Your guide to optimized social media images

    Your guide to optimized social media images

    Are you sharing a lot of images on social media? Here’s what you need to know about optimizing them to make sure your posts stand out and get more engagement from your followers.

    This blog post is only about the sizes your images should have. If you would like to learn more about the quality of your images and how to save them properly, you should take a look at this article.


    There are several image sizes you need to consider and hopefully this sketch explains it well:

    M&M's know how to show off their Facebook page
    M&M’s know how to show off their Facebook page

    Your profile picture should be uploaded as 180 x 180 pixels image file. You should consider positioning your logo as an 160 x 160 pixels vector, this allows your logo to stay in the central position with a bit of margins around it.

    Your cover image should be 851px wide and 315px high. The total size of the file should be no bigger than 100kB, otherwise it loads very slowly. There are two ways you can play with your cover image:

    – Post a regular image reflecting your brand, e.g. Oreo here below. Make sure your “main focus” of the picture lays in the centre and a bit further to the right side.

    Oreo is ne of the best examples of creating specific content for social media only.
    Oreo is one of the best examples of creating specific content for social media only.

    – Post an announcement, contest or any other message with a call to action. Take a look at what M&M’s did. Their cover image invites new people as well as their followers to immediately engage to win a trip to USA. Their text is clear and visible and they feature Ms. Brown at the right side of the image. Tip: it’s a great (free) way to boost your engagement and put as much text as you want. Facebook advertisements don’t allow more than 20% of text on the image!

    If you want to play with such images or ask your graphic designer, just take a look at Fb pages: sizes & dimensions for more detailed info:

    Sizes and dimensions of Facebook cover page.

    When posting an image, make sure your image is first of all horizontal and at least 470 pixels wide and 504 pixels maximum (also 504 pixels high). You can also post a square image, just like in the M&M’s example, which is 470 x 470 pixels big.


    Uploading a vertical image creates a lot of white space on both sides or to the right side, just like in the example of Cadbury below:

    Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 14.10.47

    I personally don’t like it however sometimes there is no other way to post horizontal images only. Instead, I’d try making a collage from a few images or add a quote to get rid of this extra unused space.

    If you’re posting few images or a photo album, there might be different configurations depending on how many images you’d like to share. The best guide to explain all of them (FIY there are a lot of them!) is here.

    Another way to post your update with image is to share a link to an external website. Facebook now gives us the opportunity to choose our own image which is displayed above the link, so make sure it looks perfect!

    This image must be of 470 px wide (at least) and 246 px high. Most of the images have sizes 484×252 pixels.

    And what about the video? I’m going to write a separate post about video quality of social media soon, here’s what you should need to know about the size of the video frame (it should be 504 px wide and 283 pixels high).

    Facebook Ads have their own objectives and sizes per objective. I personally always go to the Facebook Ads Guide before I prepare my visuals, however to make your life easier, I prepared a special cheatsheet for you with ALL social media images’ sizes you need, so you can just print it off on one page and paste it somewhere close to your monitor. I use it almost everyday!

    FIY: page likes ad requires a 1200 px wide and 444 px high image whilst clicks to website ad – 1200 px wide and 628 px high. Find the rest using my cheatsheet.


    Photos on Instagram are really easy to share, but if you don’t know the square rule, your posts might look ugly. The right size is 640 x 640 pixels and 2048 x 2048 pixels maximum.

    What about your profile picture? It’s just as small as 110 x 110 pixels, and to make sure your logo is positioned correctly – make it 100 x 100 pixels big. As Instagram’s profile picture is a round shape, be creative! Look at this example from Asos:

    Asos uses a green round stroke to stand out


    Here’s an important one! Gone horizontal images, play with all vertical images, recipes or infographics that you have! So what is the right size of a pin? The trick is that it’s at max 735 pixels wide and 1102 pixels high. The higher the image, the better, that’s why Pinterest is a great platform for infographics, photos from the runaway, or manuals that we can’t share on Facebook or Google+.

    One disadvantage is that the pins don’t look nice once we visit our profile page. Many brands are creating fixed boards and don’t add any new pins, so that the last 4 pins are optimized perfectly.

    Danger of re-pinning to our boards all the time is that our recent pins are not optimized.
    Danger of re-pinning to our boards all the time is that our recent pins are not optimized.

    Here are the sizes you need for your Board cover page (217 x 146 pixels) and the three pins underneath (51 x 51 pixels).


    Images for tweets also need to be horizontal to look good. I usually optimize them for 440 pixels wide and 220 pixels high however as long as you maintain the 2:1 aspect ratio (1024 x 512 pixels is the maximum size) it should be looking good.

    Your profile picture should be 400 x 400 pixels big and your cover image is 1500 pixels wide and 500 pixels high.


     Do you have a company page on LinkedIn? You need to stand out and look professionally with the right images:

    – Your profile picture: 100 x 60 pixels

    – Cover photo: 626 x 220 pixels

    – Your square photo: 50 x 50 pixels

    Google+ and YouTube

    Just like in Instagram, the profile picture on Google+ is round but slightly bigger – 250 x 250 pixels big. Your cover photo should be 1080 x 608 pixels big.

    If you share any photos, they should also be horizontal (497 x 373 pixels).

    YouTube profile picture is linked to your Google+ page, so make sure you begin with Google+ first. The cover page should be 2,560 x 1,440 pixels big.

    Get your cheatsheet

    If you need all of this information somewhere close to your desk or laptop, you don’t need to come back to this page all the time (I’d really appreciate it though!). I’ve made a special short half-page cheatsheet for you, so you can print it out and start working on your images!

    Make your social media pages pretty!