A recent adjustment in Facebook’s guidelines regarding pages has created a lot of buzz for brand marketers. In case you missed it, the section of Facebook’s cover image guidelines regarding the percentage of text allowed on a cover image has quietly disappeared.
The change was made quietly (similar to the last adjustment that was made to the cover image rules) and confirmed in a low-key way, but the missing stipulation has confirmed that marketers can now go text crazy in their page cover images. Although this is now technically true, it’s important that brand marketers don’t take the lax rule to extremes. Here are a few things to keep in mind before redesigning your cover image.
Still keep the emphasis on the imagery.
Remember, the cover image is still just that — an image. That means you need to make sure that the visual elements of the image are still emphasized and prominently placed. The image is what’s going to attract your readers’ attention, not the text itself. Reel them in with a great, hi-res, well-positioned image and then get them to act with your text. Paul F. Tompkins’ Facebook cover image promoting his upcoming shows in London is a perfect example of this balance of image and lots of information, with the emphasis remaining on the image. While we’re on the subject of text, though…
Don’t overload the cover with text.
The beauty of social media messaging is the emphasis on short-form content — everything, by necessity, needs to be short and concise. In a way, the 20% rule was a good thing, because it forced marketers to convey their message in a small space. Without that restriction, you can expect to see marketers taking that freedom too far. Make sure you don’t overload your image with text. Although it will vary from image to image and promotion to promotion, your text probably shouldn’t take up more than 40% of your image. Any more than that and you risk turning off viewers.
Include a short call to action.
Get your fans to take action by remembering that all-important call to action. Make sure that it pertains to the message the rest of your text (and the image itself) is communicating, and that it is easy to act on. This might mean including a link to an online store in the description of the cover image, or giving users the means to otherwise carry out the task you’re asking. If the purpose of your image is to promote your product or sale, then make sure your fans know how to navigate to it via your call to action.
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