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5 Tips For Choosing Your Facebook Cover Photo

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Your Facebook cover photo is a strong visual element of your homepage. It will be the first thing people see when they visit, so you need to make sure that your image is just right. But how do you choose which image to display?

Image: Marco Paköeningrat

Before the recent introduction of the cover photo, you were only able to change the small profile picture. With only a single picture on the page, most people sensibly put a picture of themselves so that people could find them. But with the addition of the cover photo you have a whole new space to play with!

Here are 5 tips to choosing the perfect photo.

1) Go Panoramic
The shape of the cover photo will most likely be different to any photos you have uploaded online, but this shape is a great match for pictures of landscapes. Perhaps you have a few holiday snaps of the beach?

But don’t worry if it doesn’t fit exactly, just focus on the best bits; in a landscape picture the most interesting part is likely to be the horizon. By using the crop tool once you’ve uploaded your picture, you can crop out some of the ‘negative space’ at the top of the picture, or wasted space at the bottom.

2) Do a Disappearing Act
As you already have a profile picture, there’s no need to feature in your cover photo too. Why not use it to display your latest photographic masterpiece, or a quote that gives an insight into your personality.

3) High Res.
Finding an image from your collection can be a daunting task- especially if your picture collection spans years!

If you want to use you own picture, then Facebook gives you the option of using a photo you have already uploaded, but as Facebook compresses photos, it’s better to try and find the image on your hard drive. You don’t want to have to use subtitle software to let your friends know what the jumbled collection of pixels actually is!

Crop the photo yourself to 851 x 315 pixels for the best quality. That way you can choose whatever area of the screen you wish.

4) Use an Online Template Maker
If you don’t want to use your own picture, then use a free one instead!

There are lots of online sites that provide you with cover photo pictures, but SiteCanvas takes it one step further. Site Canvas uses an online system to allow you to log into your Facebook account and see what your name and photos would look like in one of their templates.

5) Get Creative
One of the best elements of the cover photo is the way that it can interact with other things on your page. As your profile picture sits over the top of your cover photo, why not try linking the two images together?

It takes a bit of setting up, and a big dose of imagination, but you can have a lot of fun with them. There are some truly amazing examples out there!

So have a look at the examples and play around. Looking at the great creative covers may even help you remember old images that you can use for your own creations!

Gavin Harvey is a fitness fanatic who wants to combine social networking with a new gym routine he has invented and call it ‘Tweet to Fitness’. When he’s not working out, he can be found at the local independent cinema checking out the latest releases. He writes about the television and film industry for Softel Group.

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