Tips to Rock your next Facebook Cover Image
Admit it, unless you live under a rock, you have used Facebook for at least some of your daily life. But what you may not want to admit is what kind of user you are.
Are you the “post every detail of your day from sun rise to sun set” kind of user? Or maybe you are the “I have an opinion and I just have to share it” user? Possibly you fall into the “I just want my friends and family to know where I am and what I’m doing” kind of user. Do you simply troll others online, or are you that dreaded “here’s another hilarious video of a cat” kind of user?
Whether you admit to it or not, it is easy to determine someone’s personality by how they use images on Facebook, and the one image that says the most about a person is their cover image.
The cover image is the term used for the banner-type image that appears across the top of your personal page (or business page, but more on that later). It is meant to be the one image that summarizes you for visitors to Facebook. So how do you go about choosing and using such an important picture?
Choose the right format
The most obvious place to start is with the format of your image. While most of us shoot images using a 3x2 ratio, Facebook cover images are panoramic. This format can be cropped from a standard image, but it is easier when starting with a panoramic format to begin with.
Your profile picture, or avatar, will appear in the lower left corner occupying a small square space. In other words, choose an image where that corner of real estate is not critical to telling your story.
Then tell your story
Just like a good stock image, the most important aspect of your Cover Image is the message or concept you want to portray. If you rock a killer sense of humor – use a funny image. If your mind set is more Zen – then use one that conveys a more since of serenity. Use images from your last vacation if travel is your thing, or highlight your last meal if you are a closet gourmet. Whatever it is that you want to convey to the world about who you are or what you are feeling will help determine the subject matter.
Create a Composite
Many of us feel we aren’t defined by a single concept or image. Another approach is to use a composite of images to better describe you as a person to the world of Facebook. This can either be a tile mosaic of all the images that are needed to fill in the picture of you, or it can be created by layering component of images into one large montage. Either way, make sure you include all the many aspects that make you you.
Find the perfect image
Don’t have THE image in your portfolio that adequately reflects the perfect you? With almost 70 million images in the database, dreamstime.com is sure to have you covered. Simply search for the object, theme or concept you need.
Or use the platform that was created specifically for cover image creation and ease of use - TimelineImages.com. Here you can download and use a wide selection of images pre-chosen to have the right format and concept for Facebook with easy to use tools for image manipulation and seamless integration with the Facebook app.
Why buy an image at all? Because content that you find on the internet may fall under copyright laws, and using them without consent or license could land you in a heap of trouble. Both dreamstime.com and timelineimages.com grant you a web usage image license that covers Facebook requirements.
Then change it up
The good news about Cover Images is that they are easy to change based on how you are feeling at any particular moment. Depending on the type of user you are, you can change the image hourly, daily, when you take a big trip, once a year, once and leave it, or just when you find those really great cat images. You can swap between photos already loaded, or add new ones at any time.
Business pages and groups
Many of us maintain a separate page for our business or for the groups that we run. Each of those pages can have their own cover image. This is a great place to brand yourself in a way that is more marketable to your target audience.
Help others express themselves
And now that you have a better understanding of the Cover image, keep this group of consumers in mind when you are creating great content. Add some great panoramas, always keeping an eye towards creative expressions of personality, then upload them into your portfolio for others to use in expressing their true self.
Photo credits: Karen Foley.
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