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social media how toDo your images look good on all social platforms?

Are you making different images for each type of social share?

Creating one image that looks good on several networks saves time, money and improves your visibility.

In this article you’ll discover how to create one image to share across three social channels–Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Why Make One Image?

Images play an important role in social media marketing and many marketers today are investing in creating eye-catching images to share. But Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can have a dizzying number of recommended sizes.

Creating separate images to look good on each social channel can be time-consuming and costly.

optimize image for three social networks

Learn tips for optimizing a single image to work across three social networks.

Using one image across multiple social platforms is a great way for small businesses to look good and create visibility on social media similar to businesses with bigger budgets.

Follow these tips and you’ll take advantage of visuals to market your business on social media.

Preview Your Image Across Channels

Many marketers create one Facebook open graph–sized image to share across all social media channels.

Here’s an image created as a Facebook open graph image as it appears on Social Media Examiner.

open graph image on website

A Facebook open graph–sized image as it appears on a website looks great.

This image was created as a Facebook open graph image, so it looks beautiful when shared on Facebook.

open graph image on facebook

A Facebook open graph–sized image on Facebook looks great.

But how does the image look when it’s shared on other social platforms?

Open graph–sized images are similar to the image sizes for Twitter and LinkedIn, but not exactly the same.

Below is how this image appears on Twitter.

open graph image on twitter

A Facebook open graph image shared on Twitter is sliced off at the bottom.

When you share an article on Twitter, the image appears a little shorter. Twitter will chop off a bit of the image at the top and bottom. This means that if your image has your company signature, URL or logo at the bottom, it will likely be cropped off. This is not what you want, is it?

Here’s the same image as it appears when the article is shared on LinkedIn.

open graph image on twitter

A Facebook open graph–sized image as it appears on LinkedIn has the image cut off on the sides.

The LinkedIn image is narrower than the Facebook open graph image. When your article is shared on LinkedIn, the image appears with the sides cut off.

As you can see, if you use an image optimized for Facebook open graph without any modifications, it will not look its best when shared on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Here’s how you can create one image to fit well and look great when shared on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

#1: Start With Open Graph Dimensions

The best way to start with is the Facebook open graph image dimensions.

An open graph image is 560 x 292 and can be created using many tools including Adobe products, Canva, PicMonkey and others. There are simple techniques to make your images look great.

open graph dimensions on canva

Many tools are available for making images online, including Canva.

Tip: When creating an image, consider adding background layers and text. You can also upload icons and select a color palette. There are many great articles on creating shareable images.

#2: Make Your Text Fit

Here’s the magic trick to make your image look its best across all three platforms.

Make sure you place all of your text within the area shown across all three channels. This provides the best visibility for your image.

With a bit of math, you can figure out the overlapping areas. Here are the measurements you need to note.

overlapping image dimensions template

Adjust your image to fit best across all three social channels.

When you’re in the image creation software, make sure that all of your text has a 40-pixel buffer on either side and a 10-pixel buffer on the bottom. I cushion mine an extra 2-5 pixels on the bottom and 5-10 pixels on the sides, just for a bit of breathing room. Otherwise, your image touches the edges when it’s published on LinkedIn and Twitter.

overlapping image dimensions template

Working in image software, make sure your text is within the area seen across all three channels.

If you’re used to making optimized images for all channels, this may feel restrictive at first. But after you’ve done it a few times, you’ll feel comfortable using the new boundaries.

image dimension template

Image that stays within the parameters.

By creating an image with a cushion on three sides, you’ll go from having an image that works on only one channel to an image that appears specifically optimized for each channel it’s shared on.

#3: See How Your Image Renders

Once you have your image, share it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and see the results.

Here’s an image created with the overlapping parameters:

image on website

Original image as shown on the Social Media Examiner website.

Here’s how this image shows up across platforms.

image across facebook twitter and linkedin

This single image was optimized to appear like this across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

No company names were cut off the bottom in Twitter and no text was lost on the sides of the image in LinkedIn. All three channels now render the text in full and the image looks beautiful on all three channels.

How do your images look when shared?

Conclusion

With this simple technique, you can stop creating different images for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Instead, create one eye-catching image and it will look like it was made specifically for each channel when shared.

Improve your visual marketing across these main social channels so you can stand out.

What do you think? What are you doing to share images on social media? Are you using this technique? Will this help you with your visual marketing? Please share your comments below.

