How to Create a Mind-Blowing Facebook Cover Photo in Minutes

Even if we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover… you know as well as I do that it happens.

Same holds true for Facebook cover photos.

When someone visits your Facebook Page, your cover photo is the first thing they see and takes up just about the entire screen:

The cover photo’s job is to introduce visitors to your brand and set the tone for their interaction with your Facebook Page.

And it can make or break your Facebook marketing efforts.

A bad Facebook cover photo can put visitors off and have them tapping “Back” before they draw their next breath.

However, a well-optimized Facebook cover photo will entice viewers to follow you, explore your Page, interact with your brand, visit your website, and buy from your store.

So how do you get it right?

What are the Facebook cover photo size dimensions, and how can you create an image that looks great on desktop AND mobile devices?

This article will teach you everything you need to know and give you the perfect Facebook cover photo template.

Let’s dive in!

What is the Facebook Cover Photo Size?

Facebook cover photos (or “Facebook banners”) are displayed at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on desktops, and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on mobile devices. Your Facebook cover photo size must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.

For best results, Facebook also recommends using a PNG file.

Now, if you’re the type of person who likes to get super technical, a Facebook cover photo will load fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall, and less than 100 kilobytes.

Okay, still with me?

The Big Problem with Facebook Cover Photos

You may have noticed a problem with Facebook cover photos: We only get one Facebook cover photo, but it’s displayed differently on desktops and mobile devices.

So, how does Facebook help us solve this issue? Well, they don’t.

Still, Facebook isn’t trying to annoy us, they’re just taking into account the aspect ratios of different devices.

Remember, Facebook is viewed in landscape on desktop and portrait on mobile devices. The problem isn’t pixel sizes but the shape.

Take a look at Hershel’s Facebook cover photo on desktop:

Now, here’s what it looks like in the Facebook mobile app:

Sure, they look similar, but there’s a small difference – the image has been cropped on the desktop version.

Let’s look at the mobile version again, but this time, I’ve grayed out the parts of the image that aren’t displayed on desktop:

So on mobile devices, the image’s top and bottom are expanded by about 75 pixels each.

This is actually really cool.

It means that Facebook isn’t squeezing or stretching your Facebook cover photo to fit – so your image will always look its best. This also applies to Facebook cover videos (which we’ll talk more about in a moment).

Okay, so how can you make a Facebook cover photo that looks amazing on desktop and mobile devices?

The Best Facebook Cover Photo Size for Desktop and Mobile

The solution to this Facebook cover photo problem is to make your image much taller than the recommended 820 x 312 pixels.

Specifically, your image should be 820 pixels wide by 462 pixels tall.

This gives you 75 extra pixels at the top and bottom of your image that will be cropped when displayed on desktop.

Okay, but what does this look like exactly?

The Perfect Facebook Cover Photo Template for Desktop and Mobile

Here’s a Facebook cover photo template that you can use to design an image that looks great on desktop and mobile devices:

The whole image will be displayed on mobile devices. However, the light blue sections will be cropped out when displayed on desktop computers.

To download the Facebook cover photo template, right-click the image, click “Save Image As…”, and save the image to your computer.

Up next?

What is the Best Facebook Cover Video Size?

Facebook cover videos are displayed in the same way as photos. For this reason, the recommended Facebook cover video size is also 820 pixels by 462 pixels. Your video also needs to be between 20 to 90 seconds in length.

Facebook cover videos provide a fantastic opportunity to promote your brand or a dedicated marketing message, and can often be more engaging than photos.

But it’s not all good news.

Facebook cover videos are less effective on mobile devices, as they don’t autoplay. They load as a thumbnail instead.

What’s more, the audio in Facebook cover videos doesn’t automatically play either – viewers must click on the video to hear the sound. For this reason, it’s best to make sure that your video is still interesting and engaging without audio.

That said, when you consider that 85 percent of Facebook users watch videos with the volume turned off, it’s good practice to make your videos engaging without sound anyway.

Here’s an example of an eye-catching Facebook cover video from watch brand Bremont:

Lastly, don’t worry if you already have an awesome video but the dimensions aren’t quite right. Before editing your video, simply try uploading the video and using Facebook’s “Reposition” feature.

