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Getting the Correct Thumbnail Image in Facebook Post

wrong Facebook imageEver had the wrong thumbnail image or no image appear when you post one of your articles to Facebook? Frustrating, isn’t it? It’s especially bad if you need to automate your publishing. You carefully research and craft a fantastic blog post and start distributing it on social media and other outlets, and then the Facebook image issue happens.  What the heck?

Why Isn’t Facebook Picking up the Correct Image?

Facebook scans the site’s header for Open Graph tags with post image information. The Open Graph code looks like this:

<metaproperty=”og:image’ content=http://abccompany.com/en/wp-content/uploads/yourimage.pgn”/>

One of the reasons may be the thumbnail image size. Facebook itself states this information about the Open Graph:

The URL of an image which is used in stories published about this object. We suggest that you give us an image of at least 600 x 315 pixels. However, bigger is better, so if you have a 1200 x 630 or larger image that you can use, please give it to us. Also, we recommend that you keep images as close to a 1.9:1 aspect ratio as possible to avoid cropping. (Note: image size must be no more than 5MB in size.)

The thumbnail image may not be recognized if it is smaller than the other images you have in the og:image tag.

Size is not the only reason for thumbnail images not being recognized:

  • Several caching plugins do not support use of thumbnails when uploading content to Facebook
  • CDN issues could obstruct correct thumbnail sharing
  • Lack of a meta tag associated with the open graph image

Three Possible Solutions to Incorrect Facebook Thumbnail Images


Manually Upload the Image

You can use the upload image feature to publish the image you want. This example is from a large image. The same feature is available for small images.

manual upload of Facebook post image

With this option you can get the correct image at the optimal size, but there are two tradeoffs. The image shows up in your page’s photo list. Also, when other people share the link the incorrect image may still show up. They would have to manually upload the image, which they will not do.

SEO by Yoast for WordPress Sites 

If you have a WordPress site and use Yoast’s plugin, you can specify the Facebook image. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to the Yoast metabox. Under the Social tab, you can upload a thumbnail image.

Yoast Facebook post image

This solution should solve the problem. If it does not, you will need to clear your Facebook cache.

Facebook Open Graph Object Debugger Tool

Facebook has developed a debugger tool to help with image issues.  Paste the URL of the post in the debugger tool. Click on Debug. Facebook will show you issues it finds. The most common issue will be

common Facebook image warning

You will see a preview of what Facebook has scraped.

debugged Facebook post preview

Then, paste the debugged URL into the Facebook post to get the proper image.

debugged Facebook post image

This method does not work all the time. Sometimes a website has other issues that prevent it.

We hope these solution options help solve your incorrect / no image Facebook thumbnail issue. An image that matches your post will better enhance your Facebook post for viewing and sharing. Happy Facebook posting!

About Jennifer Nash

Jennifer Nash is the owner and president of Living Business, a consulting business that focuses on the intersection of strategy, marketing and operations.