Are there any guidelines I should stick to, such as what actual image to use as the featured image and what dimensions it should be?
I'm unsure if the featured image is displayed when the link is shared on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Is there anything else marketing-related I should factor in with featured images?
I'm NOT an expert, but I've made it a habit to keep an eye on ratios/dimensions when I make images. Ie: I make blog images in the 16:9 ratio so that it fits perfectly in my facebook and twitter shares as well. :)
To have the featured image displayed when the link is shared you need to add some code. I just found this yesterday and haven't tried it yet, but follow this link: https://yoast.com/image-seo/
The code he mentions is this one: <meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/link-to-image.jpg" />
Supposedly that makes the image show up when the post is shared. I will try soon.
What's your website? :)
There are quite a few articles on the different image sizes each social media chanel uses for posts. This one looks quite good an up to date:
The trick is to decide on a size that works well with the ones that get used the most.
Hollys meta tag is something Facebook supports for telling them what image to use. More info form Facebook here:
Most of the major social channels will provide some guidelines.
Twitter has cards with rich media like images. They also have ways you can mark things up to get the best looking posts:
The good news is that it looks like Shopify themes support Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest markup by default.
My general image guidlines is to rename the image file before uploading. Make sure it describes the image using just words and dashes, no spaces or special characters. Once uploaded write the alt text which should also describes what the image is about.
A few years back I decided on a standard image size of 506x303, which is 15:9. I suspect I'd need to at least double the resolution now for best results. I'd probably go with Facebooks min of 1200 x 630 and aim for 16:9 now.