The Facebook cover image has always been the biggest piece of visual real estate on your page but since the recent changes to the page layout it has become even better. The the profile picture, page name and username have all moved off the image leaving it to dominate the page.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your image looks great on both desktop and mobile. Many people have the desktop dimensions down pat but their cover image doesn’t look great on mobile. Seeing as more then half of Facebook’s 1.7 billion active monthly users only access the platform on mobile it’s important it looks great there too.
Cover image size
If the cover image you are using is designed for the Desktop view then it will be cropped when viewed on the mobile and won’t look good.
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The display size for desktop is 828 x 315 pixels whist the display size for mobile is 640×360 pixels.
You can only upload one image for both so you want to make the image 828 x 475 pixels. This way the full image will display on mobile and the image will be cropped by 160 pixels for the desktop. You want to make sure the image doesn’t have anything important at the top or bottom (or a bit of both) so you can crop 160 pixels without it effecting the look on Desktop. Take a look at the image below for a visual explanation of how the cover image gets cropped.
Updating your cover image
Once you’ve got your cover image looking great you may choose to leave it as it is until the next Facebook layout change or you could mix it up a little. When you upload you cover image it creates a story which goes out into your fan’s News Feed “(Your Page) updated their cover photo”. That story generates far greater organic reach than a normal post so it can be a good idea to update your cover image regularly.
Be sure to update your description as well as when the story goes out the cover image description becomes the post text.
To upload a new cover image hover the bottom right hand corner of your current image, you will see a faint white camera icon. Click the icon and select “Change Cover”. You will have the option to choose from existing Facebook photos, upload a new image from your computer or reposition or remove the current image.
The blue call-to-action button is located just below your cover image on both desktop and mobile so it makes sense the two go hand in hand. Whatever it is you are promoting with your cover image, compliment it with your call-to-action. In the below example from The Merrymaker Sisters their cover image is promoting a giveaway. Their call-to-action button says “Learn More” and links people straight through to their landing page about the giveaway. If your cover image is about one thing and the call-to-action takes people somewhere not related people are going to end up confused and that’s the last thing you want. See Utilising your Facebook call-to-action button.
Cover image ideas
Your cover image is going to be seen mainly by people coming to your Facebook page for the first time. It stands out above all else and you want to use it to make a great impression. So what can you use it for?
- Showcase your products or services
- Promote a contest or giveaway
- Promote an upcoming event
- Showcase your staff
- Picture your ideal clients
- Promote a sale
- Support an ongoing marketing campaign
- Promote your call-to-action
- Drive people to your website
Here are some examples of well used cover images:
Promoting an event
How to make your cover image
If you want to make your own cover image consider online image editing program Canva, it’s free and super easy to use. Keep in mind you can’t use their pre-set image size for a Facebook cover as this is only designed for Desktop and won’t look great on mobile and hey – you know better! Use the custom dimensions option and go for 828 x 475 pixels.
If you would rather outsource the job you can ask your graphic designer to create something or try a freelancing site like upwork, fiverr or 99designs. Just remember if you hire someone to do your cover the standard practice is to make the image based on the desktop size so be sure to show them this article so they size your cover image to look great on mobile too.
Time to go check your cover image!