Facebook is an important tool for small businesses when it comes to reaching and connecting with customers. Yet many business owners do not take the time to properly set up their Facebook business page, particularly their profile photo and cover artwork. I’ve seen far too many business pages with a hastily snapped, poorly lit image of a business card as their cover artwork, or a group photo of multiple employees as their profile photo.
A Facebook business page should be treated as an extension of your company’s brand, and any photos or artwork posted should adhere to your brand identity.
Let’s take a look at some recommendations when it comes to designing a profile photo and cover artwork for your Facebook business page.
Design Images to the Proper Size
To start, here is a helpful Facebook article on what image sizes to use for your profile photo and cover artwork.
- Cover artwork should be at least 851 x 315 pixels
- Profile photos should be at least 180 x 180 pixels, but larger (up to 1000 x 1000) is better
PNG files can product better results, especially for profile photos using your business logo.
Use Your Logo as Your Profile Photo
If you have a logo for your business, USE IT as your profile photo. If your logo consists of a both a graphic element and text, you can just use the graphic element for your profile photo, since Facebook always displays your business name next to your profile photo when it appears on News Feeds.
DO NOT use a photo of your building, a group shot of all your employees, or an image that shows what your business does. Profile photos are almost always displayed at a small size, and using an image with a lot of detail will not have the impact you want.
There is an exception to this rule: If your business is named after you (i.e. Sally’s Ice Cream Shop), a professional looking photo of yourself could be used in place of your logo.
Remember, Facebook users will always see your business name next to your profile photo, so you need an image that most strongly depicts or symbolizes your business. That is the very purpose of a logo, and that is why your business logo should be your profile photo 99% of the time.
Use Your Cover Photo to Create a Mood or a Feeling
Let’s start with a DO NOT, since this mistake is far too common…
Do not try to display too much (or any) text on your cover photo. Cover artwork is cropped to display correctly on various devices, and often that means that text gets cut off and is unreadable.
Many clients ask me (against my recommendations) to design cover artwork that includes a photo, their logo, tagline, phone number and anything else you can think of. They see that it looks nice on a desktop or laptop computer, and thank me for a job well done… until they see what it looks like when it displays on their smartphone. That’s typically when I get the “I’m sorry, I should have listened to you” phone call, and we go with a simpler design that looks good on all devices.
Cover artwork should create a mood and/or show what your business does. In most cases, a creative photo or artistic illustration accomplishes this most effectively. Take a look at what some of the big, successful brands are doing, and notice how their cover images are all background “mood” images or illustrations that are effective no matter how much or little of the image is seen (also notice how they use their logo as a profile photo).
You may choose to give your cover artwork a personal touch. In the example used previously, Sally’s Ice Cream Shop could use an artistic photo of a unique ice cream sundae they serve, or a photo that shows the unique architecture or location of their building.
If neither of those are viable options, get creative! Use a stock image of an iceberg or a blizzard to show how cold and refreshing Sally’s ice cream is. Or, have a fun illustration drawn… maybe a scene of a hot summer day to put customers in the mood for ice cream.
Put as simply as possible, your profile photo should identify your business (logo), and your cover photo should depict what your business does, or how you want your customers to feel. Whatever images you decide to use for your Facebook business page, just make sure they create a mood that is consistent with your brand identity.