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  • Great Post !!!!!

    As, now image is the main source of marketing and designing an image which is compatible with all kind of social media is the need of hour. I get to know about various minor things which should be kept in mind while publishing images.

    Thanks for providing such a informative tips.!!!!!!!

  • I love this! Thanks for the tips. I would like to point out that Pinterest favors portrait images over landscape, so this one shared to Pinterest would show up pretty small.

  • Great discussion and with so many social platforms it’s becoming increasingly important to stand out – these details help everyone.

    However, I have a question.

    You mention the Facebook open graph image dimensions as 560×292.

    This differs from the dimensions Facebook recommends which is 1200×630. Even proportionally scaling down the Facebook recommended size doesn’t fit into 560×292 (unless my math is way off and it is early!).

    What have I missed? If you can clarify I’d really appreciate it.

    Cheers, Paul

  • I’m glad you found the tips helpful, Manni! I know when I made the switch it saved me about an hour each day because I no longer recreated the image for each platform. Celebration!! (Hey, it’s the little things, right?!)

  • Great point, S.J., Pinterest is still optimized around 700×1000 (vertical) pixels. If someone could figure out a way to create an image that would work across the horizontal platforms (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Pinterest, they might just rule the world! (And I’d want to know their insider secrets for sure!).

  • Great question, Paul! All the Facebook sizing options are dizzing! The 560×292 is often referred to as the “open graph size”. I selected it specifically because it’s similar in ratio to Twitter and LinkedIn. And then the boundaries for the text became a natural extension. My friend, Erik Fisher, can go into great depth on all the Facebook sizes and he’s the one who actually sat down and did the math to figure out the boundaries. This way of creating images rocked my world and I hope it works for your needs, too!

  • @KJAmmerman:disqus, that would be awesome!

  • Wouldn’t it be?! I think it’s possible…if you can figure out how with a vertical size that auto-crops for the horizontal channels. I haven’t cracked that code, though. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  • Thank you for the follow up, I appreciate it. I agree this is going to make a difference. Right now I create multiple versions of the same image which kind of sucks!

    Cheers, Paul

  • awesome !

  • Mindy Peltier

    Perfect timing. This morning I created a beautiful graphic in PicMonkey and shared on social media channels. Looked great on Facebook and Pinterest, was cut off in Twitter. Now I know what to do! Thanks.

  • Thank you, Shaun!

  • Great – I’m so glad you found the article useful! May I ask what size image you created? I’m wondering what you selected that looked good on Pinterest *and* Facebook.

  • Timely post! Today, I had to look up the dimensions for a Twit pic. 🙂 It would be nice if all of the social networks used the same image dimensions. But I guess if they did, it would be too easy and a bit boring.

    I love using Canva (uploading images was funky today) because you can plugin your dimensions and tweak it for various social networks.

  • It’s a time-suck for sure! When I first tried this and was checking the channels and saw that it worked…I was doing cartwheels! (Okay, okay, I was cheering in my head…no actual cartwheels).

  • Giovanna

    Thank you this is very useful. 🙂

  • Very useful! But which format do you recommend saving the image as (Web optimized JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.). My images never look as good on LinkedIn as they do on Facebook or Twitter. I suspect LinkedIn is using a more aggressive compression algorithm. Any suggestions? Thanks

  • TheEducatorsSpinOnIt

    Thanks for sharing your technique Kristen! I may just have to write a piece on how you take this concept to optimize on Pinterest!

  • TheEducatorsSpinOnIt

    Thanks for sharing your technique Kristen! I may just have to write a piece on how you take this concept to optimize on Pinterest!

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  • Thanks, Amandah! I wouldn’t complain if the platforms had some consistent dimensions. ha ha! Canva is great because you can put in exact dimensions. I wish they would allow me to crop and blow-up an image (I can do it in PicMonkey…just sayin’).

  • Great question, Annie. What are you using? I use .png images, but I would have thought that .jpg would work just as well.

  • Y-E-S! I tip my hat to you for even attempting it. If you can figure out how to make an image that will work across multiple platforms, including Pinterest…ahhh…how cool would that be?!

  • Thank you, Giovanna!

  • Huh, Thanks for the link Christian.

    The plot thickens!

  • Charmane Bethune

    This post was extremely helpful! I just discovered Canva and I have been using it to create marketing visuals for the business I work for. I have already made ten identical visuals for our Facebook, Twitter, And Instagram. Now that I know about open graph sizing I can now make one marketing visual instead of ten. Thanks!

