All too often, books are judged by their covers. This also applies to businesses using social media. Make a great first impression and grow your audience with these tips to craft the perfect cover photo:
1. Clarity: I don’t care how great a photo is, if it is out of focus or pixelated, it will NOT make a good cover photo. No ifs, ands, or buts about it – just don’t do it.
2. Placement: When choosing a photo, you must take into consideration the fact that certain areas will be obscured by the profile image and default text that appear within the cover photo. For Facebook, the profile photo, business name and category, as well as the call-to-action, Like and message buttons interfere with a big portion of the cover photo, especially the bottom left side. Due to this, try to pick a cover photo in which the primary focus is located toward the top half and to the right of the photo.
3. Optimize: Cover photos are displayed differently depending on the device being used to view them. This is where things can get tricky, particularly when it comes to mobile. Since there’s such a large variety of screen sizes and operating systems that display social networks according to their unique dimensions, you should optimize your cover photos according to the mobile devices that are most popular with your fans/followers (HINT: these will likely be in accord with most popular devices nationwide – this is easy to research).
4. Experiment: One of the easiest ways to see if a photo will work is to upload it within your actual account. If you don’t like it, simply don’t save the changes and adjust accordingly.
5. Sizing: All major social media sites have specific dimensions for their artwork. Know what they are and use them to create a photo that fits well. Here are the dimensions (in pixels) of the major social networks:
- Facebook Cover Photo: 851 x 315
- Twitter Header: 1500 x 500
- Google+ Cover Photo: 2120 x 1192
- YouTube Channel Art: 2560 x 1440
- LinkedIn Cover Photo: 646 x 220
6. Simplicity: Avoid using busy imagery or a great deal of text in your cover and profile images. Don’t clutter – keep it clean.
7. Timeliness: If your company happens to be having a unique event or special, don’t be afraid to incorporate it into your artwork. This can be a useful way to get the word out! Just make sure to change the cover photo once the event/special is over!
8. Relevance: This may seem like it should go without saying, but you know what they say about assumptions. Basically – make your cover photo relevant to your business, its products and services. If you are a BMW dealership, make the cover photo relevant to BMW.
9. Appeal: Use your cover photo to evoke feelings, not yawns. Make the image something that will intrigue, inspire and entice your audience to keep viewing your content.
Have any questions regarding your social media images? Feel free to ask them in the comments section below.