More than ever before, brands need to keep on top of the latest image guidelines to make sure their social marketing is as effective as possible. Luckily for you, we've created this handy infographic, the first in a series, to keep you right!

One of the key trends in digital marketing in recent years has been the increasing importance of imagery when it comes to social media.

Alongside dedicated image-sharing platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, the effective use of visuals has become increasingly important in getting a user’s attention on the crowded Facebook and Twitter feeds. Research has shown that photos and images account for 77% of brand engagement on these platforms.

It is therefore more important than ever before to keep on top of how images are displayed on your social networks, giving you and your brand the best chance to make the most of your marketing and content efforts.

Luckily for you, we at Only Digital are well up to speed with the latest specifications. To help you, we’ve pulled together the first in a series of guides to make sure you are using your social networks to the potential.

Today we are covering the daddy of social media – Facebook.

Facebook image sizes 2015

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Profile images

This is the square image which Facebook uses to represent you throughout the network. As the image tends to be quite small, we recommend sticking to something that is instantly recognisable as you, most likely your company logo.

The minimum upload size is 180x180 pixels, but you can upload images with a different aspect ratio and Facebook will let you crop out the part you wish to use.

Cover images

This is the large image displayed on your page. This is a great space to be creative and really show off your brand – use it to feature special offers, campaigns or new products, or just use it to show a more personal side to your company.

Keep in mind that a portion of the cover image is hidden by the profile image, so mark out a safe area when creating the image. Alternatively, there are many brands and users who have come up with some very clever ways of integrating their profile and cover image.

The image is displayed at 851x315 pixels; the minimum upload size is 399x150 pixels, but we would advise avoiding this as the image will be stretched to fit.

Shared images

Image sharing is one of the most common interactions on Facebook by both brands and users alike. The benefit of sharing images is they will help your post stand out on the busy newsfeeds, and are proven to provide greater engagement with your followers.

The recommended upload size is 1,200x630 pixels. However, the image will be resized to a maximum width or height of 470x470 pixels (displaying in a 1:1 aspect ratio) in the newsfeed and 504x504 pixels on your page.

Shared links

Sharing links to sites is one of Facebook’s most frequently used features. Recently, the way links were displayed in the feed was changed, requiring a bit more preparation by webmasters and developers to ensure maximum exposure.

Previously, when posting a link, Facebook would automatically choose images on your site that its crawlers thought best represented your content, displaying in a square box to the left of the link text. This then evolved to allow you to upload your own choice of image.

But towards the end of last year this feature was modified again, removing the option to choose an image when posting. Instead, when creating the page on your website, you can now select a custom image for Facebook and other networks to use when sharing your page using the Open Graph Protocol (OGP). The Google Developers site has a good overview of the approach required here.

The maximum size you can use is 1,200x630 pixels, will display in your news feed at a maximum size of 470x246 pixels, and 485x252 pixels on your Facebook page.

Next we will be covering best practice for Twitter – watch this space!