When people arrive on your Facebook page, where do you think they look first?
I will give you some pointers. It’s visual content that sits at the top of your page. Its dimensions are 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels high. On most desktop browsers, it takes up almost a quarter of the screen.
That’s right – it’s your Facebook cover photo.
Sometimes called a Facebook banner, this graphic is one of the most eye-catching parts of your page. It is therefore important that you follow Facebook cover photo best practices and optimize your cover photo for the correct dimensions.
Facebook cover photo size
Facebook covers are 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels high for the desktop and 640 pixels wide and 360 pixels high for cell phones. If your uploaded picture is smaller than these dimensions, Facebook will stretch it to fit so it looks blurry.
A cover photo can take your Facebook business page to the next level. Whether you are using Facebook to generate leads, close your next sale, or build a customer community, knowing how to create and optimize your cover photo is very important. When you factor in the dimensions of the Facebook cover photo above, it can be difficult to balance creativity with the needs of the platform.
As you can see from the above image, there is a lot of space to risk in cutting off your final cover photo design depending on where your target audience is viewing the page – mobile or desktop.
So it’s best to focus the bulk of your content on this green area where everyone can see your cover photo, regardless of what device they’re using.
Do you need help getting started? Below are templates for Facebook cover photos, as well as many best practices to help you design your brand’s banner graphics. At the end of this post, we’ll tell you how to turn your cover photo into a cover video, and check out a few examples to see what others have been doing.
Facebook cover photo best practices
1. Follow the guidelines for Facebook covers.
It seems like a no-brainer, but following Facebook’s cover photo guidelines is vital for your Facebook Page to exist in the first place. I would highly recommend reading through the full page guidelines, but here are a few important things to keep in mind about your Facebook banner:
- Your cover is public.
- Covers cannot be misleading, misleading, or infringe the copyright of others.
- You can’t encourage people to upload your cover to their personal schedules.
If you are caught violating the above provisions, Facebook can take action against your page. And while Facebook doesn’t specifically say what will happen if you violate their cover photo guidelines, it probably isn’t wise to remove your Facebook Page for a cover photo violation. Therefore, read the guidelines in full and follow them.
2. Make sure your Facebook cover photo is the right size.
As stated at the beginning of this article, the best Facebook banner size is 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels high for computers and 640 pixels wide and 360 pixels high for mobile devices.
You don’t want to spend all of your time designing a cover photo just to make it look weird when you upload it to Facebook.
If you upload an image that is smaller than these dimensions, Facebook will stretch it to the correct size, provided it is at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels high.
The hassle-free way to make sure your covers are the right size, download our pre-made Facebook cover template.
Selected Resource: Facebook Cover Photo Templates
Download the free templates
3. Don’t worry about the old ‘20% text ‘rule, but try to be visual anyway.
In 2013, Facebook removed all references to the 20% rule for text in cover photos … but that doesn’t mean you should get wild with using text in your design. The previous rule was that only 20% of your cover photo could be text. Personally, I found this way too restrictive for marketers, but the vibe behind the rule was good.
If you want to use text in your cover photo, keep this text short. Your photo will be much more informative and engaging. You can see how we’ve tried to strike that balance on HubSpot’s Facebook page.
Would you like to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook page here.
4. Give your cover photo a focus and colors that suit your brand.
Think of your cover photo as the part of your page that is “above the fold”. If it’s distracting or confusing, people are more likely to click on the page.
Many of the best Facebook covers include a centerpiece to grab visitors’ attention, as well as a color scheme that blends in with the rest of their brand. Remember that your social media accounts are extensions of your business and should give visitors that impression right away.
They also use a negative white (i.e. blank) area as a perk to make the subject, copy, and elements unique to Facebook (like the CTA button on Facebook business pages) stand out even more.
