The original social network, Facebook, is a very suitable medium for marketing. If you want to convert Facebook users into customers, your visual strategy needs to be inch-perfect, which is easier done with stock photos.
Today, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Facebook stock photos to make sure your visuals deliver results.
An essential aspect to consider when creating images for marketing is to make sure they meet the standard image size specs of the desired medium. This is to maximize the use of available space, keep the design harmonic, and grant optimal resolution.
Facebook has different dimension requirements for each of the image slots it offers:
Facebook Cover Image
Also known as the “Facebook banner,” it’s the first significant image visitors see on your page – critical for social media marketing strategy, and it must portray your brand’s personality. The dimension differs from personal profile to fan page.
Facebook Page Cover: 1958 x 745 pixels; ratio 2.63:1
Facebook Profile Cover: 2037 x 754 pixels; ratio 2.7:1
Facebook Profile Image
It is the most critical one overall, the visible face of your brand across the whole platform. It’s a square image, but you must make sure it works well with a circled frame, as that’s how the thumbnail is everywhere next to your name and activity. Companies usually use a high-res version of their logo as a profile picture.
Facebook Profile Photo: 2048 x 2048 pixels; ratio 1:1
Facebook Post Image
When it comes to publishing images to appear on the news feed, there are three possible dimensions based on orientation. All aspects must be 2048 pixels wide, though.
Square: 2048 x 2048 pixels; ratio 1:1
Portrait: 2048 x 3072 pixels; ratio 1: 0.66
Landscape: 2048 x 1149 pixels; ratio 1: 1.78
Facebook Link Post Image
When you post a link on Facebook, the main image – the featured image– from that landing page gets included in the post. So knowing the dimension of this display helps ensure it looks great when shared.
Facebook Post Pictures: 1200 x 628 pixels; ratio 1: 1.91
Facebook Ad Image
There are different Facebook advertising slots, each with its image requirements. In all cases, there is a minimum and a recommended image size but no maximum. Keep in mind that text cannot represent more than 20% of the image.
Facebook Feed Ad:
- Minimum size 600 x 600 pixels; ratio 1:1
- Recommended size: 1080 x 1080 pixels; ratio 1.9:1 to 1:1 if image has a link / 1200 x 628, ratio 9:16 to 16:9 if there is no link
Facebook Carousel Ad:
- Minimum size: 600 x 600 pixels; ratio 1:1
- Recommended size: 1080 x 1080, ratio 1:1
Facebook Right Colum Ad (desktop only):
- Minimum size 600 x 600 pixels; ratio 1:1
- Recommended size: 1200 x 628 pixels, ratio 9:16 to 16:9 (no link involved), 1.91:1 (if there is a link)
Let’s cover the best practices to select stock images that hit the target and drive viral results!
Pro Tip: Learn the 5 mistakes to avoid in visual communication as well!
Pick Authentic Images
Social media users expect to see real content from real people. Instagram started this trend, and now all channels are about real imagery. Your stock images (even your custom-shot photos) need to reflect this.
Use Only Relevant Photos
All your marketing visuals should always be relevant to the message your brand, post, or ad is trying to deliver. Don’t include pictures just because they look good but because they deeply connect to what you want to communicate. Say you're working on a winter campaign design; you must make sure your images contain people dressed in warm clothes.
Make Them “Not Stock Photos”
Stock images still have a bit of a bad rep because they can be generic. But today’s stock photo sites have fantastic and super-current photos that you can customize as much as needed. You can edit a stock image in multiple ways –cropping, resizing, color tweaking, and filters– to make it look unique and on-brand.
Focus on your Audience
An essential in digital marketing is keeping in mind to whom you are talking. For example, if you’re catering to young adults, pictures of Generation Z teenagers will not engage them, but millennial photos will. The same goes for senior citizens.
Prefer Fresh Pictures
It’s always a good idea to go for newer and less widely used photos instead of more popular and evergreen ones every time they tick all the boxes from this list.
High-Quality is a Must
Aim to have the best, professional-looking pictures you can. High quality means high resolution, optimal technical quality, beautifully shot, and strong commercial appeal.
These are our picks in trusted sites to download stock images for Facebook that are royalty-free and thus affordable, professional, and safe to use.
