Once you realize that the thumbnail image shown along the top photo strip row of the Facebook fan page is not identical to the larger image viewed when clicking on the thumbnail, a world of potential marketing and promotional opportunities presents itself. The trick is to make the photo strip image look pleasing AND to make the resulting larger image effective at whatever your goal is. In our case, we wanted the larger image to brand our company, Outskirts Press, and we wanted to offer some information about each package, along with a URL for purchase.
To accomplish all these goals, you have to know the image dimensions for the optimal large image and the dimensions for the interior space pre-determined by Facebook as the thumbnail portion. This is a little tricky because the larger image is optimal when it is square and the thumbnail image is optimal when it is rectangular. Complicating matters further is the fact that Facebook doesn’t take the precise CENTER of the larger image to generate the thumbnail image; it skews high.
Your full image should be 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels high at 72 dpi. The image for your thumbnail should fall into a space that is 535 pixels wide by 375 pixels high at 72 dpi. This “thumbnail” graphic should not be centered, but rather off-set 90 pixels from the top and 93 pixels from either edge. This leaves you with 255 pixels below the thumbnail image for marketing/promotional purposes — content that will ONLY be seen in the larger view. Use the bottom 190 pixels for optimal visuals, although you should also leave a blank strip approximatley 25 pixels high along the very bottom because this is where Facebook is going to add its “Like/Comment/Tag Photo” overlay boxes, and you don’t want that stuff interfering with your image.
Was that too confusing? Perhaps a graphic will help. If you follow the directions above, you’re left with a template that looks roughly like this:
Tomorrow we’ll see what our new “Diamond” package graphic looks like once we follow this template…