The Facebook cover photo… it feels like it should be easy to pick one, and yet it feels hard at the same time.

You only get one, one photo, one chance to make a good impression, one chance to convey a specific feeling, so what should it be?

The Facebook cover photo is one of the first things people will see when they come to your page, that is why it is important to make the best first impression possible and for the cover photo to convey exactly what it is you are aiming for. And that’s what I would like to help you with.

Let’s jump in and figure out the best way to make the most out of your Facebook cover photo together.

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Let’s start with basics:

The ideal Facebook cover photo size is …

851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall according to Facebook

Facebook even provides a really neat graphic showing you exactly the dimensions around your profile image so that your cover photo fits perfectly around your profile image and crucial information doesn’t get covered up.

Facebook Cover Photo guidelines

How To Create Your Cover Photo

We might not all be designers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all have a beautiful Facebook cover photo. Here are some places you can look at to create your cover.

Your Photos

Your Facebook cover photo should be all about you/your business, so why not use one of your own photos that represents you?

For example, my cover photo is a picture that I took when I visited Scotland of a blue police box. With it I’m sharing a hint at something I’m passionate about, Doctor Who, and the hope is that other fans will relate to it as well.

sandrine facebook cover photo

Stock Photos

If you don’t have any personal photos you would like to share, how about using a beautiful stock photo? We even shared 53 free image sources for you to find the perfect image for your cover photo. My favorite websites to find beautiful stock photos are Unsplash and Pixabay.

I would encourage you to edit/enhance whatever photo you pick with Pablo, Canva or PicMonkey to make it more personal. You could even enhance your own picture with those tools if you wanted to. For example, you could pick one of your favorite quotes and lay it over the photo, Pablo even has a few beautiful quotes you can pick directly in there.


If you don’t want to use a photo or if you’d like even more help to create your cover photo, Canva offers pre-made templates for you to use and/or customize however you would like.

canva facebook cover photo template

How To Select Your Cover Photo

Now that we know how to create your cover photo, the question is what kind of cover photo should you select? Are there cover photos that work best than others? Let’s investigate.

Best practices

First up, let’s discuss some of the best practices when it comes to Facebook cover photo. Hubspot and fusion farm have put together a great list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to cover photos. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Follow Facebook’s guidelines
  • Respect Facebook’s required dimensions (851px wide by 315 px tall)
  • Have a high quality image
  • Stay mainly visual
  • Don’t hide content behind your profile picture
  • Right align objects in your cover photo
  • Integrate you cover photo design with the rest of your page
  • Have an image that is original and unique that relates to your brand

What Type of Image Attracts People

We recently looked into some of the components that make images shareable which turned out to be:

  • Emotion: Making people feel, leads them to take action
  • Relevance: Including something that fits with your audience’s interest
  • Colors: Picking the right colors that will lead to the most shares
  • Typography: Choosing the right font that will make your message clear
  • Hashtags and Text: Find the right words that will lead your audience to interact

These components can also be applied to your Facebook cover photo in order to make people feel a certain way or take a specific action when they come to your page.

For example Coca-Cola’s cover photo uses the brand’s universally recognized red as a background with one simple word “Happiness” using a beautiful typography made out of a straw. This of course in the hopes of making people feel happiness when thinking go Coca-Cola and/or to make the connection in people’s mind that drinking a coke means happiness. Simple and effective!

coca-cola facebook cover photo

Where Do People Look?

When coming up with your perfect cover photo it might be interesting to look into some eye tracking studies. Something that I found particularly interesting in an article from Kissmetrics ( on the subject is the idea of “directional queues.”

It was found that if you would like to draw attention to a specific item in an image, having a visual queue like a person’s gaze looking at that item will guide viewers to what they should look at next. This could be an interesting way to use a person’s gaze in your Facebook cover photo.


Something else Kissmetrics found that might be worth playing around with is to include an element that “pops” in your cover photo. That element should be the one that matters and the one that calls for action.

Playstation is letting people know that Call of Duty Black Ops III is now available, clearly letting people know they can go purchase it now.

playstation facebook cover

Adele’s cover photo also lets people know that her new album is out, which encourages people to go purchase it.

adele facebook cover photo

Thinking Outside the Box

The cover photo is a great way to express yourself but also a way to stand out when people visit your page. Here are some original ways you can use your cover photo (a few are inspired by Fishpond’s article):

  • Tie Your Profile Photo to your Cover Photo

demilked facebook cover

  • Change your cover photo based on special occasions, events, sales or holidays

tiffany and co facebook cover photo

  • Use your cover photo to send people to your website

schweppes facebook cover photo

  • Use your cover photo to send people to a special offer

ticketmaster facebook cover photo

  • Ask your fans to “Like” your page
  • Ask your fans to share your page
  • Include Easter Eggs that lead fans to a special giveaway or special event

Who Does It Well?

Now that we know what makes a good Facebook cover photo, how about we take a look as some of the pages that do it well. Hopefully you might find some inspiration :)

diesel facebook cover photo

Over To You!

Before I turn it over to you, I have one last cover photo I wanted to share with you… yes you guessed it, it’s the Buffer cover photo!

Buffer facebook cover photo

With our cover photo we wanted something that reflects what Buffer is and Buffer is nothing without the people behind it. Our team is such an integral part of Buffer that it makes sense they would earn the coveted cover photo spot on Facebook! The photo also gives a face to the company that people can connect with and seeing how community is very important for us, it seems like the perfect choice!

What about you? How do you use your Facebook cover photo? Do you have any tips or suggestions on what makes a good one? I would love to hear all your thoughts and ideas in the comments so that we can all create the best cover photos ever!

Read more: 10 More Amazingly Creative Facebook Covers