Thursday, May 24, 2012

Choosing Your Facebook Cover Photo

Does your business have an effective Facebook cover photo? If you don't, you need to.

Whether you are a fan of the new Timeline layout or not, recent research shows that your cover photo is extremely important. It's the top viewed item of the new layout. In addition, it's also the first thing a person sees on your page - and the most memorable.

So if you've been neglecting your cover photo - to the point where maybe you don't even have one - it's time to turn things around. Not sure how to proceed? Let's cover some basics to get you started!

1. Choosing the Image

The purpose of the cover photo is to uniquely represent your page. It can be a single image, in the case of Ben & Jerry's above. Or, you can create a collage-like image, as shown below. You can use real photography or created elements - or a combination. You can showcase a product or display a photo of your shop's team. The possibilities are endless!

(Need more inspiration? View this slideshow of 20 different cover photo examples.)

2. Image Restrictions

There are a few restrictions to how the cover photo can be used. Per Facebook's guidelines, the cover image may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website"
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends"

These guidelines ensure that cover photos are used for their intended purpose. Meaning, as a visual representation of the page's organization and nothing else.

3. Image Size

Whether you are resizing a photograph or creating an original design, keep in mind that the cover photo needs to be 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high. If you use an image that's too small, it will appear stretched and pixelated. (In other words, not professional.)

4. Get Help if You Need It

If you don't feel your skills are up to the task, seek the services of a graphic or web designer. Don't simply ignore the issue - your cover photo is too important to neglect. Invest in the help of a professional and make sure your Facebook presence is as successful as possible.

Share any additional questions or concerns you may have regarding Facebook cover photos. 

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