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Facebook Cover Images: A Best Practice Guide

If you’re the admin of a Facebook Business Page, you might be aware of some of the rules and regulations that have been introduced around cover images. Earlier this year, Facebook strictly enforced a “20% text rule,” with the brand taking down any cover image on a business page where the image contained 20% text or more, including calls to action, contact info and price information.

This rule, originally designed to stop Business Pages acting as spammy sales pitches, caused much frustration and confusion, with sketchy definitions of what was and wasn’t acceptable.  Additionally, many Page owners were unaware of the rules, or simply ignored them.

The guidelines were then updated in March to allow calls to action, price points and contact info – but cover images still had to remain under 20% text.  Businesses embraced the change, however, the 20% text rule was still the cause of confusion for many, resulting in more than a few business pages being taken down from the site.

However, as of last month, the rule was quietly abolished by Facebook – without any formal announcement made. You’d only notice the change if you checked new Page Terms of Service.

This is fantastic news for business owners who want to use their cover images to build brand recognition, showcase products and services, and add a distinct call to action for their audience.

However, businesses should still set themselves some guidelines, and encourage their Page admins to stick to them as a best practice to maintain higher quality on their Page.

Although there is now unlimited text allowed in cover images, this doesn’t mean it’s a license to go crazy – as doing so will be detrimental to your business and digital marketing efforts. Instead, businesses must walk the fine line between “just enough” and “too much” when it comes to their cover image.

You only have a few seconds between someone visiting your Page to the time that they decide to move on, or stay on your page to read more – and your cover photo plays a key role in influencing their decision.

So how do you ensure your Facebook cover photo is effective?

Here are our top tips:

  • Use the space wisely.  A cover photo is 851px wide x 315px tall. Any image you upload below this size will be stretched to fit, which can leave your image looking distorted. Using the right size will help you make the most of the space. Remember, cover photos appear in the News Feed when you upload them – so give people an incentive to click.
  • Highlight your product or service. If you’ve got good imagery of your products or services, the cover photo is a great place to use them to clearly demonstrate what your brand is about.
  • Tell your brand story. Your cover photo shouldn’t be just a sales pitch. Use it to share a story about your brand and its people, and give a human voice to the brand. Don’t feel that you have to use just text to do this- a strong photo of your team or product could bring you more attention than a text heavy image.
  • Make it relevant. Are you launching a new product, service or initiative? Highlight this in your cover photo – provide relevant links or instructions that you want your audience to look at.
  • Include a call to action. What do you want your audience to do once they land on your page? Point them in the right direction.
  • Don’t confuse your audience. Make sure your text is organised, makes sense, and that your chosen font is readable. Keep your ideas simple, and focus on one thing only.

Need help creating a powerful Facebook cover image? Contact us today.