The 14 Best Tips for Facebook Cover Photos

Stand out on the world's most popular social network

Hundreds of portraits encircling the Facebook logo.

Gerd Altmann/Pixabay 

Whether you use Facebook for personal or business reasons, your profile is an essential introduction to you and your page. One of the most important features to setup properly is your Facebook cover photo, the larger banner-style photo which appears to the public no matter what your security settings are.

This large banner gives you the ability to have a message for your brand or an extended way to express yourself. If you need some help making your Facebook header eye-catching, below are some tips and tricks to help you on your way.

01
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Know Your Facebook Cover Photo Dimensions

Computer monitor and smartphone vector drawing.

If you want your cover photo to look appealing, knowing the amount of space you get to work with will help. Facebook recommends the following dimensions for each viewable format (in pixels):

  • Computers: 820 width x 312 height
  • Smartphones: 640 width x 360 height

Photos must be a minimum of 400 width x 150 height.

02
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Image Placement is Crucial

Size placement for cover photos on both computer and smartphone.

When designing a cover photo, always remember your profile photo will cover a portion of your cover photo. On computers, Facebook places the profile photo at the lower left corner. When viewing from a smartphone, placement is horizontally center and placed on the lower third of the cover photo.

On desktop, your profile photo is 170 x 170 pixels; 128 x 128 pixels on smartphones. For pages, the profile photo will not interfere with the cover photo.

03
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Keep it Simple

White roses next to a white picture frame.

 Roberto Rizzo/Pixabay

You want your cover photo to draw attention to your Facebook page, but cluttering up the image or using a complex image may detract from your intended message.

One thing to be mindful of it that most Facebook visitors use the social media platform on their smartphones. Since the images will be smaller, it’s best to design around this smaller canvas. If you have to squint to read it on your computer screen, it'll most likely be unreadable on a smartphone.

04
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Font Choice and Size

Font printing plates of various sizes and lettering.

 Free-Photos/Pixabay

If you have any text on your cover photo, having a readable size is crucial to displaying your message. As mentioned before, most Facebook visitors view pages on their smartphones, so if you want your audience to read that special slogan, make sure you use a large enough and easily readable font for your cover photo.

05
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Don’t Print Your Life Story

A pen writing once upon a time.

 Fathromi Ramdlon/Pixabay

The cover photo isn’t the best place for large amounts of text either. You want your cover photo to pull in viewers with visually appealing images. Too much text will most likely result in your potential audience ignore your page if it has a wall of text. If you have more you want to say, use the Intro to go into some detail. Consider your cover photo an attention getter, not the heart of your message.

06
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Add a Focal Point

Fire background with a focal point on the left side.

Gerd Altmann/Pixabay 

With any advertisement or artwork, there's usually some sort of focal point that draws the eyes to a particular point on an image. Once you decide where you want your focal point on your cover photo, place the most critical part of your message there.

Whether it's your personal mantra, your favorite photo from your last vacation, or a product you want to sell, make sure it’s clear and concise.

Using certain colors to draw attention to your focal point it another great way to get a viewer’s attention.

07
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Make Your Facebook Header Appropriate

Vector drawing of a laptop with Lifewire on the screen.

Whether your Facebook profile is for personal use or business branding, what image you use is representative of your page. The cover photo gives your visitors a peek at what you or your company is all about. Using some abstract image that might be interesting to look at but has no relevance to your or your page may end up confusing them.

Try using images reflecting your beliefs, hobbies, or company products (if it's a business). Avoid using any images that may be mature in nature, violent, or have any discriminatory undertones. Yes, this is your Facebook cover photo, but they do have standards that must be upheld.

08
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Try Some Action

Movie clapboard closing.

 Bokskapet/Pixabay

For pages, your Facebook cover photos no longer have to be a boring still image, and can instead use video or animation. You could use a quick video short from your latest vacation, a cute animated message for the holiday season, or a clever commercial short to showcase your products. Facebook recommends the following specifications when creating a video cover photo:

  • The video should be at least 820 x 312 pixels. (For best results, use a video that is 820 x 462.)
  • Video can be 20 to 90 seconds long.

Once you upload the video, you can reposition it in the cover photo frame. You may also be asked which image from the video to use as the still photo.

09
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Sharing is Caring

Sharing a cover photo within Facebook.

When you upload your cover photo, an often overlooked but important task is making the image shareable. It’s a great way for others to find your page or learn about your business. Your cover photo can be seen as a digital business card, so make sure anyone can share it with others.

10
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Use the Photo Description

Adding a description to a cover photo in Facebook.

When you upload your photo, don’t forget the description. In the description, you can describe what your cover photo is about, such as the location, who’s in it, what’s going on in the photo, or a detailed description of your product.

Another great item to include in the description is a link to a webpage. Whether it’s your personal page, a company website, or a fundraiser dear to your heart, you can provide a URL that's related to your cover photo. This just gives you additional ways to bring traffic to the website of your choice.

11
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Use Business Sense

Business people around a table.

Werner Heiber/Pixabay 

If your Facebook profile or page is about your company or products, make sure you highlight your products in the image. You can draw attention to a new product or service or even a seasonal sale to draw more traffic. Make certain your Facebook banner clearly exhibits your company, logo, and/or product. While being artistic and abstract is fun, for business purposes, it’s best to get straight to the point.

12
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Use the Call-to-Action

The call to action button is highlighted in Facebook.

While not part of the actual Facebook cover photo, the Call-to-Action button is essentially a part of your cover photo in the sense that it draws attention to your page.

For Facebook Pages, the call-to-action gives you an additional opportunity to promote your page by allowing visitors to book an appointment, learn more about your business via a linked video or link to another website, shop with you through Facebook or your company’s website, or promote an app or game you’ve designed.

Since the button’s placement is directly below your cover photo, your photo can even draw attention to it. In your Facebook banner, you could use an arrow and quick description encouraging visitors to select the call-to-action or even describe what the button will do. The possibilities are endless.

13
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Get Some Third-Party Help

A screenshot of Canva.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to create your own Facebook cover photos, there are a few apps and websites to get you past your creative block. If you’re a fan of Adobe, their Spark Post is free on both iOS and Android. Spark has a few free Facebook cover photo templates that can easily be customized to suit your needs.

Many of these websites have a few free templates to get you going and even some, like Canva, have a decent selection of free images to use. Other websites like Crello and Ripl even provide designs for video or animated cover photos.

If you’re lucky enough to have Adobe Photoshop, there are quite a few websites that provide free templates so at least the sizing and photo placement won’t require so much guesswork.

14
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Test Your Image

A checklist being marked off with a pink highlighter.

Tero Vesalainen/Pixabay 

If you want to be sure image placement, readability, and overall impression are what your Facebook cover photo reflects, test out your image on as many types of devices as possible, including your smartphone and any tablets or iPads you have access to.

A few things to consider:

  • Is the text legible ?
  • Is the message clear and to the point?
  • Can you easily see what your cover photo is?
  • Does your profile photo interfere with the imagery?