What does it take to create pictures and backgrounds for Facebook and Twitter? This how-to guide will explain how to size photos, go over guidelines, and share professional tips on optimization.
As mentioned in a previous post, design is a crucial component for every online asset. Excellent design builds trust and personal connection to brands. And consumers are more likely to support businesses with smart-looking websites, logos, products and services.
This includes all social networks where a business holds its presence. Social networks are extensions of every brand and must be designed as such.
Twitter Designs and Image Sizes
The Twitter profile picture is imperative since it is the primary picture or design everyone sees. For a small business, the best kind of profile picture is the company logo or a customized picture of the owner – depending on what type of business it is.
If you are a real-estate broker with a large firm, an up-close facial picture is better than the company logo. But if the Twitter account is representing an entire business, then the logo is best suited. Regardless, the profile picture should rarely be changed. If you want followers to associate the business easily, it is best to pick a logo or professional picture and keep it.
The dimensions for a Twitter profile picture are tricky because it is seen in six different sizes. But the largest and most important size is the actual profile picture slot at 128 pixels x 128 pixels. Save it at 72 dpi, which will ensure the best quality for an online viewed picture.
Side Profile Picture (Optional)
The side profile is a static picture of relevant information designed into the Twitter background. It can be laid on top of the background design, but looks best if it appears to be part of the background.
Not everyone uses a side profile, but most professionals incorporate it for additional information. It is a great way to display Pinterest, Facebook and any other social media network links.
The dimensions for the side profile are customizable according to your needs in terms of length, but it is best to not make it wider than 125 – 150 pixels.
Twitter background pictures are as vital as the profile picture – both pictures should be designed to blend together. It is the perfect place to showcase business pictures, themes or beautiful illustrations. But the background image must relevant to the company branding and not tacky. Less is more when it comes to design.
The optimal dimension size is 1600 pixels x 1000 pixels. It covers the big screen users – anything smaller may leave blank space.
Twitter profile and background pro tips
- When using facial profile pictures – focus on the face.
- Look happy! It may appear cool peeps do not smile, but this is a social network. Happy smiles are inviting.
- Use good lighting and composition. This is not a personal Twitter account – save the noir look. Make it clean, simple and bright.
- If a logo is the best choice, make sure it is centered and easily recognizable from far away.
- Keep any important information left aligned on Twitter backgrounds to ensure the audience sees it.
- Use the .PNG format to save on file size for the background picture, .JPGs use more space.
- Match text (called Background in Settings/Design) and link colors to match company branding, but keep them simple.
Facebook Pages Designs and Image Sizes
Similar to Twitter, the Facebook page profile picture is an essential piece for every business account. It is the picture fans associate with the business, and it is the thumbnail people recognize in their timeline stream. It must be simple, direct and of superb quality.
The best choice for a small business is the company logo, unless the business is part of a larger brand. As a salesperson or real estate agent, the best choice would be an inviting professional facial picture.
The dimensions can be just about any size because Facebook automatically shrinks the picture down to 160 pixels x 160 pixels, but the quality must be maintained. The recommended size is 300pixels x 300 pixels, which guarantees the picture can be blown up or shrink down without losing its clarity.
The profile picture of a Facebook fan page should rarely, if ever be changed – especially if it is a logo. Over time fans come to recognize the picture and rely on it.
Custom Tab Pictures
Tab pictures are the little thumbnails located beneath the cover photo. They can be changed around in a preferred order to hide one or replace it with a different design.
Simply click on the down button and it will open up the rows of thumbnails. Then click on the plus sign and rearrange or choose a specific design for the picture.
At 111 pixels x 74 pixels, the designs must be legible for users.
Shared pictures are not an easy fit, but if sized correctly, look professional. This is a nitpicky move, but one that can make a huge difference in terms of aesthetics.
The dimensions for a shared photo are 403 pixels x 403 pixels.
Highlight & Milestone Photos
These pictures are strewn about the Facebook page to mark important events throughout the history of the business.
Most brands, especially small businesses, have yet to take advantage of filling in the timeline and uploading these pictures. They grab the attention of fans and when compiled together, tell the story of a brand.
The dimensions are 843 pixels x 403 pixels
The hottest effect of the Facebook Timeline layout is the ultra-large cover photo. It is meant to nab the viewer’s attention and lure them into your world. It is crucial to ensure it is a first-rate representation of the company brand and culture.
The cover photo can be used for a host of marketing ideas, but the design must stay within the Facebook guidelines. However, it can express what the business does, make personal connections by invoking emotional reactions, display pictures of the company’s charity work (in action) or the inspirational story of an employee, show how much the business appreciates its fans, celebrate a holiday or share a huge THANK YOU. There are unlimited ways to use the cover picture to grab the attention of a viewer and make them a fan for life.
The dimensions are 851 pixels x 351 pixels. Spend the time to size these pictures correctly to display them at the highest quality. The worst first impression is a fuzzy cover photo.
Facebook page pro tips
- Pay attention to Facebook rules and regulations for cover pictures (outlined below). Non-compliance could result in the deletion of your business page.
- Do not allow fuzzy, distorted or low-quality pictures to reside anywhere on the page. This is about business, and your business pays attention.
- Do not only post pictures related to the business; share funny or inspirational quotes and videos.
- Do not be afraid to go a little Photoshop crazy with the levels and brightness settings. Touch up important pictures and make them look glamorous.
- Make sure to save ALL pictures at 72 dpi to optimize them for the Internet.
- Create a cool cover picture that flows in or out of the profile picture.
Facebook guidelines for cover photos
- Cover pictures cannot be copyrighted work. Use your own pictures or designs.
- May not include any prices or purchasing information. Cover photos are not the place to advertise.
- Check out the Facebook advertising rules before conducting promotions or offers.
- Website addresses, emails, mailing address or other contact information cannot be placed on the cover picture. Facebook wants it to be allocated to the About section.
- Cannot use cover photos to reference Facebook features such as “Like”, “Share”, or have arrows pointed down.
- No calls to action anywhere on the cover picture. Be careful with the action verbs.
- Businesses MUST create a Facebook Page and NOT a Facebook profile. Profiles are only to be used for individuals not conducting a business or anything business-related.
- Remember, Facebook has the right to delete the account if it violates any of these offenses. Be cautious and check out the policies if you are uncertain.
Have any feedback on this information? Is any of it wrong or do you disagree with me? Let me know!