  • I agree. I’d also like to change the Save settings too. 🙂

  • Yay! I wrote this article for people like me who were spending a big chunk of their day writing images. I hope this works as well for you as it did for me!

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  • @paul_tomes:disqus and @ckarasiewicz:disqus – It looks like the 1280×720 is roughly the same ratio as the open graph (although, I’ve never been accused of being a mathematician). So the difference is that you’ll have to calculate how many pixels cushion you’ll need in the bigger size (about 2.5 times more pixels for the cushion). I would guess that a bigger size would work if you adjust the cushion. Although, I had someone tweet me earlier that adjusting the size messed up the rendering (specifically for rendering on mobile devices).

    Here is a website Erik refers to: jonloomer (dot) com/2013/09/11/facebook-link-thumbnail-image-dimensions/. I pinky-promise that the 560×292 is legit ;). However, if you use the bigger size and it works, please do share! The bigger size may work better for some people.

  • LouiseCrooks

    this is awesome, so simple but really useful! Thank you!

  • LouiseCrooks

    this is awesome, so simple but really useful! Thank you!

  • I’m glad you find it helpful! It’s so easy to implement and has saved me a lot of time 🙂

  • I didn’t select anything. 🙂 I used a photograph I took of Mount Rainier that was 1019 x 650 pixels. I am going to check out Canva next. I’m a PicMonkey fan, but it has some limitations. Thanks, again!

  • Great idea, Kristin–don’t you love those ah-ha moments?! Thanks for working out all the numbers and details to make everyone’s lives a little easier.

  • Cindy Harley

    I wanted to ask a question, when creating these images are you using a program – to schedule the images to go out. I know if you schedule through Hootsuite, the images come out as a link. Does that mean you must only post on Twitter at twitter.

  • Thank you, Kristin! Love the discussion here. Making custom images for social shares just got easier 🙂

  • Great article. One of the hardest things to nut down is the dimensions across all platforms.

    An area that needs work is across devices – I notice the biggest issues on Twitter where on Desktop the image is on the bottom left and on mobile it’s smack bang in the middle.
    A style guide to overcome these constraints would be awesome!

  • Thank for sharing Kristin,

    That’s what I am looking for, a best single dimension image for a blog post that could fit to any social network.

    It’s a magic, I will try it out for my next blog post.

  • Per my comment above, I was thinking that it would be nice to upscale the dimensions? I think the aspect ratio is more important in this case but I had not heard the term “open graph size” until today. If my calculations are correct could we also use 1200×626 or would that crop the image on places like LinkedIn?

  • Thanks, Jennifer! It was a slow evolution, but then when we got it figured out, we were smacking out heads like “why didn’t we think of this sooner”? I’m glad it’s saving some serious time for people!

  • Thank you, Cindy!!

  • Thank you, Glenn! I was thinking the same thing! To my knowledge, no one has created a style guide. It’s probably due to the fact that social channels change-it-up so you’d have to track all the social channels and update, update, update. With all the small development changes they each make, it’s hard to keep up.

    If you create one, let me know!!

  • Thanks, Santel! When we figured it out here at SME, I was so excited! Only those in the world of image creation know what a time-saver this can be. I hope this technique works for your business needs, too!!

  • I just did some tests and was wondering if there are any exceptions to these finding when using tools like Buffer. In other words, when you’re not posting directly to the social media platform does this effect the cropping?

  • Great article KJ. The switch to Canva alone has saved me tons of time, but this guide will definitely make life a lot easier!

  • Excellent post Kristin!

    It is interesting, because much of what you have mentioned also applies to when including an image within a press release. Every distribution channel is different and also displays differently and having your image not only optimized for social media, however news distribution is well is important.

    Your point about buffering is also extremely important and a great point. We have seen many images with no buffer space that look atrocious.

    Thank you for a wonderful post!

    Michael
    24-7 Press Release Newswire

  • I just want to add what a great site this is. I know I
    can always find something of value here. Thanks for your post I especially like
    #3

  • This is a very informative article and quite helpful for posting the correct size graphics across some platforms. It is a bit funny however that you do not have one pin-worthy graphic on this post. Nothing vertical.

    I can tell you that the graphics you offer here get lost on the boards I pinned them to and they look even worse in my MailChimp newsletter. They are minuscule in a 2 or 3 column newsletter. I debated sharing this with my community for a long time. But finally thought the info outweighed the graphics.

