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How to optimise images for use on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
1. Image sizes for your company pages
First, and most importantly, here’s a quick guide to the social media image sizes you need to get your company accounts set up – the image sizes for your business page on each of the top three social networks.
On all three networks, you’re going to need two images for your profile page:
- a profile picture (ideal for displaying your company logo) and
- a cover photo or header photo (ideal for a striking photograph which sells your products or otherwise represents your brand).
Facebook Business Page Profile picture: 180 pixels x 180 pixels
Facebook reminds you to keep in mind that your Page’s profile picture will be cropped to a circular shape in ads and posts. It’s displayed as a square on your Page.
Facebook Business Page Cover image: 820 pixels wide x 312 pixels tall (as displayed on desktop); 640 pixels wide x 360 pixels tall (as displayed on smartphones). Must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.
Twitter Profile picture: 400 pixels x 400 pixels.
Twitter Header image: 1,500 pixels wide x 500 pixels tall (desktop).
Bear in mind that is displays differently on mobile devices.
Twitter warns, your header image will be cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio.
LinkedIn Company logo image: 300 pixels x 300 pixels.
Square Company logo (that shows up when your company is searched):
60 pixels x 60 pixels.
LinkedIn Company Cover image: 1,536 pixels wide x 768 pixels tall.
LinkedIn Banner image for company pages: 646 pixels wide x 220 pixels tall.
LinkedIn “hero” image for company LinkedIn Career page: 1128 pixels wide x 376 pixels tall.
You can find a helpful video about setting up your page on LinkedIn on the site’s company help pages.
2. The problem of cropping
As you’ll have noticed, some of the images display differently on mobile phones and desktops. This is true of all the large display images at the top of your company pages: the Facebook Business Page cover image; the header image on Twitter; and the Company cover image on LinkedIn.
This adds a degree of complexity to choosing a suitable image.
You need to be aware of how your images will be cropped, especially if you are featuring text or other graphics in your header images.
In some regards, the Facebook cover image is the most complex. Although Facebook guidelines specify that your cover image will display at 820 x 312 on desktops and 640 x 360 on mobiles, this isn’t entirely accurate. The figures given are only a rough guide: the image displays differently on different devices.
The solution to this is to upload an image that is 820 x 360 pixels and keep all text and graphics within the middle zone of the image (the centre 640 x 312 panel).
As a basic rule for any platform, orienting any text to the centre of the image will help you to avoid the worst of the cropping problems.
3. Always go large – but retain proportions
Although all three sites are very specific about the preferred pixel dimensions of the images you upload, we recommend that you upload higher resolutions if you can do so within the maximum file size limits. This will help to ensure the very best image quality.
However, do bear in mind that you must stick to the given ratios. For this reason, we recommend you simply multiply each pixel dimension by two.
Facebook Business Page Profile picture: 360 pixels x 360 pixels
Facebook Business Page Cover image: 1,640 pixels wide x 720 pixels tall (with any text or logo in the centre 1,280 x 624 panel).
Twitter Profile picture: 800 pixels x 800 pixels.
Twitter Header image: 3,000 pixels wide x 1,000 pixels tall (desktop).
Bear in mind that, on mobile devices, it will be cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio.
LinkedIn Company logo image: 600 pixels x 600 pixels.
LinkedIn Company Cover image: 3,072 pixels wide x 1,536 pixels tall.
4. Which image format to use
For each of these images, you have the option of uploading a JPEG (.jpg) or a PNG (.png) image file.
The most important difference between the two file formats is that .png supports transparency, whereas .jpg doesn’t. While that might be important in some instances (layering your logo on a coloured background on your own website, for example), the need for the image to support transparency isn’t something you probably need to worry about on social media.
However, it is worth considering which format is going to give a better result – and this is going to depend on the content of each image:
- If the image is a straightforward photo with no text added, the .jpg is usually the better file format.
- For profile pictures and cover photos that feature your company logo or any other text, you will probably get a better result and crisper edges by using a .png file.
5. Image sizes for posts
Once you have your company pages up and looking great, you’ll need to start adding content – which requires a whole different set of image sizes.
To make matters more complicated, different types posts often have different optimum image sizes. The most common types of posts and their recommended image sizes are listed below for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Facebook shared image: 1,200 pixels x 630 pixels
Facebook shared link image (square): 308 pixels x 308 pixels
Facebook shared link image (rectangular): 940 pixels x 492 pixels.
Facebook highlighted image: 1,686 pixels x 1008 pixels.
Twitter instream picture: 880 pixels x 440 pixels.
Twitter recommends that you stick with this 2:1 ratio but, as you’ll see shortly, this may not be everything you need to consider…
LinkedIn shared image or link: 1,104 pixels x 736 pixels.
6. The problem of cropping raises its ugly head again!
As we’ve already seen, posts will often display differently on mobile and desktop clients. This is especially important to bear in mind if you are adding text or logos to your featured images.
Earlier this year, digital and SEO strategists Blue Compass ran an interesting study into how Twitter crops images on its timelines. They found that images weren’t being displayed in the same way on mobile devices as they were on desktop – and as a result, some of their campaign texts were being cut, rendering their message illegible.
The team experimented with putting text to the left and to the right of an image. Either way, the text was the element that would be cut from the image. It led them to believe Twitter can tell the difference – and favours faces or artistic elements over text when cropping images.
Despite trying to keep text in a “safe area” with a border around it which would allow the image to be cropped and the message remain visible, this wasn’t working on mobile. After some investigation, the team found that using a Twitter image size of 1,100 pixels x 628 pixels worked best for their campaign images – not an image size that Twitter recommends!
The Blue Compass study clearly illustrates the need to be flexible and be prepared to crop images on the fly when posting them to social media. Learning Photoshop with us is one way to gain the skills to do this!
As a result of their investigation, the Blue Compass team recommend setting up a private social media account where you can post and text images privately. This way, you can check they display correctly on a variety of mobile and desktop devices prior to posting them to your official social channels.
7. Summary: What we’ve learnt
- Use .png files if you are uploading logos or images with text added.
- It’s worth using the maximum image size you can – but remember to stick to the right aspect ratios.
- If you have complicated images to upload, especially if they have a lot of text that appears close to the border, it might be worth setting up a private social media account where you can test the results online for yourself before posting them onto your official corporate account.
- Don’t just look at the recommended image sizes on the relevant site: be aware that some cropping may occur, and this makes it important to keep logos and text away from the margins.
- Remember to check the post on a variety of mobile and desktop devices.
8. Sign up to one of our Adobe Photoshop courses
Learn essential Photoshop skills to help you create stunning images for your corporate social media accounts. Check out forthcoming dates here.
9. Sign up to one of our Adobe Illustrator courses
Develop your ability to create original artwork and create stunning graphics for your corporate social media accounts. View our Illustrator courses here.