7 design tips for a converting social media cover photo
Stop making your cover photo an afterthought.
It’s the first thing people look at when they visit your page. It’s impossible to miss. It sets an instant impression.
Facebook has them. So does LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
They’re everywhere and yet overlooked.
But a cover photo gives you an excellent opportunity to start wooing your visitors. It acts as the shop window. It shows who you are. It tells a visitor why they should care.
As design experts, we'll show you our secret formula to set your social media apart.
These are 7 of the best design tips you need to know when creating your social media cover photo.
1. Know your main goal
What do you want visitors to your social media to do?
You either have many answers or none at all.
But it’s a crucial question.
Do you want them to give you a follow? Do you want them to visit your website? Do you want them to know about a promotion?
So before you begin anything with your cover photo, ask yourself...
What do I want visitors to do?
Pick the most important goal (just one) and ignore the rest.
If you’re just starting, you’ll probably want followers. However, it depends on your circumstances.
Whatever you do though, don’t skip this.
It’s like setting off on a journey without knowing the destination. You’ll get lost as soon as you step out.
2. Know your dimensions
Now for the technical bit.
Different platforms have different dimensions. It’s annoying but how big brands work.
You need to make sure that you design with the right dimensions for the right platform. If you attempt to fudge it, it will look weird.
It allows you to size the image properly and avoid anything being cut off or misplaced.
We’ve rounded up the recommended dimensions below. So pick which one you’re doing and set it up.
Facebook cover photos should be 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall.
LinkedIn cover photos should be 1,128 pixels wide by 191 pixels tall.
Twitter cover photos should be 1,500 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall.
YouTube cover photos should be 2,560 pixels wide by 1,440 pixels tall.
3. Make sure your cover photo has a focal point
A focal point is a point of interest in your image that you want people to focus on.
This will change depending on what you want your cover photo to convey. It could be text or an image.
Whatever it is, make sure you have one and design the image with that in mind.
That means no other distracting elements drawing the eye away from where you want people to look. You want the rest of the design to complement the focal point, not compete against it.
The use of negative space can be helpful with this.
4. Use colours that match or complement your brand
You want the colours to be on-brand.
It creates recognition and allows visitors to know instantly they are on the right page.
You will ideally have brand guidelines that outline the do’s and don’t when it comes to colours.
This should also extend to shapes and imagery.
If you don’t have this, even something basic is a good start just to keep things consistent. If you don’t, branding will start to stray and cause confusion.
5. Draw people’s attention to action buttons
Under a cover photo sits an action button.
These are the buttons that tell people to follow, sign up, or subscribe.
With a simple design, you can draw people’s eyes to these buttons. They increase the chances of them pressing it and gaining a new follower.
You don’t need anything fancy, such as arrows pointing specifically to these. We recommend you don’t try this.
Social pages on mobile often appear different and can make these arrows pointless (excuse the pun) and direct them to the wrong thing.
It’s best to just include a design feature that draws the eye.
Perhaps the focal point of your image sits above the button. Maybe it’s a line of text or an image.
It can be anything that fits your overall design but position it above the button to encourage users' eyes to that place.
It’s subtle but can increase your chances of a new follower.
6. Right-align your images
You’re going to want to make sure the objects in your cover image are aligned to the right.
On all social platforms, your profile or page photo is on the left. Keep your cover photo designs to the right to create balance.
If you don’t, it can create something that doesn’t look right, and cause people to miss elements you want to bring their attention to.
Balance is an important design principle and something that must always be followed.
7. Ensure it’s optimised for mobile
Most viewers of your pages will be doing so on mobile. However, a lot of design work is done on desktop.
People overlook this and forget that how they’re viewing it might not be how their followers are.
When viewing on mobile the cover image is typically cut around the borders and you can’t view it all.
It’s therefore important to not include vital design elements too near the borders.
Always check how it looks across all devices and alter accordingly.
Your cover image seems simple, but it has a significant impact on viewers of your page.
Do not fear this. It gives you more control to push them in the right direction.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be starting on the right foot.
But do you want your cover photo looking the best it can?
You can get all the advice you need, but experience is something you can’t replicate.
Get your social media shining by contacting us now. Our promise to you is expert-led design.
Bring your vision, we’ll bring the interface.
Get people converting and make your business happy.