A cover photo is more than just a banner that lives on your social media profiles.
Instead, it's your brand's first impression.
In fact, it's one of the first things that potential leads (and customers) will see before following you.
And since it's such a large canvas, there's no reason you shouldn't make a visual representation of exactly what your brand does and how it provides value.
So in this article, we'll help you do that. We'll run through why a good Facebook cover photo is vital to your brand's success and walk you through how to make a great cover photo that converts—we'll even include a few examples for inspiration.
We'll focus on Facebook cover photos in this piece, but the tips can be used when making a cover photo for any other social network too.
Sound good with you? Great—let's dive in!
This is why a Facebook cover photo is vital to your success
Like discussed earlier, a good cover photo creates a good first impression of your brand.
It shows what you're all about and lets you show off product offerings, your mission statement, and other vital info front-and-center—no clicking or scrolling required.
Further, it gives your audience (or potential audience) a look at your brand's aesthetic. So if you're a software company that's on the bleeding edge of new trends, make sure that your cover photo shows that off.
With that in mind, your cover photo needs to be created with the same love and care you put into the rest of your social media, blog, and marketing content.
It should never be treated as an afterthought.
So, what are you waiting for? Let's get creating.
Here's how to create an amazing Facebook cover photo
Below we'll show you a step-by-step process on how to create the perfect Facebook cover photo. This will focus on the design, content you can include, and ways you can optimize your Facebook cover photo for success.
We'll start with the basics and then move into the specifics. Oh, and make sure to follow these in order so that you can get the most out of your Facebook cover photo.
1. Check out the Facebook cover photo rules
Facebook has a set of guidelines for brand cover photos, so make sure you stick to them.
Thankfully though, the guidelines are pretty straightforward. Here's what Facebook says about guidelines:
- Use a unique image that represents your Page, like a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product.
- Be creative and experiment with images to see what your audience responds to best.
- Review the dimensions for cover photos before uploading a photo.
- Make sure that your cover photo follows the Pages Terms. Cover photos can't be deceptive, misleading or infringe on anyone's copyright.
Stick to these guidelines and you'll stay on Facebook's good side. Further, these guidelines are a great launchpad for creating a solid Facebook cover photo that converts.
Additionally, make sure you're fitting the image dimension and size requirements. Here's an overview:
- Image dimensions: 851px by 315px
- File size: under 100 kb
But it doesn't stop here, so let's dive a little deeper and see what you can do to optimize your Facebook cover photos.
2. Showcase your products, specials, and promotions
Keep your products, promotions, or specials front-and-center in your Facebook cover photos.
Likewise, if you're a publication or other brand without a traditional product, you can substitute a product photo with an image of your logo.
This gets your point across and lets your audience know exactly what you're promoting. This way, there's no question on what your company is about when someone first views your cover photo.
3. Keep your designs simple
It's better to have an understated cover photo design versus something with a crazy design. This keeps your designs easy to digest and—in turn—convertible.
We also recommend observing the 20% rule. In short, this rule means that you should use less than 20% text in your cover photo, with the rest being some kind of visual media.
This forces you to use text that really matters
4. Use links in your cover photo
Make sure to put a link in the description of your cover photo—this could be a link to the product in your cover photo or any other piece of content that expands on your cover photo.
This gives you another place to expand on your cover photo's content and drive traffic back to your website—every little bit counts!
5. Optimize for mobile
Facebook is huge on mobile, so you need to make sure that your cover photos are optimized to properly display on smartphones.
Cover photos display at 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on mobile devices.
Put the body of your cover photo in this 640x360 area and fill the rest with the background of your cover photo. This will ensure that your cover photo looks great on all devices no matter the screen size.
6. Be original (and follow copyright law)
Remember, always make original designs. Ideally, make your own designs and use your own photographs.
If you need to use third-party content, make sure that you either have the rights to use the image in question or check if it's under a royalty free or Creative Commons license. This will keep you out of copyright hot water.
Check out our favorite Facebook cover photos
So, now you know how to make a great Facebook cover photo—awesome. But those skills are no good without some good ole fashion inspiration.
But don't worry—we've got your back!
Here are a few of our favorite Facebook cover photos. We'll run through what we like and how each Facebook cover photo converts audience members into leads and customers.
Read through our favorites and use them as inspiration for creating a new Facebook cover photo for your brand—let's check 'em out.
1. Social Report — keepin' it simple
Sure, this one's a little bias, but we like to think we did a pretty awesome job designing our Facebook cover photo.
We made it a point to keep it simple. Our logo and tagline are front-and-center, so there's no guessing what Social Report is all about. We used a bright blue gradient for the background too, giving the cover photo a clean look that sticks out.
Consider making a similar cover photo for your brand. Simple and clean cover photos are easy to make and give your brand a sleek and modern look and feel.
2. Aeroplan — awesome use of hashtags
Like Social Report, Aeroplan—Air Canada's loyalty program—keeps it simple with their cover photo.
The cover photo shows two travelers looking at a map, giving off the travel vibe. Further, the only text on the photo is Aeroplan's signature hashtag—#withAeroplan. This cover photo drives home adventure and shows that you can travel just about anywhere with Aeroplan.
Try using branded hashtags in your cover photo too. It'll drive home the meaning behind them and encourage use of your hashtag—just make sure to use the hashtag in the description of the cover photo as well.
3. Southwest Airlines — promotes a specific campaign
Southwest Airlines recently announced service to Hawaii, so naturally, they're promoting it on all of their social channels—and of course, the airline changed its cover photo, too.
It cuts straight to the point by announcing the new routes with an image of the Hawaiian islands and announcement simple text. The cover photo goes a little bit beyond the 20% text rule, but balances the text perfectly with its background image.
Use your cover photo to promote specific campaigns too. It's an easy way to promote sales, new products, or special events.
In this article you learned why cover photos are important to social media success of your brand, how to create the perfect Facebook cover photo, and also got a look at some of our favorite Facebook and Twitter cover photos.
Now, put this info to use and create an amazing cover photo for your brand. Drop us a link in the comments—we're excited to see what you make!
Need a better social media management tool? Try the award-winning Social Report for free.