Using Pictures on Social Media – A Practical Guide

19th November 2014

It is generally accepted that images on social media have a greater impact on users than either text or video. Just think about your own time spent online and you’ll realise you’re interacting with pictures much more than text. That’s why most of the major sites concentrate on making a pictures a key part of their design. As a business, images should be a key part of your online strategy.
We’ll be talking more about how to use great pictures in your posts in an upcoming post but first let’s start with some quick tips on getting your profile looking great and helping show off your brand.
Utilising the power of images is relatively easy; most social media websites make uploading and posting images really simple. They accept most major file formats, including GIF’s, so whatever content you want to share is simple to upload. However we have all seen images that don’t quite look right, either pixelated or distorted in some way, or don’t properly fit on the webpage, particularly when dealing with ‘header’ and ‘profile’ images. If you already upload lots of images then it’s probable that you have run into your fair share of errors regarding file size as well.
Re-sizing images is the most effective way of ensuring your content looks great on whatever website you are posting to. Doing it right means that you should never see file size errors, pixelated photos or bad cropping again.




If your images are supplied by a photographer you should always ask for them to be resized for the social network of your choice, this is going to be the easiest and most convenient solution for most businesses but will probably come with a small charge.

If getting your photographer to do it for you isn’t option, then there are lots of online tutorials that can help you resize images using the software you have. Social media sites publish guides to help you get your images the right size, but we have summarised most of the major websites below and provided links to the relevant size guide page.


The dimensions below are in “pixels” and for a resolution of 72ppi



Profile Picture 180px X 180px

Cover Picture 851px X 315px

Link Image 1200px X 627px

Post Image 1200px X 1200px



Profile Picture 250px X 250px

Cover Image 1500px X 500px

Post Image 880px X 440px (Not to exceed 3MB)



Profile Picture 250px X 250px

Post Image 620px X 620px

Cover Image 1080px X 608px


And as an added bonus your LinkedIn profile picture should be 200px X 200px.

As I have mentioned above most websites will publish a size guide and quite a few will also provide a download to help you resize in photoshop. There are also other considerations when resizing and selecting images for upload such as display on mobile phones and tablets, safe zones and hidden areas. A good photographer will aways be more than happy to advise, re-size and help pick the best images for use on social media.

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