“I never read, I just looked at pictures” ~ Andy Warhol

Social media marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years, and staying up-to-date on trends and formatting is crucial for success.

The reason why it is so crucial to upload correct image sizes to begin with, is that in doing so, you allow for your images to be displayed “natively” – the way you intend – on each individual platform. This results in achieving the best possible user experience everywhere and your brand will be showcased in the most professional manner at all times.

One of the key functions of social media as a tool for businesses is that it can generate and maintain immense positive brand exposure if used correctly. An integral part of optimizing your social presence is representing your brand through professional images throughout the different social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google +.


Facebook

Facebook is now the world’s largest social media outlet. With this massive audience, it is crucial to have images display in a professional and branded way.

Profile Picture – 180 x 180 (Displays 160 x 160)
This image is layered on top of your cover photo, and will be what represents you and your brand. It is most common to have your logo in this location.

Image Tips:

  • Photo ‘thumbnail’ will show throughout Facebook at 32 x 32 pixels
  • Photo will appear on page as 160 x 160 pixels
  • Minimum size of 180 x 180 pixels.

Cover Photo – 851 x 315
This is the first image your viewers see, so select a professional cover photo that represents your brand and entices at the onset. It is much bigger in size than the profile picture, giving you more creative freedom to express your brand. Also, keep in mind the cover photo is layered underneath your profile picture, as well as company name and a few buttons to the right so you won’t want to design anything that gets overlapped or cut out.

Image Tips:

  • Minimum size of 399 x 150 pixels
  • Anything less than 851 x 315 pixels will appear stretched/distorted
  • For best results, upload an RGB JPG file less than 100 KB.

Shared Image – 1,200 x 900
A shared image is one of the best ways to stay up to date with and engage your audience. They show up in your timeline and also hopefully in the Newsfeed of followers and friends. While it is important to post shared images, and post often, there is a balance that needs to be struck between informative and annoying. Aim to keep your content interesting and always professional.

Image Tips:

  • For optimal results, upload size of 1,200 x 900 pixels
  • Will appear on page at a max width of 504 pixels (will scale to a max of 1:1)
  • Will appear in feed at a max width of 470 pixels (will scale to a max of 1:1).

Find other information of Facebook’s image guidelines at the Facebook Help Center.


Twitter

Having a website these days just isn’t enough. If everyone around you, including potential customers and competitive businesses are on Twitter, you should be too. Twitter is an excellent, fast way to keep in touch with your followers, and if your potential and existing customers are on there, you can instantly let them know your news, whether it’s an announcement or a new product, a special deal, or an upcoming event they may be interested in.

Profile Photo – 400 x 400 (Displays 200 x 200)
Profile images (or ‘avatars’) are an excellent opportunity to identify the personal side of a business, or the face behind the name, so feel free to use a photo of yourself here as a chance to reach out to viewers in more of a human way. The profile photo will be viewed across the site in a number of places by a number of people so make sure it’s of the highest quality. It will show up largest on your homepage, but also shows up “in-stream” as a thumbnail version.

Image Tips:

  • Recommended 400 x 400 pixels
  • Maximum file size 100 KB
  • JPG, GIF, or PNG.

Header Photo – 1,500 x 500
This is a large area where you have some creative freedom to express an image to represent your brand. You’ll want to keep the image simple so it doesn’t compete with the Twitter Profile Photo, Name, Bio and Website, and try a colour palette that will contrast and compliment the rest of the overlapping imagery.

Image Tips:

  • 10 MB is the file size limit
  • Recommended size: 1,500 x 500 pixels
  • JPG, GIF, or PNG.

In-Stream Photo – Minimum 440 x 220
According to a blog post by the WebMarketing Group in the U.K, 40% of people will be more likely to respond to visual information than plain text. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the fact that you have the ability to attach photos to any of your tweets.

It is crucial to ensure the width of your image fits the minimum requirements and that your content is horizontally centered because Twitter could collapse your photo into a smaller version to fit seamlessly in a user’s stream

Image Tips:

  • Maximum will appear expanded 1024 x 512 pixels
  • Minimum will appear expanded 440 x 220 pixels
  • Appears in stream collapsed at 506 x 253 pixels
  • Maximum file size of 5 MB for photos, and 3 MB for animated GIFs.

Find more information on profile and header photos at the Twitter Help Center.


Google+
Google+ is quickly becoming one of the most popular networks out there for businesses. Naturally, you’re going to want to start sharing your content here. As more and more companies are going to be doing it, more and more good quality content is going to be shared on it, and you’ll want to jump on this bandwagon. G+ can be very beneficial to small/local businesses as well since it uses a lot of the profile information to show to users who are searching for or ‘around’ your business on Google.

Profile Picture (250 x 250)
This image will help followers and potential clients/customers find you and immediately recognize your brand. Although you will upload a square image, it will be cropped into a circle, so keep that in mind when choosing an image.

Image Tips:

  • Recommended size is 250 x 250 pixels
  • Displays as a circle
  • Minimum 120 x 120 pixels
  • JPG, GIF or PNG.

Cover Image (1,080 x 608)
In addition to appearing above your profile, this Cover Image also appears anytime your Google+ username appears within Google+ and someone hovers over it. The resulting popup includes your cover photo, profile image, name and a few other pieces of information. Essentially this becomes like a digital business card of sorts, seen throughout the entire social network.

Image Tips:

  • Recommended size is 1080 x 608 pixels.
  • Maximum size is 2120 x 1192 pixels
  • Minimum size is 480 x 270 pixels
  • It will display at 920 x 518 pixels.
  • Maximum File Size is 2 MB.

Shared Image: 497 x 373 (can be uploaded up to 2048 x 2048)
Google+ is a phenomenal platform for sharing photos. It is important to post often and regularly, and crucial to post professionally at the correct size so it displays as you intended.

Image Tips:

  • Shared Link appears at 150 x 150 pixels (thumbnail)
  • Minimum width of 497 pixels (will scale the height for you)
  • Maximum upload size is 2,048 x 2,048 pixels
  • Appears in home stream and on page at a width of 426 pixels (height is scaled).

You can find more detailed information on image sizes for Google+ here.

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