Here is an example from the New York Times:
And one from the social media management platform Sprout Social:
5. Do not try to mix the contents of your cover photo with your profile picture.
With some clever design tweaks, you were able to edit your profile picture and cover photo to make them look like they’re two pieces of the same canvas.
One of the old Paris covers is a good example of this:
You can still do this in your personal profile, but Facebook will no longer set up Business Pages this way.
As shown in the examples earlier in this article, the profile picture is now completely separate from the cover picture.
We admire your creativity, but we won’t prepare your design this way if you haven’t started a company page yet.
6. Draw attention to the action buttons in the lower right corner.
You may have noticed in some of the cover photo examples above that the primary call-to-action (CTA) buttons were different. HubSpots says “send a message” while Sprout Socials says “sign up”.
Depending on your business, you can start a page on Facebook with a unique CTA button at the bottom right of your cover photo. Keep this button in mind when designing your cover photo and make it clear in the photo that this is a visitor’s next step.
LinkedIn Learning does this in a subtle way by placing a man’s graphic on a laptop over the Sign In button and drawing your gaze to that call to action.
Note: While it seems like a good idea to add directional cues like an arrow to get users to click the CTA buttons. Note, however, that these CTA buttons do not appear the same way in the mobile app. In other words, it can be confusing for mobile users when you put the cover photo design right into the buttons.
I’ll show you what business pages look like on mobile in just a minute.
7. Align the objects on your cover photo to the right.
Since your profile picture is on the left, you want to add some balance to your Facebook cover photo design by having the focus of the picture on the right.
Check out these covers. Which one looks more aesthetically pleasing?
Doesn’t the right-aligned cover picture look better? On the new cover photo from Samsung, the largest design elements (the profile picture, the text and the two phones) are evenly distributed. In the old Samsung cover photo, your attention is immediately drawn to the left side of the page, with the product name completely absent in the upper right corner.
Adding balance is not only a crucial element of the design, it also allows your cover photos to be more visually effective on mobile devices. Which brings me to my next point …
8. Think about mobile users.
Statista reports that 98.3% of Facebook users access the social network from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. That’s huge – and that’s why it’s so important that mobile users are always up to date with the design of their Facebook cover photo.
A much larger part of your cover photo is hidden on mobile devices. The right side is usually cut out completely.
Let’s look at a real-life example. See below how Cisco’s Facebook page looks in a desktop browser compared to Facebook’s mobile app.
Cell phone, mobile phone:
While your cover photo is displayed on the desktop with a width of 820 pixels and a height of 312 pixels, on smartphones only 640 pixels with a height of 360 pixels are displayed. Please see this Facebook help document for more information.
It is important to note that the text on the Cisco cover photo is completely cut off. While it looks best to align your visuals to the right, be careful not to move important content so far to the right that it is clipped on mobile.
9. Add a shortened link to your cover photo description that matches your page CTA.
If you want to use your cover photo to support a page CTA, make sure your cover photo description also includes a text CTA and a link to the same listing. That way, people can access the link every time they view your cover photo directly.
Here is this procedure in action on the Adobe Creative Cloud Facebook page:
Make sure to shorten your links and add UTM codes so you can track clicks on them. Cut and track features are available in Marketing Hub and in tools like bitly.
(If you want to learn more about how to make an effective call-to-action copy for your cover photo description, click here to download our free eBook on Creating Compelling CTAs.)
10. Put a related post right under your Facebook cover photo.
Have you ever “pinned” a post to your Facebook Page Timeline? Pining a post allows you to mark a typical Facebook post at the top of your timeline for seven days. It is identified by a “PINNED POST” title at the top right of the post, like on the Behance page below:
How does this relate to optimizing your Facebook cover photo? If you spend time aligning your Facebook Page CTA, cover photo design, and copy of cover photo description, make sure you post roughly the same thing right on your page and pin this post to the top of your timeline.
That way, you’re giving users a very clear call to action when they get to your page (albeit in multiple different places) – which is supposed to make conversions easier.