Stock Photo Secrets Shop – Budget Friendly
Our Stock Photo Secrets Shop is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses looking to boost social network marketing. The high-quality, royalty free images paired with flexible pricing make it a wise choice!
Photocase – Unique Style
A German stock photo site specialized in unconventional images, Photocase has beautiful pictures for Facebook that you won’t find anywhere else.
Shutterstock – Commercial Ready
Shutterstock is a leading stock photo agency with one of the largest stock image catalogs on the web. Their commercial-ready pictures are ideal for Facebook advertising.
iStock – Exclusive Content
A pioneer in the stock photography industry, iStock is renowned for its two-fold library that splits into budget-friendly photos and high-value, exclusive pictures. All Facebook-worthy, of course.
Adobe Stock – Trendy Imagery
Adobe Stock is a stock photo service by Adobe that focuses on bringing the trendiest visuals for inspiring creatives into Creative Cloud apps. They have beautiful photos to use on Facebook!
123RF – Flexible Pricing
A well-established stock image provider, 123RF sells high-res, royalty free stock photos at affordable prices; it’s a great place to find images for your Facebook designs.
More info is in our 123RF review, and we also have an excellent 123RF coupon for a discount!
Note: You might feel like trying free stock photos from sites like Pexels or Unsplash. Keep in mind that their licenses aren’t as safe when using pictures for marketing and advertising. Royalty-free images are always superior for this.
We recommend these design tools to create Facebook graphics quickly and effortlessly. Most of them come with mobile or desktop apps, plugins, or extensions to work wherever you need them.
Canva is a popular, user-friendly design tool that doesn’t require previous knowledge to use. Canva Pro is the premium version aimed at businesses. It comes with tons of templates for Facebook covers, posts, and more that you can customize easily. Plus, it has unlimited downloads from its stock photo library and even a publishing tool to manage your Facebook posts directly. It comes with apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC.
Adobe Spark is an easy-to-use yet powerful design app that combines the main features of several, more complex Adobe tools. The Spark Post app lets you design Facebook graphics from ready-to-use templates, add stock images, and publish them effortlessly. It’s available for desktop, Android, and iOS so that you can design anywhere.
Get the full details in our Adobe Spark review!
Shutterstock Create (within Shutterstock Creative Flow)
Shutterstock Create is a simple yet powerful design tool provided by Shutterstock on the Shutterstock Creative Flow platform, which is a hub of online tools open to all users. Create includes lots of templates for Facebook visuals, plus it lets you resize stock images to Facebook standards in one simple click and test-edit photos from the Shutterstock library before licensing them, among other perks such as publishing a design directly from Create to your Facebook page. And, of course, it has all the necessary elements to make great visuals: add text, filters, cropping, custom elements such as logos, and more.
Creative Flow has a free-for-all version. However, it is limited. If you want full access to all features, you need Creative Flow+, the premium version, which costs $12.99/mo. But great news: Creative Flow+ is included FOR FREE with any Shutterstock subscription! If you subscribe to any download plan at Shutterstock, you'll unlock full access to Creative Flow+ at no added cost! This is a great offer to cease now since you can get your subscription at a lower price using our Shutterstock coupon code!
And even better, you can start your Shutterstock free trial and get 10 free images plus Creative Flow+, all completely free, for one month!
iStock developed their custom tool, the iStock Editor, for creatives to make excellent, simple graphics on a whim. It’s free and available for everyone but works only with iStock images so far. It’s straightforward to use and has it all to design Facebook visuals efficiently, from resizing to their particular dimensions to adding text and other elements.
Pixlr is a complete design app that handles photo editing and graphics creation. It comes with a rich library of templates that includes designs for Facebook visuals. Pixlr X is easy to use and intended for quick setups, and Pixlr E is for those who want more advanced editing power. Both are available on Android and iOS platforms so that you can design on your mobile phone too.
A well-rounded design platform, PicMonkey –which Shutterstock recently acquired– aims at solving all creative needs in one place and with a user-friendly approach. Their design templates include Facebook graphics of all kinds, and you can do everything from simple cropping and resizing to image retouching. It’s available for iPhones and Android phones, too.
And that’s everything you need to know for your Facebook visuals to be as perfect as they could be!