How to Make a Facebook Cover Photo

Now that you understand the dimensions, here are six top tips on how to make a Facebook cover photo.

1. Use Shopify’s Hatchful to Create a Social Media Brand Package

If you haven’t yet created a logo or visual branding for your business, check out Shopify’s Hatchful.

This free tool allows you to quickly and easily create an awesome brand package – this includes images formatted for each of your main social media channels.

Hatchful even provides two Facebook cover photo variations:

2. Use Canva to Make a Facebook Cover Photo

If you’ve already got a logo or visual branding, check out the free image editing and graphic design tool Canva.

Canva comes equipped with a Facebook cover photo template, but it’s formatted for desktop (820 pixels by 312 pixels).

So, it’s best to create a new design using the dimensions that work for desktop and mobile (820 pixels by 462 pixels).

To do this, click “Use custom dimensions” in the top-right corner:

Then, upload the Facebook cover photo template to your design so you can see which parts of your image will be cropped on desktop devices.

Here it is again for convenience – just right-click, and click “Save Image As…”

3. Source Free Stock Photos and Videos to Use in Your Facebook Cover Photo

What if you don’t have any striking images or video footage to use on your Facebook Page? No problem!

There are plenty of free stock photo and video websites out there, such as Shopify’s Burst, Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay or Life Of Vids.

4. Facebook Pages and Profiles Display Cover Photos Differently

When making your Facebook cover photo, it’s worth bearing in mind the differences between Facebook Pages and Facebook profiles.

On Pages, Facebook cover photos are completely unobstructed:

However, on Facebook profiles, there are various elements displayed on top of your cover photo. These include the profile picture, name, and buttons such as “Follow” and “Message.”

Make sure to take these additional elements into account when designing your Facebook cover photo.

5. Stick to Facebook’s Guidelines

Most of Facebook’s guidelines are simply common-sense.

However, it’s worth reading them in order to avoid a silly mistake that might result in Facebook removing your Page from the site.

These guidelines include:

  • Don’t use copyrighted materials that you don’t own or have a license for
  • Make sure your Facebook cover photo is family-friendly and safe-for-work
  • If you directly advertise a product or service in your Facebook cover image, make sure you’re not violating any of Facebook’s advertising rules

For more information, check out Facebook’s page guidelines.

6. How to Change Your Facebook Cover Photo

Once you’ve created your Facebook cover photo or video, uploading it to Facebook couldn’t be easier.

Just head to your Facebook page, click the camera icon, and then click “Upload Photo.”

Facebook Cover Photo Best Practices

Now that you know the practicalities, here are four best practices for creating an engaging Facebook cover photo.

1. Use an Image with a Strong Focal Point

In general, it’s best to avoid abstract images that don’t serve a clear purpose.

Remember, your Facebook cover photo is an opportunity to capture and direct the attention of visitors. So use an image that grabs people’s attention and elicits curiosity.

Your image should also be in keeping with your brand’s look and feel.

In the example below, Tesla displays a stunning image featuring their key product, the Model 3. Notice how the road and sunset draw your attention to the car?

2. Place the Emphasis on the Right of the Image

The Facebook profile picture and sidebar are on the left-hand side of the page, so cover photos tend to look best when the focal point is on the right-hand side of the image.

Let’s look at two examples to see the difference. This first Facebook cover photo is from juice store Press London:

This second Facebook cover photo is from glasses wax store Nerdwax:

Both images are well-designed and compelling.

However, can you see how moving the emphasis to the right-hand side of the page provides an additional sense of balance?

There’s also a more tactical benefit to drawing the viewer’s attention to the right-hand side of the page: this is where the Facebook Page call to action is located.

Take this example from glasses store Sunday Somewhere. Notice how the eye is drawn over and down to the call to action?

3. Don’t Include Small Text or Visual Elements

You need to make sure that any text or visual details you include are large enough to be viewed easily on a small smartphone screen.

