July 27th, 2012
by Jennie Jacobs
One of my favorite parts of social media, particularly Facebook, is that is has a high levels of visual stimulation! As a designer I am drawn to images, but I suppose that the majority of the population is too. Facebook understands that we are visual creatures and as such has made sure to keep us happy with thumbnail images with each link we share, easy photo album uploading, the new Timeline layout and the latest greatest image feature: the cover photo!
The Facebook cover photo is a large image (851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall) taking center stage at the very top of your Facebook profile page. It is meant to be a visual representation for Facebook users. This is what Facebook has to say about their cover photo:
“We’ve found that people have a better experience viewing your timeline when they see a cover that is as unique and individualized as you are. This helps people learn more about you. It also helps us prevent spam, fake profiles, and other content that can detract from your experience on Facebook. An easy way to ensure your cover image is unique is to choose an image from your life, like a photo from a wedding, day at the beach, or birthday party.”
And while the cover photo is fun for anyone, brands in particular are having a really creative time using the cover photo as an extra layer of brand recognition. Most notably, we here at Web Marketing Therapy have been using the cover photo to highlight creative, “on brand” graphics. The WMT brand is smart, witty and fun and we like our images to highlight that aspect of what we do.
We have also used the cover photo as a way to introduce our latest, revamped Wild Web Women® brand. The Wild Web Women® are the women who run Web Marketing Therapy. The brand is us (we are Lorrie Thomas Ross, Nicki Gauthier, Darla Bea Smith, Jennie Jacobs, Mary Sandor, Anne Orfila and Kelly Kohen) so what better way to highlight us as the brand then to use our images!
Other great examples of building brand recognition and cultivating a feeling through the Facebook cover photo:
When designing your cover photo please keep these tricks in mind:
- Size is 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. You can upload a larger image or one with a different size ratio, but keep in mind it will be cropped to this noted size when viewed from the timeline. All cover photo images must be at least 750 pixels wide to be uploaded.
- Brands take note, there are cover photo rules:
- No price, purchase information or coupon/discount shenanigans.
- No contact information. Email, phone number, website are out!
- No references to “Liking” “Sharing” or any other user interface features
- No calls to action.
- Be playful with your cover photo! Utilize fun graphics or images that showcase your brand in a creative way. Think of the cover photo as a visual representation of the feeling you want your brand to leave with visitors!