You’ve built your Facebook Page and you’re working hard to post content that is relevant and valuable to your audience. But are you overlooking a prime piece of real estate that you could use more consistently as part of your Facebook strategy?
Your Facebook cover photo is not a “set and forget” proposition. It is an opportunity to reinforce your branding, communicate special offers or launches, or promote calls-to-action to inspire your followers to engage with your business further.
Changing your Facebook cover photo is an opportunity to communicate with your audience (as it appears in their Facebook News Feed as other posts do), but it also provides the all-important first impression if people click through to visit your page.
First things first – what is the Facebook Cover Photo
It’s the large image at the top of your Facebook Page which also shows up if you link to your Facebook Page from within Facebook. It also appears is when people hover over your tagged page name in their news feed or when you are tagged in posts.
Why Is The Facebook Cover Photo Important?
The cover photo is the first impression people get when they visit your Facebook page (and profile, for that matter). It’s a public photo, meaning anyone who visits your page will see it.
Your cover photo is a chance to inspire people to like your page and to browse and find out more about you. It’s also a valuable branding opportunity, reinforcing your brand, its personality and aspects of your business.
When you change your Facebook cover photo, the new photo can appear in your followers’ news feeds, as with any photo posted to your page.
How To Create An Effective Facebook Cover Photo
Your cover photo has specific dimensions – it’s 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels high. So make sure the image you use has these dimensions or it will be distorted or cropped and parts of your message may be lost.
Also consider that your page’s profile photo covers the bottom left corner of your cover photo, and the bottom right hand side is covered by the Like Button, Call To Action Button, Message button and others.
On mobile, even more of the right hand side of the text is cut off (and a significant number of users access Facebook via their mobile).
So when creating your image, ensure that the most important information or part of the image is in the centre of the photo, towards the top. And don’t forget to test it – not just on your desktop or laptop, but also on mobile, to make sure that people (especially those on mobile) are catching the most important parts of the image.
Don’t over clutter your cover photo. Simple is often the most effective. When Facebook cover photos were first introduced, you were not allowed to have more than 20% text in the images. While Facebook has relaxed those rules, it’s still a good guideline. Don’t be tempted to overload your images with too much text.
A few golden rules of Facebook cover photos include:
- It should be eye-catching. It is the first impression your page offers visitors – and is the key to encouraging them to hang around and like your page.
- It should reinforce your branding.
- It should give visitors a clear picture of who you (and/or your business) are and what you’re about.
- It should be image driven.
Tools For Creating Your Cover Photo
Canva is my favourite tool for creating all kinds of images, and Facebook cover photos are among them. Canva has a template which highlights the space taken by the profile picture, so you can create your cover photo with confidence. It also offers a range of templates so if inspiration is a bit thin on the ground, you can get some guidance and tweak it to suit your needs.
Picmonkey also has a cover photo template and a range of tools to help you design a great image.
Some Facebook Cover Photo Examples
There are a range of cover photos you can create. Here are just a few examples:
Just a Great Image
Some of the most effective cover photos are just great photography. Whether it’s capturing a scene or a product, if you can communicate your brand and personality through a photo – go for it.
Photographer Kate Taylor from Quince and Mulberry Studios is an animal lover – and who couldn’t related to this cute pup?
Luxury travel specialist alluxia shows what they’re best at in this photo – discovering exquisite, luxury accommodation for the ultimate getaway.
Wine dealmakers Vinomofo are all about great deals on great wine to share with great friends. And that personality is captured beautifully with this cover photo.
Highlight Your Latest Promotion / Campaign
If you have a marketing or promotion campaign, or an event, in progress, your cover photo is a great opportunity to highlight the details and drive your followers / page visitors to your website.
The Goodnight Society make amazing, organic, free trade PJs in fabulous designs. At the time of writing this blog, they were holding an adult colouring competition to create their next sleep tee design, the profits of which would go to a Brisbane charity supporting kids in foster care. Their cover photo promoted the campaign.
Brisbane bar The Guilty Rogue shares its weekly meal specials on Facebook. Each Monday the cover photo changes to show that week’s specials.
Showcase Your Product or Service
As the largest image on your page, your cover photo is the perfect platform to showcase your product or service. Exercise those creative muscles and look for eye-catching, unique ways to let your page visitors know what you’re all about.
Showcasing their mouthwatering product, Donut Boyz feature a product photo as their Cover Photo.
Online marketing expert Pat Flynn captures what his business is all about with this cover photo – showing his blog, podcasting and a bit of his personal life (with the picture of his son) all in one image.
Profile Your Team / Location
For local businesses, profiling the faces behind your business, or your location, can be a valuable use of your cover photo.
Problogger’s Darren Rowse shows the people behind the Problogger juggernaut with this cover photo.
Sister duo Nadine and Carla from Cheveux Design and Espresso (a hair salon and coffee shop combined) are captured on location in this cover photo.
When your own personality is integral to your brand, the cover photo can let you build your personal brand with photos of yourself “in action”. When people recognise your face and feel like they know you, there is greater trust and affinity with you. It’s also an opportunity to really demonstrate your personality and the things that are most important to you.
Instagram Expert Sue B Zimmerman has a series of photos as her cover photo which capture her fun personality, her signature “nautical stripes” and the essence of her business.
Lisa Corduff is all about healthy eating and “keeping food real” and her personal brand is the centre of her cover photo.
Call To Action
If you have an incentive for people to sign up to your email list (whether that be a PDF download, audio/video course, discount or any other special offer) you can highlight it in your cover photo and DRIVE TRAFFIC to your email sign up page.
Mari Smith‘s cover photo has a “Sign Me Up” button and when you click on the photo, you’re taken to the description which has a link to her email signup.
The description for Michael Hyatt‘s cover photo contains a link to the sign-up for his latest ebook.
How To Change Your Facebook Cover Photo
Once you have created your image, go to your Page and click on the camera symbol in the top left hand corner.
If you are uploading a new photo, choose the Upload Photo option and select it from your computer.
Once it is uploaded, you can reposition it if necessary. Once it is correct, click Save Changes. When you click Save Changes, it will be set as your cover photo and appear in your followers’ news feed.
Once the image is uploaded, click on it and then click on Add a description on the right hand side. This gives you the opportunity to share a little bit about your business and drive traffic to your website. (Power tip: if you use a shortened url, using a service such as www.bit.ly, you can track the number of clicks on that URL).
You should change your Cover Photo regularly. Determine a frequency that suits you and your business, but don’t leave it static. A changed cover photo appears in the News Feed as does any other piece of content.
A Few Watchouts
Your use of cover photos is subject to the Facebook Page Guidelines, which include not using your cover photo to post deceptive or misleading claims, and you cannot encourage other people to upload your cover photo to their timeline. Also, as with all images on social media, make sure you have the right to use the image and that the use doesn’t infringe on anybody’s copyright.
ACTION: So, if you haven’t changed your Facebook Cover Photo recently, take some time now to create a new image and upload it to your page. Then schedule changes to your cover photo over the next few months.