Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Images

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Images

Visual content is where it’s at. I mean, how boring would Instagram be if you were just scrolling through screeds of text?

And while written content is still important, without images to draw attention and give context, our social media feeds would be pretty dull.

But it’s not enough to just upload any old image and be done with it. If your photo is stretched, skewed, blurry, or cut off, it’s going to change the perception of your brand. On top of that, we need to ensure we aren’t stealing other people’s photos for our feeds!

This blog helps you navigate all the requirements of using images in your social media channels. You will find out the various image sizes for each platform, get tips on how to resize your pics, and discover where to source fantastic legal images.

Ready to get your social media posts looking pristine? Let’s go!


The Importance of High-Quality Social Media Images

Want your business to be remembered? Of course you do! Well, using images in your content is a sure-fire way to be memorable.

Research shows that if people hear a piece of information, they will probably only remember about 10% of it three days later. However, if a relevant image is part of that info, people retain about 65% of the information after three days.

By posting on social media, you are also aiming for engagement, like shares, comments, and likes, right?

Again, images are the answer. Facebook Posts containing images get 2.3x more engagement than those without, and Tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without!


Social Media Image Sizes By Platform

So, you know you should be using photos in your feed, now to make sure they are optimised. Your audience will definitely not be impressed with an awkwardly sized, blurry, pixelated image. Getting it wrong makes you look unprofessional.

Here’s a run-down on the ideal sizes for the various social media images you are most likely to use:



Profile Picture (Personal and Business): 180 x 180

Cover Photo (Personal and Business): 820 x 312

Shared Image: 1200 x 630

Shared Link: 1200 x 628



Profile Picture: 110 x 110 (Square image, keep an aspect ratio of 1:1)

Photo Thumbnails: Appear on page at 161 x 161 pixels

Photo Size for Feed: 1080 x 1080

-          If you use square or rectangular images, keep the aspect ratio from 1:1 to 1.91:1

-          If using portrait photos (4:5), the ideal dimensions are 1080 x 1350 pixels

Stories: 1080 x 1920 (Aspect ration 9:16)



Personal Profile Photo: 300 x 300 (Maximum file size 10 MB)

Personal Background Image: 1548 x 396 (Maximum size 4 MB)

Company Logo Image: 300 x 300 (Square layout. Maximum 4 MB)

Company Cover Image: 1128 x 191 (Maximum File Size 4 MB)

Shared Image or Link: 1200 x 627



Channel Profile Photo: 800 x 800

Channel Cover Photo: 2048 x 1,152 (Maximum File Size 4 MB)



Profile Picture: 165 x 165 (Maximum 10 MB)

Pin Size: The width is limited but not the length.

-          Recommended aspect ratio is 2:3 to 1:3.5

-          Expanded pins have a minimum width of 600 pixels, so you’ll need a height of 900 px to maintain the aspect ratio.

Board Display: 222 x 150 pixels (large thumbnail). 55 x 55 (smaller thumbnail)


How To Resize Social Media Images

Not everyone has the time, patience, or technical know-how to resize each image for every single platform.

Luckily, there are some great tools out there that can do it for you quickly and easily.

Here are a few to try out:

Landscape by Sprout Social – free drag and drop tool

Pic Resize – a free online tool for resizing and cropping

BlogStomp – a cloud-based tool with a ton of features

Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom – paid tools with extensive resizing and editing capabilities


Where To Source Legal Images For Social Media

Don’t have the time or skills to take your own photos for every social media platform? Don’t be tempted to “borrow” other people’s images! Not only is this illegal, but it’s also downright unethical to use the hard work of others to boost your own biz.

And no, it’s not enough to just tag or link to the original work: you need to ensure you have the legal right to every single image you post.

Online platforms that provide legal photos to content creators are the answer. These sources make it easy to post quality professional images guilt-free!

Here are some of the best:

Unsplash.com – free to use creative commons graphics

Flickr Creative Commons – free to use if you attribute the photographer

Burst – free stock photo platform by Shopify

Pexels – free images that you can use and modify without attribution

Pixabay – huge range of free images with a variety of conditions

Canva – an online graphic design tool offering a range of free and paid graphics


You can also use paid stock image libraries – or, of course, upskill and take your own photos! If you would like more information on the legal side of image use, check out this informative blog by Hootsuite.

If you would like to know more about how you can incorporate images into your overall social media strategy, then let’s chat!