On March 6th, Facebook very quietly released some new guidelines for cover images on business pages:
“Coverphotos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms. You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.Cover photos must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not include images with more than 20% text.”
For those of you who remember the old guidelines, this is a huge change. The previous guidelines were very specific and completely ruled out having any of the following:
- Price or purchase information such as “25% off all Bikes”
- Any contact information, like phone numbers, email addresses, websites and so on.
- References about or arrows pointing to Facebook features or actions such as ‘Like’ or ‘Share’,
- Calls to action such as “Download our eBook Now”
So, with all of this in mind – businesses now have the opportunity to really leverage their cover images! Let’s take a look at some good and bad case examples….
Coca-Cola – This company is lucky enough to have one of the most well-recognised brands in the world. So they’ve kept it simple with their logo in the bottom right, and imagery that showcases the international reach of the beverage, and the lifestyle photographs.
eBay Fashion – Another very well-known brand – eBay – has a Facebook page dedicated to fashion. While the general eBay audience is very wide, the fashion audience would be much more niche. Likely female, high disposable income, professional, and aged from 20-45. They’ve tapped into this by keeping the cover image clean, simple, an image of a fashionable woman who looks like she falls into their target audience, and a bit of text hinting at what Facebook users could expect from liking the page.
The Iconic – There’s not much that this pure play online retailer can’t get right! The Iconic have used their cover image to show their tagline ‘Change the way you shop’, which also gives an indication of what potential customers can expect from their site. The imagery used has been taken direct from their recent television advertising campaign, meaning that people who see the Facebook page will likely feel continuity across the brand touch points.
Unfortunately with the good, we’ve got to show the bad as well! Keep in mind that these screen grabs were taken on 3rd April 2013, and the companies in question may have (hopefully) taken heed of Facebook’s new guidelines quite shortly afterwards!
Smith’s Chips – While the standalone text of ‘Win $10,000 Instantly…’ on this Smith’s Chips cover image isn’t more than 20%, unfortunately the text within their product imagery still counts towards their 20% allowance.
The Coffee Club Australia – The Coffee Club have definitely got the right idea with using a ‘photo of a popular menu item’ (from Facebook’s guidelines), and it sure looks appetising! However we’re fairly sure that the text goes over that 20% limit.
Myer – While this cover image is clear, has great imagery, and is on-brand – there’s simply way too much text! Myer could still look to keep all the text, but decreasing the size to keep it within guidelines.
Now that we’ve looked at some good and bad examples of Facebook cover images, you’re probably busy thinking about what you can do for your own business. Before you get onto that, let me just give you a few more little tips for creating an optimal cover image:
- The Facebook cover image is 851 pixels wide, by 315 pixels tall. If you upload something bigger or smaller, Facebook will automatically resize it to fit. Try to create something that is exactly those dimensions for the best result. Facebook do recommend something at least 399 pixels wide.
- Keep the file size under 100 kilobytes. This means that your image (and your page) will load up much quicker! This might not be a problem for most desktop users, but spare a thought for that ever-growing audience who will be viewing your Facebook page on their smartphone device.
- If you can save your image as a ‘PNG’ file, you’ll have the best shot at having the highest quality image.