To pin a Facebook post: Simply publish the post on Facebook, then click the three dots in the top right corner of the post and choose “Pin to Top of Page”.
11. Consider posting a Facebook cover video.
You read that right. Facebook Business Pages now have the option to add a video instead of a static cover photo if they meet certain requirements.
Let’s see how you can do that.
Publish a Facebook title video by first saving a video file that is 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels high on your desktop.
Then upload the video to your site’s video library.
On Facebook, you can only choose a video that meets the dimensional requirements. The platform currently supports cover videos between 20 and 90 seconds long and at least 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels high. The maximum (and recommended) size is 820 x 462 pixels with a video resolution of 1080p.
After uploading the video, click “Edit” in the lower right corner of your cover photo and choose “Select from Videos”.
Select the video you just uploaded and reposition it so it focuses on the element you want to highlight.
When you click Next, you will be prompted to choose from 10 thumbnails for your video. Choose the one that works best.
Note that Facebook cover videos will play in a loop. Once they finish, it will automatically restart if the viewer is still on your Facebook page. With that in mind, make sure whatever you post is enjoyable when you see it multiple times. Extreme, action-packed videos can seem exhausting when played back repeatedly.
Examples of Facebook cover videos
Cover videos are a great option for newbies to video, and brands in numerous industries have used them to grab the attention of their visitors.
Here are some great cover videos to inspire you.
REI sells outdoor equipment for activities such as camping, hiking, running, boating, and cycling. The company’s subtle cover video reflects its products – all in a peaceful time-lapse of the scenery audiences long for.
Nokia wants to be wherever its users are – whether paddling, diving, skateboarding or working. The Facebook cover video embodies its main customer in a visually appealing way.
When your publication is changing as fast as the news cycle, it can be difficult to focus your readers on the stories that you think deserve special attention. WIRED Magazine uses its Facebook cover video for exactly this purpose, as shown in the example below.
Okay, maybe we’re biased, but our brilliant creative team destroyed it with the video below, made for the HubSpot Academy. Sometimes animation is the best way to capture the essence of your brand.
Next, let’s take a look at some examples of what Facebook cover videos look like when you’re signed in to the platform.
Black girl sun protection
Black Girl Sunscreen makes us feel all the good things with its Facebook cover video. In it, the brand shows its customers how they enjoy the sun and makes us wish that summer was here (or that it would last forever).
Grammar is a tool for checking for errors in articles, emails, and other written documents. The company’s subtle cover video shows how smooth its clients’ writing will be after going through the grammar program.
The Sip is a black-run, female-owned Facebook community dedicated to promoting self-care and social awareness. The brand uses a video to showcase the topics they cover on their platform and invites users to stay on the page and get involved.
With Sprout Social, brands can manage their social media profiles on one platform. The Facebook cover video shows four different bubbles that show the writing, publishing, reporting and analyzing of social media posts in a single box. This is how Sprout Social shows exactly how its tool works.
This woman-owned nail care brand uses its cover video to show how customers feel when they walk into a Sunday salon – or wear nail polish on Sunday.
ComicBook.com is a news website that covers everything to do with movies, shows, and pop culture. Its Facebook cover video gives viewers a taste of the topics, films, and actors the publication covers on a daily basis.
Stasher appeals to eco-conscious shoppers with a fun, animated Facebook cover video that shows how your purchase is affecting the planet.
As you can see from these examples, your video should be as simple as a cover photo. Note that the same guidelines as in Best Practice # 1 also apply to cover videos.
Facebook cover photo sizes that are right for your business
Choosing the right cover size for your Facebook Page may seem easy, but it can have a huge impact on users and potential customers who visit your page. A poorly fitting cover photo or video can look unprofessional and give the wrong impression of the quality of your product or service. With the tips I’ve shared, you can be sure that you’re choosing a Facebook cover photo that embodies your brand, conveys quality, and engages users on the platform.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for completeness.