    Thank you for always providing use with useful content. The information is still important and I appreciate being able to count on SocialMediaExaminer for helpful posts.

  • Very helpful tip Kristin.
    You are right images are the most important & impressive thing in social media, which help us to attract reader attention.

  • StartupCatchup

    Another awesome post! Your point to “make sure that all of your text has a 40-pixel buffer on either side and a 10-pixel buffer on the bottom” is really key as well. It’s an eaasy step to miss and really influences the outcome big time!

  • Brilliant. This makes so much sense. Thank you for doing the math.

  • I am not sure that would work…I think Twitter would still pull the “middle” of the graphic but Facebook definitely switches over at some point to having just a tiny little thumbnail of the long image.

  • I’m glad you’re going to give it a try, Ashley! I hope it saves you buckets of time 🙂

  • Thank you, Stelios! Yes, it is a good idea to double check your posts to make sure everything went according to plan and they look as fabulous as one intended!

  • I’m not sure how scheduling tools will affect it. I would love to hear if you test it with different tools and how it turned out!

  • Looking forward to hearing from you via social, Craig 🙂

  • I didn’t think about it applying to Press Releases as well, but it makes sense. Different channels have different requirements for rendering content. Is there a place that lists out the different sizes for Press Releases? I’d be interested to check it out. Thanks, Michael!

  • I do create a separate vertical graphic for Pinterest. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out a way to do the vertical images that auto-crop perfectly for the smaller, horizontal platforms.

    Thank you for sharing with your audience Debi! I hope they find it helpful!

  • Thanks, James! I personally think there is a lot of great content on the web and images will help one’s article stand-out from all the rest 🙂

  • Thanks, Anita! I talked it through with my co-worker, Erik Fisher. He was the one who actually crunched the numbers (thank goodness!!). We were seeing that the open graph size was working across platforms (hooray) so I’m glad we took it another step and set aside time to calculate the overlapping areas. Voila!

  • debbie

    I’m trying to make an image for a commerce button in Weebly but the program keeps stretching it. I’ve tried support but I don’t think they know what I’m talking about. Any help or ideas?

  • I wish I could help you, Debbie, but I don’t use Weebly. I know how frustrating it can be sometimes. So sorry!!

  • Awesome article! Very timely for me. I’m testing out a WordPress plugin called NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) which as a baby brother called WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (without sharing buttons). Might be helpful for social sharing of correct image sizes for various social platforms…

  • Thanks that was really helpful and I am going to give it a try for my next post

  • Rosie

    Thank you!

  • Awesome, thank you Kristin.

    I’ve prepared all my posts’ images with Photoshop now but wondering if there were an online or desktop app to automate this process. I only saw links for mobile apps in comments.

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this article. Thanks so much!

  • Thank you! I just spent the last hour googling for this answer and I all I got were recommended post sizes for each platform.

  • This image size is too small. My iPhone 5s is 640px wide.

  • Several people have told me they have created templates in Photoshop to automate this process. Let us know if you come up with a great solution 🙂

  • The open graph size I use is 560×292 and works best for my clients using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If you are utilizing other social channels, another size might work best.

  • Joni A Solis

    Shane, how did the testing go with the plugin? Thanks!

  • Joni A Solis

    Is this still working or did any of the sites make more changes to their image sizes now? Thanks!

  • Thanks for share KJ. where have you been ? I want to know about a ideal image size that works on all social media channels. Now on-words 560 x 292 will be my fix image size for every post. it will help me a lot, to save my time.

  • Dawn

    Yay ! I was just looking for this info the other day. Figuring out the exact cross platform logistics was tough. Thanks! 🙂

  • Does this size also work for Google+ or does it still need its own pic?

  • jge

    Great article. What about phones? Someone noticed that LinkedIn photos come up differently on phones and you have to tap on the image to see the whole image… I am trying to look into this, thought maybe you had some insight.

  • Is there a 2016 update? Because Open Graph comes from Facebook and that is now 1200*630 but for twitter the advised size is 440×220. That’s a huge difference.

  • Grace Duffy
  • Thanks, but unfortunately not a single size for every purpose. I have been testing the Facebook open graph size 1200×630 and that works pretty well on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ on the regular website. Mobile is a different story and there is also a difference in posting just an image or open graph post image. grrr 🙁