The Facebook cover photo. It feels like it should be so easy to pick one, and yet finding the perfect image feels super hard at the same time.
You only get one; one photo, one shot to make a good impression, one chance to convey a distinct feeling, so what should it be?
Your Facebook cover photo is one of the first things people will see when they visit your Facebook page, and that is exactly why it is so important to make the best first impression possible and for the cover photo to convey exactly what it is you are aiming for. Even though it sounds simple, we’ve found that it’s pretty tough! No worries, though, we’re here to help you.
Let’s jump in and figure out the best way to make the most out of your Facebook cover photo, together.
In This Article, We’ll Do Three Things:
- Introduce you to the Facebook cover photo and ideal dimensions;
- Guide you through how to create a cover photo and how to select the perfect image;
- Provide some examples of Facebook Pages with brilliant cover photos.
Let’s begin with a quick summary of cover photos and the best size images to use…
What’s The Ideal Size for a Facebook Cover Photo?
The best image size to use for your Facebook cover is … well, it can vary. According to Facebook, your cover photo:
- Displays at 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones
- Doesn’t display on feature phones
- Must be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall
- Loads fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes
Whoa, okay. So what does all of that mean?
It means that even though we only get one photo, Facebook is going to use it in two very different ways:
- in the rectangular format of 828 x 315 px for desktops;
- and the ever-so-slightly more squarish format of 640 x 360 px for mobile.
Pro Tip: If you found an image that you love and the dimensions are a bit off, you can still use it! You’ll want to choose that photo (or upload it), and then you’ll be allowed to ‘reposition’ it. With the reposition feature, Facebook is essentially allowing you to crop your cover photo in a way that you think best fits in the space.
Desktop vs. Mobile
It’s great always to be mindful that cover photos on computers and cover photos on mobile look different.
For example, here’s how a cover photo looks on a laptop computer:
And here’s how it looks in the Facebook mobile app:
They look similar, but there some important differences:
- On mobile, the left and right sides of the image gets trimmed a bit while the top and bottom portions are slightly expanded – what’s cool here is that Facebook doesn’t stretch and squeeze the same image, they change the crop. This is awesome because it ensures that your image looks its best by not distorting anything.
- The profile image is centered on mobile vs. being placed on the left on computers.
Desktop sizing guide
Facebook provides a really neat graphic showing you what all of those numbers look like for a cover photo on a computer. It’s helpful also to visualize the dimensions of your profile image so that your cover photo fits perfectly around it and that crucial information isn’t covered up by it, your title/website or the Facebook buttons at the lower right.
Double Check Your Design on Mobile
If you’re using text on your cover photo, like a phone number, you’ll want to pop over to the Facebook mobile app to take a peek just to make sure there’s nothing wonky going on. For example, the last character or two of a URL being trimmed off the right-hand side or important details that might now be lost under the repositioned profile picture.
How To Create Your Cover Photo
If you have some design skills, creating your own cover photo from the ground up using software like Photoshop is an excellent way to go. Going this route allows you to create a pixel-perfect representation of how you want to portray yourself or your business.
Photoshop Cover Photo Templates
To help you to jump straight into designing, we’ve created a Facebook cover photo template (851 x 315px).
Here’re a few extra details for designers to consider about your Page’s profile picture:
- Displays at 160×160 pixels on your Page on computers, 140×140 pixels on smartphones and 50×50 pixels on most feature phones
- Must be at least 180×180 pixels
- Will be cropped to fit a square
- Is located 16 pixels from the left and 176 pixels from the top of your cover photo on computers
- Is located 24 pixels from the left, 24 pixels from the bottom and 196 pixels from the top of your cover photo on smartphones
We know that we might not all be designers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all have a beautiful Facebook cover photo. Here are some places you can look at to create your cover as well as some tips for making sure it fully represents you and your business.
Your Facebook cover photo should be all about you/your business, so why not use one of your photos that represent you?
For example, my cover photo is a picture that I took when I visited Scotland of a blue police box. With it, I’m sharing a hint at something I’m passionate about, Doctor Who, and the hope is that other fans will relate to it as well.
