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Facebook can be an effective and cost-efficient marketing tool for businesses to engage with customers. The popular social media channel allows businesses to define their brands, showcase new products and sales strategies, and connect with customers in meaningful ways that build brand awareness and loyalty. But how do you and your designers differentiate your brand from countless competitors? The following three tips demonstrate how to create a powerful Facebook cover design that will make your brand stand out.

Tip #1: Treat Your Facebook Cover Design Like You Would Prime Real Estate

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Your cover image is the most important section of real estate on your Facebook page, and perhaps all of your social media. It is likely second to your logo and website design. Treat it accordingly. Just as real estate property is pampered and groomed by teams of landscape architects and gardeners, you designers should treat the cover image as an important and living piece of land that requires constant attention.

Begin by knowing the physical dimensions of the Facebook cover image space: Cover images appear as 851 x 315 pixels, so the ideal dimensions for an uploaded image is 1702 x 630 pixels at 72 dpi and keep in mind that you should always use RGB color mode for digital assets, not CMYK.

Before considering a creative direction, make sure your designer understands these important technical details. A common mistake businesses make is to spend many hours on the creative process, only to discover later that their beautiful cover image doesn’t fit the parameters of the space, and appears stretched out or too compressed upon being uploaded onto Facebook.

Resolution is critical. Customers who visit a Facebook page only to encounter a blurred or contorted cover image immediately harbor negative feelings about their experience and your business’s brand. Though Facebook has the power to significantly increase your customer base, it also when unprofessionally designed and managed has the potential to turn customers against your brand. So make sure your cover image receives the attention it deserves. Failure to treat it like prime real estate reflects poorly on your ability to manage your brand and its public image.

Tip #2: Use Your Cover Image to Communicate a Tone and Narrative

 

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When customers visit your Facebook page, the first image they see is your cover photo. Use this opportunity to set a tone and narrative for your brand. Your cover image should dictate how visitors feel about your brand. You want your customers to feel that your brand offers value and a unique reward whether that is a new product or a unique sales experience or proprietary service. For example, people are serious about their money, so a financial brand would use an image that evokes a feeling of power, wealth, and security a tall building in Manhattan, a stack of cash, or an image of an impenetrable bank vault. An ice cream brand wants visitors to feel a sense of enjoyment, indulgence, or culinary excellence an image of friends eating ice cream together, a sharp close-up shot of an ice cream sundae covered in chocolate syrup and crushed nuts, or a behind-the-scenes image of employees skillfully churning ice cream at the back of the store.

Colors are important to setting a tone and narrative, and bright colors are particularly powerful. Orange is associated with happiness, vitality, and food (because our minds associate orange with the autumn harvest). Green, understandably, is associated with nature, health, freshness, and growth. Yellow evokes feelings of warmth and sunshine, humor, and optimism. Black conveys mystery, power, and formality. Before you begin to design your Facebook cover, make a list of the colors you wish to use, and research what impact those colors have in marketing. Setting the tone is critical to how customers interact with your Facebook experience.

Tip #3: Your Facebook Cover Image Is a Headline, and Should Change Accordingly

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Businesses often make the mistake of thinking that their Facebook cover image doesn’t need to change. In fact, many companies leave a static image at the top of their Facebook page because they believe it creates a sense of familiarity for customers. But customers tend to ignore what is familiar to them. By keeping the same image in your Facebook cover space, you are missing a powerful opportunity to feature your company’s latest products, sales initiatives, or services. In a matter of seconds, customers notice that your Facebook cover image hasn?t changed, so glance over it, or leave the page.

Have a schedule (that makes sense for your business) in place that dictates whether the cover image is updated every week, two weeks, month or season. Your Facebook cover image is at the top of your Facebook page, and should be treated like the headline of a newspaper, showcasing the latest news in your business and product line. If customers believe there is something new and of value to see on your Facebook page, they will visit with regularity. If customers know you don’t update your Facebook presence often, they will gravitate towards businesses that do. Keep it fresh.

To see designer-specific tips on great Facebook cover design, see 8 Standout Ways to Create a Facebook Cover Design.