Adding an image to a social media marketing post can work wonders for its stats. A study by Twitter found that tweets containing images get, on average, 35% more retweets than those without, while researchers at Stanford University found that while Facebook posts containing a link averaged 20 likes, and a post built around a picture earned nearly five times that amount at around 100 likes.

So, it makes sense to add pictures to your posts wherever possible, but there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:

  • Don’t add pictures to every social media post – not only can lessen the impact of your image, as your feed will be a constant stream of picture-led posts, it’s more beneficial to mix things up with a variety of images, links, and plain text posts that are purely engagement led.
  • Do get the social media image sizes right – posting an image that’s the wrong size for the social platform you’re using can really lessen the impact, so make sure all images are re-sized accordingly.

If you’re not sure the right social media image sizes are, our at-a-glance guide will have the answer…

Social media image sizes 2017

This images placed in your social media profiles and any associated posts need to be a reflection of your business and its ethos, so make sure all images are of high quality and sized as below:

TWitter images sizes

  • Profile image – 400 x 400 pixels (displays at 200 x 200) as a JPG, GIF or PNG, with a maximum file size of 10MB.
  • Header image 1,500 x 500 pixels, as a JPG, GIF or PNG, with a maximum file size of 10MB.
  • In-stream post image – Four images can be placed in a single tweet, at the following sizes:
    • Minimum to appear expanded 440 x 220 pixels (a 2:1 ratio)
    • Maximum to appear expanded 1,024 x 512 pixels.
    • Appears in stream collapsed at 506 x 253 pixels on desktop.
    • Maximum file size of 5 MB for photos, and 3 MB for animated GIFs.

Facebook IMAGES SIZES

  • Profile image 180 x 180 pixels (minimum). Photo will appear on page as 160 x 160 pixels on desktop, 140 x 140 on smartphones, and 50 x 50 on most feature phones, and throughout Facebook as a photo thumbnail at 32 x 32 pixels.
  • Cover image 399 x 150 pixels (minimum), appears on page at displays at 828 x 315). For best results, upload an sRGB JPG file less than 100 KB, or as a PNG for images with a logo or text.
  • Shared image – 1,200 x 630 pixels (recommended upload size) will appear in feed at a max width of 470 pixels (will scale to a max of 1:1) and will appear on page at a max width of 504 pixels (will scale to a max of 1:1).
  • Highlighted image1,200 x 717 pixels (recommended upload size) will appear on your page at 843 x 504 pixels. It’s worth choosing a higher resolution at that scale for better quality.
  • Shared link – 1,200 x 630 pixels (recommended upload size), then the following rules apply:
    • Square Photo: Minimum 154 x 154 pixels in feed.
    • Square Photo: Minimum 116 x 116 pixels on page.
    • Rectangular Photo: Minimum 470 x 246 pixels in feed.
    • Rectangular Photo: Minimum 484 x 252 pixels on page.

Facebook will scale photos under the minimum dimensions. For better results, increase image resolution at the same scale as the minimum size.

LINKEDIN IMAGES SIZES

  • Personal profile image 400 x 400 pixels (recommended) but can be between 200 x 200 pixels (minimum) and 20,000 x 20,000 pixels (maximum). Files should be clear, professional head shot, saved as a JPG, GIf or PNG at a maximum file size of 10MB.
  • Personal page background – 1,000 x 425 pixels (minimum) to 4,000 x 4,000 pixels (maximum) saved as a JPG, GIf or PNG at a maximum file size of 4MB.
  • Image on shared link or article share – 180 pixels x 110 pixels tall. If you upload an image directly, the image will appear at a maximum width of 350 pixels. The height of the image—whether square, landscape, or portrait—will be scaled to fit the new width.
  • Banner image (for branded business pages) – 646 x 220 pixels (minimum) landscape image saved as a JPG, GIf or PNG at a maximum file size of 2MB.
  • Hero image (for recruitment posts) – 974 x 330 pixels (minimum) landscape image saved as a JPG, GIf or PNG at a maximum file size of 2MB.
  • Square logo (for brand search results) – 60 x 60 pixels (resized to fit) saved as a JPG, GIf or PNG at a maximum file size of 2MB.

Google + image sizes

  • Profile image – 250 x 250 pixels (minimum) but Google recommends using larger pictures of up to 100MB and, potentially 5,200 x 5,300 pixels, saved as JPG, GIF or PNG.
  • Cover image 1,080 x 608 pixels (recommended) but can be as small as 480 x 270 pixels or as large as 2,120 x 1,192 pixels.
  • Shared image – 497 x 373 pixels (recommended)  and appears on page at a width of 426 pixels with the height scaled. Minimum width of image is 497 pixels (height will be automatically scaled) and  maximum upload is 2,048 x 2,048 pixels.
  • Shared link image150 x 150 pixels. Thumbnail is pulled in from linked site

YouTube image sizes

Although it’s ultimately the quality of your video content that counts on YouTube, eye-catching channel art is an effective way to make your page stand out and really grab the attention of the viewer – especially in its overcrowded search results pages.

As with all social media platforms, users can stream from different devices and images are displayed in different dimensions, the trouble with YouTube is you effectively have to make sure your image renders correctly across all of them, meaning your social media image sizes have to be optimised for all of the following displays:

  • Tablet – 1,855 x 423 pixels
  • Mobile – 1,546 x 423 pixels
  • TV – 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
  • Desktop – 2,560 x 423 pixels (1,546 x 423 pixels are always visible); A flexible Area may be visible – 507 pixels to the left and 507 pixels to the right of the safe area.

tools for social media images

There are some pretty handy apps and tools out there to help you find eye-catching, optimised images for all of your social channels, and one of my personal favourites is Pablo from Buffer, the social media scheduling and analytics app.

The Pablo app gives you access to over 600,000 royalty-free images, which you can add filters to and overlay with text to enhance your social posts. You can then either download the images or post directly to your social accounts via Buffer, which is probably the best way to go about it as images are automatically optimised for each platform.