If you don’t have any personal photos you would like to share, how about using a beautiful stock photo? We even shared 53 free image sources for you to find the perfect image for your cover photo. My favorite websites to find beautiful stock photos are Unsplash and Pixabay.
I would encourage you to edit/enhance whatever photo you pick with Pablo, Canva or PicMonkey to make it more personal. You could even enhance your picture with those tools if you wanted to. For example, you could pick one of your favorite quotes and lay it over the photo, and Pablo even has a few beautiful quotes you can pick directly in there.
If you don’t want to use a photo or if you’d like even more help to create your cover photo, Canva offers pre-made templates for you to use and customize however you would like.
How To Select Your Cover Photo
Now that we know how to create your cover photo, the question is what kind of cover photo you should select? Are there cover photos that work best than others? Let’s investigate.
First up, let’s discuss some of the best practices when it comes to Facebook cover photo. Hubspot and fusion farm have put together a great list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to cover photos. Here are some of the highlights:
- Follow Facebook’s guidelines
- Respect Facebook’s required dimensions (851px wide by 315 px tall)
- Have a high-quality image
- Stay mainly visual
- Don’t hide content behind your profile picture
- Right align objects in your cover photo
- Integrate you cover photo design with the rest of your page
- Have an image that is original and unique that relates to your brand
What Type of Image Attracts People
We recently looked into some of the components that make images shareable which turned out to be:
- Emotion: Making people feel, leads them to take action
- Relevance: Including something that fits with your audience’s interest
- Colors: Picking the right colors that will lead to the most shares
- Typography: Choosing the right font that will make your message clear
- Hashtags and Text: Find the right words that will lead your audience to interact
These components can also be applied to your Facebook cover photo to make people feel a certain way or take a specific action when they come to your page.
For example, Coca-Cola’s cover photo uses the brand’s universally recognized red as a background with one simple word “Happiness” using a beautiful typography made out of a straw. This of course in the hopes of making people feel happiness when thinking go Coca-Cola and to make the connection in people’s mind that drinking a coke means happiness. Straightforward and effective!
Where Do People Look?
When coming up with your perfect cover photo, it might be interesting to look into some eye tracking studies. Something that I found particularly interesting in an article from Kissmetrics on the subject is the idea of “directional queues.”
It was found that if you would like to draw attention to a particular item in an image, having a visual queue like a person’s gaze looking at that item will guide viewers to what they should look at next. This could be an interesting way to use a person’s gaze in your Facebook cover photo.
Something else Kissmetrics found that might be worth playing around with is to include an element that “pops” in your cover photo. That element should be the one that matters and the one that calls for action.
In the below example, Playstation is letting people know that Call of Duty Black Ops III is now available, clearly letting people know they can purchase it.
Adele’s cover photo also lets people know that her knew album is out, which encourages people to purchase it.
Thinking Outside the Box
The cover photo is a great way to express yourself but also a way to stand out when people visit your page. Here are some original ways you can use your cover photo (a few are inspired by Fishpond’s article):
- Tie Your Profile Photo to your Cover Photo
- Change your cover photo based on special occasions, events, sales or holidays
- Use your cover photo to send people to your website
- Use your cover photo to send people to a special offer
- Ask your fans to “Like” your page
- Ask your fans to share your page
- Include Easter Eggs that lead fans to a special giveaway or special event
Who Does It Well? A Showcase of Great Cover Photos
Now that we know what makes a good Facebook cover photo, how about we take a look at some of the pages that do it well. Hopefully, you might find some inspiration 🙂
Over To You
Before I turn it over to you, I have one last cover photo I wanted to share with you… yes you guessed it, it’s the Buffer cover photo!
With our cover photo, we wanted something that reflects what Buffer is, and Buffer is nothing without the people behind it.
Our team is such an integral part of Buffer that it makes sense they would earn the coveted cover photo spot on Facebook. The photo also gives a face to the company that people can connect with, and as our community is very important to us, it seems like the perfect choice.
I’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts
What about you? How do you use your Facebook cover photo? Do you have any tips or suggestions on what makes a good one? I would love to hear all your thoughts and ideas in the comments so that we can all create the best cover photos ever! 😉