This is important to consider when the vast majority of Facebook users access the site from smartphones:

4. Update Your Facebook Cover Photo Regularly

Facebook cover photos present a fantastic opportunity to communicate with your target audience, so take the opportunity to update your message regularly.

In the example below, Black Milk Clothing use their Facebook cover photo to promote their Wild Hearts collection:

This Facebook cover photo helps to increase awareness of their collection while the time-sensitive offer helps to create urgency among visitors.

9 Facebook Cover Photo Ideas From Successful Brands

Now that you have the tools and best practices under your belt, here are nine inspiring Facebook cover photo ideas from successful brands.

1. Present Your Key Selling Proposition

One of the best ways to use your Facebook cover photo is to highlight your key selling proposition or benefit.

To understand your business’s key selling proposition, simply ask yourself, “what is the key benefit we provide to customers?”

Here’s how we do it on Oberlo’s Facebook page:

In another example, TED promotes the key benefit of their service TED Recommends:

2. Capture Attention with an Animation

If you like the idea of a Facebook cover video, but you don’t have the time, budget, or expertise to create a compelling video, why not create a GIF?

These animated images provide a versatile creative opportunity to capture attention. Here’s a simple example from apparel store So Worth Loving:

To create a GIF, use a free tool like Giphy Capture or Tumblr’s GIF maker.

3. Create a Slideshow of Images

Not only can you use photos, videos, and GIFs in your Facebook cover image, you can also upload multiple images to create an image slideshow.

Here’s an example from travel bag brand Minaal:

To add multiple images, add a single image first, then click the camera icon to reveal the menu, and click, “Edit Slideshow.”

If you’re not sure which photos to include in your Facebook cover slideshow, you can always allow Facebook to automatically select which photos appear by using the toggle in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

4. Feature Your Products

If you’re not sure what to use as your Facebook cover photo, you can’t go wrong with a great product photo. Plus, it can save time and money to simply use an image you already have.

Here’s a great example from Dollar Shave Club:

5. Promote Your Social Media Campaigns

Many businesses create branded hashtags to increase social engagement with consumers. Why not create your own branded hashtag and promote it in your Facebook cover photo?

Here’s how fitness apparel brand Gymshark does it:

6. Keep it Simple

If you’re really struggling for that perfect idea, just keep it simple. Some of the largest brands in the world have created empires using simple but powerful visuals.

Take Nike – their Facebook cover photo just features their slogan in black and white:

7. Feature Faces in Your Image

People are instinctively drawn to other people.

So much so, that one study discovered photos with faces are 38 percent more likely to get “Likes” on social media than photos without faces. Photos with faces are also 32 percent more likely to attract comments.

Jewelry brand Biko is taking advantage of this natural phenomenon:

8. Keep it Seasonal

There’s always something happening – whether it’s Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas, or just one of the four seasons! So try mixing things up throughout the year by creating timely Facebook cover photos.

Candy store Sugarfina updated their Facebook cover photo for the lunar new year:

9. Pair Your Facebook Cover Photo with Your Profile Picture

To create a more professional and cohesive brand look, it can help to match your Facebook cover photo and profile picture.

Compare the previous example from Sugarfina to this next one from Target:

Notice the increased impact when the Facebook cover photo and profile picture match?

Summary

Facebook cover photos are a fantastic opportunity to promote your brand or amplify a specific marketing message to your target audience.

Remember:

  • Facebook cover photos are displayed at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on desktops, and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on mobile devices.
  • It’s best to create an image that’s 820 pixels wide and 462 pixels tall while remembering that the top and bottom of the photo will be cropped by 75 pixels each on desktop devices.
  • The same goes for Facebook cover videos.

When creating your Facebook cover photo, keep in mind these best practices:

  • Direct viewer’s attention by using an image with a strong focal point.
  • Place the emphasis on the right-hand side of the image to visually balance the Facebook Page layout.
  • Avoid including small text or visual details that will be difficult for smartphone users to see.

Lastly, after you’ve created and uploaded your Facebook cover photo, be sure to check how it appears on different devices and make any necessary changes. That way, you can be certain it will look great to everyone!

What type of Facebook banner are you about to create – photo, video, slideshow, animation, or video? Let us know in the comments below!

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