Create new Facebook graphics often to refresh your cover photo and message. You’ll keep the Likes coming.
Analytics have shown people respond more to pictures than text in social media. That means more likes. More shares. More comments. And a stronger social media brand. When you create fresh Facebook graphics regularly, you’ll increase your brand’s recognition on Facebook.
(Updated for 2018) Your Facebook cover photo can tell a story, make a visitor smile, or help people understand what you offer. By using a strong visual and message, you’ll draw visitors, likes and shares. PowerPoint® offers a number of simple design tools which make it easy to combine photos or graphics with words and text. Format your text into different fonts and colors, too. However, don’t go too wild … keep it simple!
Here are 5 simple steps to use PowerPoint® to create new, fresh, and enticing graphics for your Facebook page …
1. Set your page size
The Facebook cover photo (the large image at the top of the page) is 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels high, or 8.63 inches wide by 3.28 inches tall. To use PowerPoint, first set your page size to match Facebook’s dimensions.
Click on File/New to open a new blank presentation in PowerPoint. Then name it and save it. Choose Design/Page Setup in the PowerPoint menu. Change the standard page size to “Custom” and then set the dimensions to Width: 8.63 inches and Height: 3.28 inches. You can set the number of slides from 1 to 10. The program will give you that many blanks to work with. But you can always add more if you need them.
Now you have the right size to work with. When your image and text fills this PowerPoint page, you’ll have the correct size to create your Facebook graphics. Note … sizes change. Check HubSpot for the most recent details.
Also… if you have different pixel dimensions for other elements, such as Facebook ads or LinkedIn cover images, you can use this online converter to plug in the pixels you need and convert to inches, based on screen resolution.
2. Now choose your photos
Because Facebook is social, choose pictures that show your people, people at work, your office or even your customers (if they’re okay with that). Have fun with the pictures. They shouldn’t look stuffy or formal or just be about the products you offer. They can be funny, interesting, playful or descriptive.
Or show examples of the problems you solve or the results of the products and services you offer. Or an interesting grouping of your products. Seasonal images can also look current.
Choose quality photos that have good lighting and contrast. Nothing fuzzy, out of focus or dark. The best images are simple with one central object or focus. You’ll want either .jpg (JPEG) digital files or .png files. When you create your Facebook graphics, think about combining your great photos with a message, too.
3. And what’s the message?
Using PowerPoint, you can add copy to the images you choose. Think about quotes, statements, captions or funny comments that will be meaningful to your organization or your audiences. Use ideas and images that will appeal to the audiences you want to reach, images that will build your social media brand and tell your story.
We like using industry quotes from marketing gurus. Or inspirational statements that get people to stop and think about what’s possible in their business.
Your key marketing messages can also be included. What’s your brand promise or your vision? What do you do or offer? What are your audiences looking for? But … keep it short! Don’t try to say too much all at once. You can always create a series of Facebook graphics with different messages and images to post over time. Think of your cover photo like a billboard … easy to read at a glance.
4. Build your composite image
You’ve got great photos. You’ve got pithy statements to add. Ready to build? We suggest you start with two or three composite images. That will save time in the long run and let you test out what works on your page.
Place your picture into PowerPoint (Insert / Picture). Fit it to the size of the page by enlarging, reducing or cropping. When you have the picture selected, the “Picture Tools” menu will appear, giving you access to a cropping tool. It’s easier to work with the image if it’s cropped to the page dimensions you’ve already defined.
Your goal is to have the image fill the whole page and support the text you’ll add. Don’t put text over a busy background as it will be confusing.
Now insert a text box where you want your words to appear, (Insert/Text Box). Choose the “draw text box” rather than the pre-configured options. You’ll get a cursor that allows you to draw a box. Place your text where it fits the image … white text over a dark area, or dark text over a light area.
Once you have the box drawn, eliminate any fill or outline by choosing “format shape.” Choose the text box and click your cursor until the dotted line becomes a solid line, then right click and you’ll see a menu. Choose “Format Shape.” From this menu choose “Fill” and click “No Fill.” Then choose “Line Color” and click “No Line.”
