Crappy Image Cropping on Facebook posts with links? The 20% rule makes your posts POP!
Putting links on your posts is a critical part of your marketing strategy. Without that link so Fans can click to go to your website, event registration, blog, etc it is just a picture. Links with your images turn entertainment into marketing and Marketing is what your Fans expect and a business needs.
Facebook has recently changed their image formatting so that when you add a link to your image it autoloads information and crops your image to make room. Most images don’t survive the cropping and important elements get cut off. Many are resorting to removing links to keep images looking good which defeats the point of Social Marketing, but keeping the link damages the brand. What to do???
What to do - the 20% rule
Thank goodness Facebook is ran by a computer and contrary to the idea that computers are all thinking and all knowing they are, in fact, quite dumb and predictable. Facebook has a 20% rule for cropping images which works slightly differently for Portrait and Landscape orientation. Note you should always use Landscape as it is preferred for all social sites. But here is the guideline for both Portrait and Landscape. Here is a simple tool for the 20% check http://www.social-contests.com/check-image/
Portrait oriented images are cropped on the top and bottom. This requires creating an additional 20+% of space on the top and bottom of your image to avoid cropping. The red inset on the left image is how it appears on Facebook when posted with a link. To ensure that it is not cropped I put the image into the 20% checker to see how much I needed to add to the top and bottom to avoid cropping. Note: for Portrait orientation images adding space on the sides does not change the cropping.
Landscape images are also cropped on the top and bottom. The red inset on the right is how it appears on Facebook with a link. Notice the image is only cropped on the bottom 20%. However when a 20% buffer is applied to the bottom it forces the top to get cropped and so 20% buffer on top and bottom is still required.
And the winner is?!
Hint, you don’t need Photoshop to fix your pics. If you have an image cropping tool like MS snipping tool or Pic Monkey just put your image in any document or email and then clip it and add 20% on the appropriate edges. It doesn’t matter the background colour as it will be cropped out in the final post.