Your Brand Photo & Video Shoots need Social Media friendly results

Richard Lawton28th February 2023 - Richard Lawton

Your Brand Photo & Video Shoots need Social Media friendly results

Have you ever supplied your recent brand images or video shoot to a digital agency only to hear it will cost more money to re-edit them before they can be used on Social Media? Brand images and video dimensions need to be suitable for social media Ads or organic social platform placements for the best results.

I hope this post seems obvious and unnecessary to it’s readers and if so, you’re free to leave now with my full blessing. Unfortunately it’s a consistent problem we see from brand’s photo and video shoot results so perhaps this post might help you save money.

Why do Social Media friendly image dimensions matter?

One of the key components of a successful social media strategy across both your Ads and organic social posts is the use of high-quality visuals. Your brand needs to get the greatest return on investment possible when planning a photo or video shoot to fulfil this need.

If you plan to work with a professional photographer or videographer then Social Media friendly dimensions must be kept in mind. It’s no longer enough to consider the formats and dimensions that look well on the mantlepiece, wall or TV but crucially what works across Social Media and on a mobile device in particular. Each Social Media platform has its own unique image and video size requirements.

For example, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have different required aspect ratios for images and videos. If brands fail to take these dimensions into account, their visuals may be cropped or resized when used in Ads or organic posts, resulting in a loss of quality and a negative impact in advertising costs and results.

Social Media platform algorithms are designed to prioritise visually appealing content which engages the user. This means that images and videos that are correctly sized and optimised for the platform tend to perform better than those that are not. By creating visuals that are optimised for Social Media, brands can increase engagement, reach a wider audience, improve ROI and their overall Social Media presence.

Essentially, by creating visuals with the appropriate dimensions, brands can ensure that their content appears as intended, and is more likely to catch the attention of their audience.

girl lying down with hair swept over her face for Social Media photography

The benefits of high quality social images and video

One of the key benefits of having high quality Social Media friendly images and video comes back to ‘Retention’. In other words, once someone sees your content they need to remember it and better yet, click on it.

Good quality brand imagery increases the click through rates on your Ads and organic social posts, reducing overall cost per conversion. It’s simple really, if you have great looking images for your brand, it increases your chances of users clicking through to find out more about you and where they can buy from you.

The same applies when it comes to organic social media posts also. Having high quality photos taken at brand events or shoots which fit into these dimensions makes a huge amount of business sense.

Three good reasons why you need Social Media friendly images from your brand’s shoot:

  1. The results can be used for both ads and your organic social posts providing high quality visual content for the future.
  2. Retention. The more impact your creatives have, the more likely they’ll be retained by users viewing them.
  3. Increase your sales. The main reason why you should invest in creating great looking Social Media friendly images is because they increase sales. If people see high quality imagery, that’s what they’ll associate with your brand and chances are they’ll click on it and visit your website. This means more traffic coming into your site and ultimately more sales!

What does poor formatting on Social media placements look like?

When advertising on Social Media or any other digital Ad placement, it’s crucial to make the best possible use of the screen real estate available to you. Suitably adapted images or video content will fill the entire screen and place your core message right where the user is focused.

See an example of a poorly formatted 9:16 Facebook or Instagram Story image versus the correct formatting below.

Poor Social Media image formatting example on Facebook and Instagram Story placements

Which Social Media image & video dimensions do I really need?

If needed, find a full detailed list of all Social Media sizes from Hootsuite. In reality, you’ll really only need the current main ratios and minimum pixel sizes below to be well prepared for pretty much all social media platforms:


  • 1.91:1 (1080 x 567 pixels) – Less important than the rest of the dimensions
  • 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels)
  • 1:1 (1080 x 1080 pixels)
  • 4:5 (1080 x 1350 pixels)
  • 9:16 (1080 x 1920 pixels)


  • 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels)
  • 1:1 (1080 x 1080 pixels)
  • 4:5 (1080 x 1350 pixels)
  • 9:16 (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Social Media image dimensions on mobile devices

How can Brands avoid this common mistake?

Thankfully most modern professional photographers and videographers will keep Social Media dimensions in mind when shooting. However, a gentle reminder of their importance to your brand at the start of any photo or video shoot will serve your business well.

Keeping social media-friendly image dimensions in mind during photo and video shoots can save time and resources in the long run. Having to later re-work those images or video will cost multiples of what it takes to have them considered at the start of production. The initial shoot is the stage when it’s easiest to produce the source content correctly and allow the editing and crafting of the dimensions needed for Social Media.

By taking the time to create visuals with the appropriate dimensions during the photo and video shoot, brands can avoid these additional costs and ensure that their content is ready for distribution on social media.

Phone user taking a photgraph in 9-16 dimension for social media

How should a photographer or videographer shoot to deliver Social media friendly results?

Obviously your professional photographer or videographer should know the best way to shoot your brand content to allow for Social Media friendly dimensions. However if you find this task on your plate, here are some suggestions and advice based around the ratios mentioned previously above:

Shoot in 4:3 or 16:9 ratio

This is ideal for later cropping to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. If you’re working within a tight budget, then shoot in everything in 4:3 or 16:9 and later crop down to 1:1, 9:16, 4:5 etc as needed.

Shoot in 16:9 if you’d like to include landscape images in your campaigns for any reason and they’re also commonly used on the web. The only downside to shooting in this ratio is that it won’t work well for Instagram and Snapchat until cropped down.

Shoot in 1:1 ratio

Square formats are the standard Ad image dimension and ideal for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and some YouTube placements.

Shoot in 9:16 ratio

This is ideal for video placements across Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Obviously this perfectly matches the average smart phone screen and takes up the full screen real estate available for your brand. 9:16 images are crucial to help your brand look it’s best across Facebook and Instagram’s Story placements.

The key thing to remember when using these ratios is that you’ll likely need to crop down your images once you’ve finished. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting in 4:3 or 16:9, you’ll still need to crop down the image before publishing on Social for best results.

videographer editing brand video for social media dimensions in their editing suite

Some other things to consider

Once you’ve edited the image in Photoshop or Canva, use the Crop tool to remove any unwanted parts of the image. You may want to add an overlay text box to the top left hand corner with a CTA or logo to help promote your business further.

Use high resolution photos

It’s important that you don’t just take low resolution photos and expect them to look good. A higher resolution will give you better results.

Keep your image file sizes small

Image file sizes shouldn’t exceed 100MB unless you know exactly what you’re going to do with the image and that you need larger.

Create multiple versions of the same image

If you’re unsure about which version looks best, then create several versions.

Make sure you name and tag your images correctly

You’ll want to know what it was you were shooting to easily find them again so using sensible naming conventions is key.


Taking the time to shoot for social media friendly results will save you time and money in the long run. Utilising multiple ratios, good resolution photos, keeping file sizes small, sensibly naming and tagging images are all ways to ensure your brand is looking its best across social platforms. This will help brand retention for users and ultimately your sales!

If you need help from a specialist Social Media Ads Agency, talk to us today.


Richard Lawton
Richard Lawton

Richie bridges the gap that often exists between Sales and Marketing teams with a wealth of experience in both areas across many verticals including High Finance, Healthcare and many more. A strong advocate of making data driven marketing decisions, combining performance marketing with data analytics to deliver a clear ROI for clients.

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