One of the things that has always frustrated me when sharing content on Facebook is controlling the Facebook link thumbnail that is generated when you post a link on your Facebook Page.
This can be particularly frustrating if you’re sharing a link to a website that has an image that is perfectly optimized for Facebook, yet Facebook doesn’t seem to find the image.
As a result, you’re left to either upload your own image like this Facebook post or deal with an image that doesn’t fit the space like the one you see below.
Previous Facebook link thumbnail images
Bad image, bad message
While you’re at Facebook’s mercy for images, ultimately, this can affect how fans see your brand.
For example, if I chose to go with the improperly sized image from above, I’m basically sending the message to my fans that I don’t care how my content looks. I just want them to read it.
Posting quality content is ideal. It is equally important when sharing content on Facebook to have rock-solid images as well. These include the Facebook link thumbnail image Facebook sees when you share a link, photos included on photo posts, etc.
If you’re stuck in this situation, you have three options.
Option 1: Go with the images Facebook finds
While option 1 is the easiest to do, it can do the most harm to your brand because of the message it sends to fans – you don’t care.
Option 2: Facebook photo post
The second option is a little better. It does mean you’ll need to create a new, larger image (we recommend 600×600 px). In this situation, you’ll end up with a large image that’s visually appealing. To include your link, simply paste your link in the status update box and post it.
I like this option, but it means you need a graphics program (or a designer) to create something for you. You’ll also be devoting more time to finding images that fit the size of the post.
Option 3: Use a custom Facebook link thumbnail image
Hopefully you’re not satisfied with the first two options because option 3 is exactly what you need.
If Facebook happens to return images that are not properly sized, instead of settling, you can upload your own now. This way you can determine what Facebook link thumbnail image gets associated with your posts.
3 steps to creating a custom Facebook link thumbnail
Step 1: Go to your Facebook Page
Step 2: Test your Facebook link thumbnail images
On your Facebook Page, paste in the URL you want to share.
Facebook will bring back the images it finds.
If you don’t like what they find, it’s time to upload your own!
Step 3: Create an image for your Facebook link thumbnail
Open your favorite graphics editor and create an image that is 180×180 px.
Save it as a PNG, JPG, or GIF
Step 4: Select Upload Image and select your new Facebook link thumbnail
Step 5: Post it!
Who can customize a Facebook link thumbnail image?
At the moment, only Facebook Pages can upload a custom Facebook link thumbnail image. I find this feature to be very useful and expect this feature to be rolled out across Facebook Profiles and Facebook Pages at some point in the near future.
Question: What do you think about this new customization option for Facebook Page posts? Do you think you’ll use it? Let me know by leaving a comment here.