Or .. use a colored text box overlaid on your photo. If your photo is busy and you still want to make your text stand out … keep color in the text box, but shade it back using the transparency tool. This helps your text stand out, but also lets your picture show through. Experiment with the amount of transparency you need based on the color you’ve chosen. (Format shape/Fill … transparency slider is at the bottom)
Here’s an example with text in a semi-transparent box:
Now you can type your copy into the text box. Once you’ve typed it in, select the text and choose your font, size and color in the “Home” menu. Try different options to see what fits best. You can also move your text box around and refit text by pulling/stretching the box.
If you have an image that doesn’t fill the whole page, use a shape with color to fill in the rest of the page layout, or stretch your text box to the edge of the page. If you don’t fill the space, your final image (see the next step) won’t fit the cover image space as planned.
5. Save your new Facebook graphic
You now need to group the various elements together to create one composite image. Click on the text box, shapes, and pictures, holding down the Ctrl key as you click on each element.
When they’re all selected, click on the Picture tool again and you’ll see an option to “Group.” When you group all of your elements they become one composite image. Click on the grouped image (now one) and right click then choose “Save as picture.” Name your image and save it in a folder where you can easily get to it.
Last, open Facebook to your company page, click on the cover image and “Change Cover.” Choose your new image and upload it. Voila! Your new cover photo is in place. It should fit precisely into the area defined.
If it doesn’t, you can place it back into PowerPoint and re-crop any extra edges it carries with it. Sometimes if an image or text box goes outside the page border, it creates an extra edge when the pictures and text are grouped.
Test different combinations … now that you know how easy it is to build a new look, choose different styles of images, experiment with messages and explore different looks. But keep in mind, each image is building your social media brand.
Here’s an example of building a brand for a flooring company, using customer quotes:
Maintain brand standards from fonts to colors to style. Use good quality images. Create a consistent look across the images. That’s pretty easy to do when you can just add more “pages” to your PowerPoint document, then look at the layouts/pages as a group to see if they work together.
You can use this same technique to create a series of images sized correctly for Facebook ads, LinkedIn posts, and many more. Once you’ve found the pixel dimensions required by the platform (there are different size images for different Facebook ad formats), just google “convert pixels to inches” and a site will come up with a little calculator.
Choose 150 dpi (cell phone) resolution, then put in the pixels and they will be converted to inches. Draw a box (gray outline suggested on a plain PowerPoint slide and size it to the inch dimensions you calculated. I recommend no fill in the box.
Then when you have that size, add a note (text box) with the pixel and inch dimensions on the page, outside of the box. You can now duplicate that slide over and over for a template. Multiple pages in your PowerPoint gives you options to test out different image and text combinations, different crops, etc.
Size and crop your images to fit in the box. If you want a white background and a gray outline (good for memes), fill the box with white and keep all images and text inside the gray border.
Build your image library to include posts and memes
Posts and ads can be photos or photos with text, but they’re a different size from the cover image. Find current specifications here.
Ads have specific requirements about the amount of text compared to the image. Memes are usually text over an image. Plan your memes as a series that would be sharable and interesting or fun … include your brand info.
Other options to build your images for social
There are online tools to build your social media images, cover photos, memes, videos and more. And many of them are very easy to use. However, online tools have some limitations when it comes to font choices and picture handling.
We started with PowerPoint because of its robust editing tools and the ability to use any font you already have installed on your system. And many people are familiar with PowerPoint because it’s part of Microsoft Office suite already installed.
Here are a few online options to explore, most have a free option but offer more if you subscribe:
- Canva … offers lots of templates for social media and other layouts
- Adobe Spark … also a robust option, lets you build videos, too
- PicMonkey … mostly photo focused
- Shutterstock Editor … connects to Shutterstock to find great stock photos
More insight on making social media work for you … and building your social media brand.
- Is social media right for you? Our Brand Responsibly Manifesto suggests questions to ask
- Social media and B2B branding
- How the visual shift in social media and online marketing drives response
Social media image size requirements change frequently. Before you begin creating the images for your new campaign, Google the current requirements.