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Making Better Graphics for Social Media.

Aliza Sherman is a new media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.

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Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman is a new media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the new media industry and their participation on the Internet.

Making Better Graphics for Social Media

Making Better Graphics for Social Media

Social Media Marketing is highly visual, with photographs and video dominating social network feeds as well as illustrations and other graphics. Most small business owners are not professional photographers, videographers or graphic designers, so producing visuals for social media can be challenging. Add to that challenge the fact that each social network requires different sized images for cover images, profile images and posts. What might look great on Facebook could look less attractive on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Knowing the right shapes and dimensions required by each social network and then developing individual files for each one can instantly improve both the appearance of your social network accounts as well as the effectiveness of the visuals you’re using in your posts.

Here’s a run down of ideal social media image sizes and shapes including a few tricks for streamlining your image creation.


Facebook Cover Images – The cover image is the larger image at the top of your Facebook Page – appears as 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on your Page on computer screens and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones. Creating your cover image as 828x315 pixels is optimal and it will automatically be sized down for smaller screens.

Facebook Profile Images – Most companies tend to use their logo as their profile image, but make sure that your logo is still clear when reduced to the smaller sizes in the news feed and when viewed on smaller screens. Sometimes, a portion of your logo enlarged is more suitable for a profile image or a photograph or other representative graphic. The file shape for profile images should be square and at least 170x170 pixels. The shape of the file is different than the shape of the design itself so even if your logo or profile image appears round, oval or another shape, the actual file itself should be square.

Facebook Post Images – While you can upload square images to your Facebook posts – and 800x800 pixels is the optimal size – the post image will appear cut off when someone views the post in their news feed and only a middle portion of the image appears. Landscape rectangular images that are 1200x627 will appear in their entirety in the news feed. Using images that are 600x400 pixels or 600x300 pixels can also work.


Twitter Header Images – The Header image on Twitter is like Facebook’s Cover image, however, the dimensions are quite different. Use 1500x500 pixel images for best results.

Twitter Profile Images – Like Facebook, you want to use square files and at least 400x400 pixels in size.

Twitter Tweet Images – While some recommend using images 1024 x 512 pixels, you can actually get away with 600x400 or 600x300. Streamline your process by using the same images you use for your Facebook posts when appropriate.


Instagram Profile Photo – Instagram doesn’t let you customize your account page in the same way as Facebook or Twitter so you are limited to your bio photo. Use the same principles as you do for Facebook and Twitter profile images, that is, upload a square file with an image that reduces clearly, but you can use an image as small as 110x110 pixels. Keep in mind that Instagram will save the image within a round window so double check how your profile image lines up. If it is cut off, recreate the image with a little more white space around it so it appears properly.

Instagram Posts – Instagram used to only accommodate square images, however, they now allow three different image dimensions. The square image is still the most popular, and you want to make sure your image is at least 600x600 pixels. The recommended size is actually 1080x1080 pixels. Vertical images should be 1080x1350 pixels and horizontal ones should be 1080x566 pixels.


Pinterest Profile Image – Like Instagram, Pinterest doesn’t offer a Cover or Header image to brand your Pinterest account page so you are limited to a small profile image. Like Instagram, your profile image is contained within a round window. Minimum dimensions for your profile image should be 165x165 pixels.

Pinterest Pins – Pinterest allows the greatest variety of image sizes but most ideally are at least 600 pixels wide. Height varies and very tall vertical images work well in the Pinterest feed. Pinterest suggests an image aspect between 2:3 and 1:3.5. Google “Aspect Ratio Calculator” to calculate dimensions that fit those parameters.

As you can see, there are many variables to the image dimensions for various popular social networks. One way to save time is to create templates for each size to use as a guide as you edit your images to suit each network.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman