Here’s what we’ve covered in this branding mini-series thus far: YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Which means today it’s time to tackle the mother of all social media (so far as branding is concerned): Facebook.
It’s oddly appropriate that we’re talking Facebook during Halloween week, because it can be a bit scary: there are just so many visual elements at play!
Not to worry…we’re breaking it down into bite-sized pieces.
Starting from the top, let’s look at the image sizes. Keep in mind that images / photos appear in many more places than we note here. These are the images you actually have direct control over via upload:
- Cover Photo: 851px by 315px visible
- Profile Photo: 160px by 160px visible (minimum upload 180px by 180px)
- App Images: 111px by 74px (we use 180px by 120px)
- Timeline Images: 403px by 403px visible (maximum upload 2048px by 2048px)
- Highlighted Post / Milestone Images: 843px by 403px
- Highlighted Video Post / Milestone: 843px by 475px
Tip: All of these image sizes are the display size – you can upload images of varying sizes + reposition them as needed. We like to design for the final size when we’re dealing with a lot of text so we can test for readability. Doing so also allows us to upload, share, and get off of Facebook before we get sucked in by our news feed. (Social media is a fabulous tool – but it’s also a fabulous time killer.)
Now to share some ideas on how to use all of these images…
There are two schools of thought (if not more!) here…
The first is that a cover photo is prime real estate because of its location, size, and prominence on your page. For this reason, a lot of folks feel it should be a major focal point in your social media branding + marketing. Using it to showcase new products, a current sale, etc., are great ways to share your message with visitors.
The second is that while a cover is a large piece of the visual pie, it’s not as important as the timeline images. Here’s why: unless someone is visiting your Facebook page directly, they aren’t going to see your cover photo. Instead, they’re going to interact with your posts, which they are most likely seeing in their news feed. (Of course cover images can also be seen when hovering over a profile image…but that’s sort of spitting hairs.)
Our suggestion: Create a cover photo that reinforces your brand, encourages loyalty, or shares your story – but don’t stress over it. Concentrate instead on creating + sharing useful information with your followers. Regular posts on your timeline will outperform the most beautiful cover photo. This is social media – if you’re not updating + engaging, you’re just standing in the corner looking pretty. Start dancing, folks!
Depending upon how you brand your business (i.e. people or product) we’d suggest using a quality photo of yourself or a high-res version your logo. Product photos + images with lots of text can get lost in the shuffle when a follower sees your updates via their news feed. Faces + logos not only represent your business well, but they generally downsize well too.
These images are small but mighty. Depending upon which apps you use + how you use them, these images can draw attention to a specific action you may want visitors to take. Again, remember that unless someone is visiting your page directly, they aren’t going to see these little guys.
Here’s where you can really encourage your followers to engage in your message, share your posts, and increase the likelihood that your posts will continue to show in their feeds. We’ve noticed that images accompanied by text get the best results.
Stumped for ideas? Check out some of your favorite pages for ideas + inspiration.
Highlighted Post / Milestone Images
Use these sparingly – but do use them! When you’ve got an amazing new product with a glowing review, an awesome piece of press, or a major milestone to share (did Anthropologie pick up your line!?), highlight it! These events deserve extra attention (+ a beautiful close-up.)
We’d love to hear how you’re using Facebook to share your work with the world. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Share your thoughts in the comments (along with a link to your page – we’d love to follow you!)
P.S. Pardon the karate chop mid video – trigger fingers + video editing can be a dangerous pairing. 😉