10 Best Practices to Create The Perfect Facebook Cover Image

A Facebook cover is like a shop window for a brand’s page. Users look at it for a second and make a decision whether to stay on the page or not. Moreover, it can also work as a small landing page, a call-to-action visual and an event announcement.

There are certain Facebook guidelines and rules for the format of the cover photo. That being said, the process of creating a Facebook cover image can seem quite daunting.

All this pressure and no fun!

Well, it’s not entirely true — there is still room for creativity. You just need to remember that your shop window has its limits but also that today you have tools to easily create your own covers.

We made it very simple to create a Facebook cover image with Crello. All you have to do is customize the text and add your photo.

Now, let’s dive into the secret of eye-catching Facebook cover images, the most essential information to get you started and exceptional examples for a little inspiration.

1. Comply with Facebook Page’s Cover Photo Guidelines

We’ll start with the most dull but important information — the official Facebook guidelines.

If you don’t want your page to be taken down over a cover photo, follow the guidelines:

  • Make sure your cover is not deceptive, misleading or infringes anyone’s copyright.
  • You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
  • Don’t include third party products, brands or sponsors within your Page’s cover photo or profile picture.

2. Make sure to use the right Facebook cover size

The proper Facebook cover size is 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. It should be JPG or PNG file that weighs less than 100 kilobytes.

The profile picture displays 170×170 pixels on computers, 128×128 pixels on smartphones and will be cropped to fit a square. We recommend uploading an image size of at least 180×180 pixels.

If the cover photo you want to use doesn’t fit the requirements, don’t worry! You can upload it and reposition, which means you can cut off parts that don’t fit. Just remember to use a high-quality photo so you have something to work with in case you have to crop it.

3. Optimize cover photo for mobile devices

Remember the tricky thing that FB covers do on smartphones — your cover will appear taller and will be cut off at the sides. Cover displays at 820×312 pixels on web and just 640×360 pixels on smartphones.

Keep this difference in mind when choosing and designing your cover and don’t place important text or objects on the sides of the photo. Try to stick to versatile images.

Phew, the boring stuff is over!

Let’s move on to pretty pictures and awesome examples.

4. Your cover photo should be relevant to your brand

We process images much faster than text — 60,000 times faster to be exact. With a Facebook photo cover, this is the ultimate opportunity to engage your audience even before they read the page title, see buttons or post text.

Explain what your business does or what you stand for with a single image. Use a photo or an illustration that will support your brand’s style in terms of colors, theme and values.

Think about what your target audience might like. Are they geeky millennials who mostly work in IT and read TechCrunch? Or maybe they are suburban parents who tend to break parenting stereotypes and are into a healthy lifestyle?

Your audience’s tastes and interests will help you understand what your Facebook cover should look like and what message it should translate.

Let’s look at brands that made eye-catching and brand consistent Facebook covers:

Shazam used artists’ images with a popular Duotone filter:

Vice’s quirky, styled photo collages with their logo in the middle:

Healthy delivery service, Freshly, shows its product and focuses on a text message:

Vans rebels against clean, uniform covers:

5. Let the cover image resonate with the page’s content

Since your Facebook cover image is like a shop window, it should show what it is you’re selling. One can get carried away with all the creative opportunities and create a cover that will be aesthetically perfect but misleading for a customer.

It is not distasteful to show your product on the cover, just do it in context and with style. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can showcase your brand:

  • Show your office, if you have a nice one. This is a good option for companies who consult or other agencies.
  • Show your team — it is a sure way to make potential customers trust your company (especially if you are family-owned or a small and new business)
  • Showcase your product in perfect light
  • Show your product in context: if you sell coffee, it could be a flat lay shot of a nice breakfast.
  • Create a seasonal Facebook cover: when you will promote Christmas sale posts, your cover will support the message

Make sure the style, tone and aesthetics of your cover image play along with the rest of the page’s content.

6. How to find the right stock images for a Facebook cover

In most cases, stock photos are the cheapest, fastest and most appealing option for a cover image. So how do you find the right one? Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Big stock platforms are a go-to choice for images. They have their advantages: a wider choice of visuals, exclusive content and licensed images. This option is a sure way to avoid the risk of violating any author’s rights.
  2. Use free photos, but don’t have high expectations. Free image sites have obvious perks, but too many people use this option. It also means that your images might be the same as your competitor’s and hundreds of other brands.
  3. Use online graphic design services. Online graphic editor Crello has a built-in library of 60 million images from Depositphotos. You can choose a template and customize it with a photo of your choice in a couple of minutes.
  4. Stay away from stock cliches. They are easy to identify: forced smiles and poses, unnatural and bright lighting, and a composition with no context. Using these images shows that you either don’t care or have poor taste (don’t know which is worse).
  5. Choose authentic photography that evokes emotions. The more your brand photography reflects the authentic, close-to-life style, the better. Find photos that translate emotions and precious moment — this creates a personalised message for each user.
  6. Don’t shy away from being bold. Minimalism and bright colors are still in trend. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a statement with an eye-catching image. Opt for clean, simple and vivid photos.

For more tips on finding stock photos check this: The Ultimate Stock Image Search Guide.

7. Add a CTA and a link

Although it seems quite desperate to turn every image and post on your page into an ad, the cover image can also be a place for a call-to-action. Add a shortened link and a short, relevant call-to-action to the cover image description. This way, users will be able to click the link whenever they open a cover image directly.

This is especially important for covers that support seasonal and other offers — users may want to visit the website right after seeing the information.

8. Avoid common cover images mistakes

Following the guidance we offer here, it is enough to create an attractive Facebook cover image. However, let’s also talk about the mistakes brands often make when choosing covers:

  1. Changing the cover image too often. We get it — you have creative fever and the ideas just pop in your head. Save some for the future and don’t confuse your existing audience with a different cover image every day. Change your cover photo once every three-four weeks; it is enough to keep consistency and catch a user’s attention.
  2. Keeping the same cover for months. If you really like your current cover image and it brings noticeable results, you may stick to it for a very long time. Let it go! You can try to find an image by the same author or with the same theme — just don’t forget to update your cover image and keep it relevant to your page’s content.
  3. Adding too many elements. Sometimes we want to add a good photo, a headline from the last campaign, a logo and couple of stickers. It may even look okay, but a cover like this simply won’t work for your brand. When there is too much clutter, a user won’t be able to distinguish your message.
  4. Choosing any image. Looking for a proper image could be a daunting task, but don’t stop on something generic. These images won’t help you communicate with your audience. If you don’t have any good ideas, look at the pages of big brands or browse ready-to-use templates.

9. Successful Facebook cover image examples

Glastonbury Festival simply used its brand’s illustrations for the cover. Looks good!

Social media service Amplifr use their cover to show that they’ve launched on Product Hunt.

Minimal and emotional cover photos from NikeWomen:

and Petcube:

Saatchi&Saatchi’s vivid cover with a focus on a message:

Starbucks always shows its UGC and products in context:

What story will your cover image tell?

10. Use free Facebook cover templates from Crello

Short on ideas? Don’t you worry! We’ve gathered 10 different Facebook cover template ideas from Crello, all free and easily customizable. They are created by professional designers, so all you have to do is customize the text and add your own images if necessary.

Customize

Customize

Customize

Customize

Customize

Customize

Customize

Customize

Customize

Customize

By Eugine Dychko, Product marketing manager at Crello.

This story was originally published at blog.crello.com.

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