In the world of social media marketing, visuals are everything. Like it or not, when potential customers visit your Facebook page, they don’t dive right into your post history or read your bio. They’ll get there eventually (hopefully!), but first they take in the visuals: your profile picture and cover photo.
Your cover photo is like a billboard right smack at the top of your page — and there is a lot riding on first impressions. In this guide, we’ll help you get the most from your Facebook cover photo and choose the right sizing and content.
Facebook image sizes: Quick reference chart
* Profile pictures are displayed as circles — the corners will be cropped out.
Facebook page cover photo sizes
Some people browse Facebook on their computer. Others use their phone, meaning one cover photo size won’t fit every screen. To get the perfect fit for multiple screen sizes, things get a little complicated.
Let’s start with desktop dimensions (the size of a Facebook cover photo when you’re browsing on a computer). On a computer screen, Facebook cover photos are 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall.
For smartphones, you’d think both dimensions would be smaller, but it’s not that simple. When viewed on a phone, Facebook cover photos are 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall — significantly narrower than on a computer, but also slightly taller.
The solution? Use the desktop width (820 pixels) and the mobile height (360 pixels). To ensure nothing gets cropped out, keep the important elements of your cover photo within the “safe area.”
Finding the “safe area”
The so-called safe area of Facebook cover photo sizes is where mobile and desktop cover photos overlap (see the image below). As mentioned above, the ideal Facebook cover photo size is 820 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall. Here’s the problem: If you use an image that size, the edges will be cropped for mobile viewing, while the top and bottom will be cropped on a computer. To avoid losing important elements of your cover photo, keep all crucial details 90 pixels from the right and left sides and 12 pixels from the top and bottom edges.
What to include in a Facebook cover photo
Now that you’re a Facebook cover photo sizing expert, let’s talk about cover photo content.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule telling you what to include in your Facebook cover photo. Cover photos are versatile — before choosing an image, you’ll need to decide what you want it to achieve. This could be anything from generating leads to demonstrating functionality to simply looking cool — all are good options.
Need something to get the creative juices flowing? We’ve compiled a list of cover photo guidelines, possible content to include, and great cover photo examples:
Stay on brand: This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised. No matter what you choose for your Facebook cover photo, it should be consistent with the rest of your brand in tone, content and appearance.
Use high-quality images: Don’t use a low-resolution image. It’ll look bad, I promise. If the first impression of your business is a pixelated, grainy image, people won’t stick around to find out more.
Lead generation: Earlier, we compared cover photos to billboards — why not use your cover photo like a billboard and slap an ad or promotion on it? Facebook gives you the added bonus of a button below the photo. Direct people there, and you’ve got yourself new sales leads.
Upcoming events: Does your company have an upcoming conference? Webinar? Bake sale? You can use your cover photo to advertise that — just remember to change it after the event.
Product features and benefits: Whether it’s customer testimonials or outlining a standout feature of your product, your Facebook cover photo is a great place to make a concise, punchy value proposition. Tell people why they should use your product.
Employee or company photos: When all else fails, a genuine photograph goes a long way. This could be photos of employees at work or even your storefront. You might be tempted to use stock photos. A word of advice: don’t.
Great Facebook cover photo examples
Netflix realizes the advertising potential of a cover photo, using the space to promote a new series — while it doesn’t call on us to sign up directly, this image likely helps drive registrations.
Old Spice nearly fell firmly into the “old man product” chasm before capturing a younger market with its iconic television ads. This cover photo fits in perfectly with the new brand image: Manly, but make it ironic.
You’d expect good cover photo design from a design firm, and Pearlfisher delivers. This cover photo showcases the company’s work in a creative way, using a pattern to avoid any cropping mishaps.
Joe Biden’s campaign page shows the power of restraint. The cover photo is simple and punchy, concisely communicating the Biden campaign’s message. What’s more, it makes excellent use of the safe area.
Facebook now allows you to use videos as cover images — a feature that Squarespace takes full advantage of. In place of a cover photo, the brand has included a video advertisement that directs viewers to a sign-up button.
When it comes to social media marketing, cover photos are just the start. But now you can start with your best foot forward: To take your Facebook marketing game to the next level, check out our Lucidpress Facebook templates. Our collection of customizable templates allows non-designers and designers alike to create high-quality Facebook posts and more.