we used the mobile app version of Hootsuite on an iPhone.

This is the image we tested:

England footballs at Pearce Marketing Consultants office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image size nearly worked perfectly, but not quite.

  • The portrait image displayed correctly on Facebook for mobile and desktop.
  • For LinkedIn, the image displayed correctly on desktop and mobile, however, the image was cropped at the top and bottom, but this did not affect the look of the image. When using landscape images on LinkedIn be aware that the image will be cropped ever so slightly, so don’t have anything vitanear any edges!
  • For Twitter, the image displayed correctly, however the image was cropped on mobile but not on desktop. (Note: be aware of what is at the top and bottom of the image) . If you’re going to use landscape images on Twitter via Hootsuite be aware of the top and bottom being cropped – so don’t include your important messages in these areas as they may be cut off.

Mobile results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram:

Twitter

 

 

LinkedIn

Facebook

Instagram

Desktop results:

Here are the results from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (Instagram is rarely used on desktop).

Twitter

LinkedIn

 

Facebook

The Good

There are positives in using Hootsuite…

  • Saves time – as you are not having to post natively in each platform
  • Hashtags and links work across all platforms
  • Allows you to schedule posts in advance (ideal since some platforms don’t have this function built-in – note: Facebook business pages do have scheduling)
  • The landscape image size that works across all platforms on desktop and mobile is 1080px x 566px. Landscape images that have been taken on a mobile also work across virtually all platforms apart from LinkedIn and Twitter on mobile.

The Bad

Despite the positives, there are negatives too…

  • You cannot tag people/businesses on Hootsuite  – the tags will not work across all platforms using a third party tool like Hootsuite (so only posts without tags are workable)
  • You can only have up to three social media platforms on the free version
  • Taking portrait images is very popular, but you cannot use this type of image on many of the platforms through Hootsuite. Top tip: if you add a portrait image in Instagram itself you have the option to be able to ensure the image displays correctly! So you’re able to use portrait images in the native platform, but not through Hootsuite.
  • Square images do not work on some of the platforms, so you need to think carefully about your image size

Our Opinion

Using Hootsuite (and other social media management tools) can save time and they’re useful for scheduling across multiple social media platforms. BUT they don’t work for posts where you want to tag a business/person on each platform.

It is possible that by the time you tailor each post to suit the platform (ie different character limits, different image sizes, different requirements for hashtags (ie 1 or 2 on Facebook and loads on Instagram!), that perhaps it would have been just as easy to copy and paste the core information onto each native platform and post there directly!

It’s easy enough to have your laptop boot up each morning with all the windows open for the different social media platforms – but if you’re using Instagram it’s still best from your phone – whether you have taken the image on that or emailed one from your computer to save on your phone!

Plus, posting separately potentially has the added bonus of having better reach with your posts. Some people argue that your posts reach more people when they are posted direct, rather than through a third party tool like Hootsuite. But will we ever know for sure?!

What are your thoughts?

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