Learning Facebook: Creating the Perfect Cover Image

Your cover photo is like your front door. It welcomes visitors in, while giving them a hint of what’s inside. If it doesn’t grab their attention, what’s left to keep them from clicking away? A visually appealing and tactical cover photo is absolutely essential to your Facebook page.

Often overlooked or deemed unworthy of much attention, the cover photo can make or break your page. Unfortunately, many organizations are failing at creating a unique, distinct, and stunning visual front door.

The Specs

In order to create an optimal cover image you need to start with your canvas, or blank slate. Facebook’s cover photo size is 815 pixels wide by 315 pixels high.

Some of you just blinked a lot and asked yourself, “what in the world are pixel?” A pixel is what an image is made of. If you’ve ever zoomed in to an image until it becomes little squares of color- those are pixels. So your cover photo is made up of 851 x 315 of those.

If you’re creating your cover photo from scratch in a program like Photoshop you will create a New Document at 851 Pixels width and 315 Pixels in height. For optimal web usage you will want 72 Pixel/Inch and RGB as your color.

new

But What if I Don’t Have Photoshop?

Let’s face it. Graphic software is expensive and not every organization has it in their resource arsenal. That’s ok! Facebook is forgiving when it comes to your cover photo image size. It will adjust your image to fit the space. So just keep in mind that it’s a rectangle!

Try your hand at an online cover photo creator like Canva. This allows you to use some of your creative skills, while creating a great image for your Facebook page.

Choosing the Correct Image

So we’ve looked at what size your cover image needs to be. But what should your cover image consist of? Let’s start with what your cover image shouldn’t be:

  1. A Photo of your Logo. Don’t get me wrong. Your logo should be in your cover photo. But it shouldn’t BE your cover photo. Chances are your logo isn’t 851 x 315 pixels either. So that’s an incredible amount of wasted white space!
  2. A Quote or Saying. You want your organization to express its competitive advantages through your Facebook site. One quick and easy way to wreck that is by featuring someone else’s words. Be creative, original, and unique.
  3. Avoid Cliche Stock Photos. If you’ve seen the image floating around on the internet before: don’t use it. If it shows cheesy smiles in staged ways: don’t use it. Be authentic in your cover image. You won’t regret it.

So now that we know what your cover photo shouldn’t be. Here’s how to create the ideal photo for your Facebook front door:

Your cover image should show a personality to your brand. It should showcase what your organization has to offer. And all this should be done in a creative way that makes your target audience grasp your message. Simple right?

No image, word, link, symbol, or color scheme is without meaning. By intentionally combining creative elements into your design, you’re well on your way to a successful cover photo!

Creating the perfect cover image is certainly not easy. It takes practice. But that’s ok. You can change out your cover images as often as you like. Experiment. Try simple photographs or text rich ‘billboard-like’ covers. The most important thing is to stay true to your brand and give your audience a stunning image to catch their eye.

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