How to Enhance Your Image with Facebook
With the big news surrounding Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and the ongoing changes to the Timeline, photographs are big news. Of course, that’s no surprise to most social media marketing firms that routinely emphasize the importance of great visual elements but what really constitutes a great visual element? Is it merely a technically proficient photograph or is there something more to consider? Today we are going to tackle the tough topic of enhancing your image via visual elements. Whether you are a small business owner or preparing to enter the Fortune 500 family, a picture really is worth a thousand words when it comes to advertising. In fact, photographs are so important that many experts believe it is one reason Facebook was able to overtake (and then surpass) MySpace so easily; the inclusion of people’s faces on the front tapped into a primary part of the brain which responds to facial features. That’s terrific for CEO’s like Zuckerberg which created a fortune from allowing users to interact with one another but what about average business owners? Can great pictures really make a difference? Keep reading to find out!
Why Visual – Why Now?
Back in the not so distant past, job applicants routinely “dressed for success” by donning a suit and tie in preparation to meet and greet potential employers. While that age old tradition is still alive and well in many areas, the tables have turned somewhat as companies also compete for the attention of clients. The only difference is that business owners have stiff competition in the form of 24/7 access to information and a plethora of online options all doing their best to capture the attention of viewers. Facebook has long recognized the power of a picture. Beginning with the personal Timeline features, we’ve walked you through the how and why of creating great profile pictures and cover photo’s. With the advent of new tools for small business owners, the cover photo and other associated pictures has taken on even greater importance. It allows business owners to create visual interest and capture the attention of readers in less time while creating a consistent look and feel across all aspects of online offerings.
There are several areas where pictures make ALL the difference:
- The Cover Photo
- Profile Picture
- Customized Tab Images
- Highlighting Special Posts
- Milestone Events
The remainder of this article will discuss each element in depth with a few quick tips to help differentiate your message from the masses. Just remember, if you are only able to select one area to focus on first, make it the cover photograph. First impressions make lasting impressions.
The Cover Photo
The cover photo is really the first thing visitors encounter when visiting your page. Consisting of a single image inside an 851×315 pixel area, the cover photo should consist of something unique which represents you business or service. It needs to be interesting, captivating and uniquely your very own. It also needs to conform to Facebook’s rather stringent cover photo policy guidelines which include:
- No promotion, coupons or advertisements
- Not primarily text based
- Not copyright infringed (keep it original)
- No price or purchase information
- No contact information
- No reference to user elements and obtuse calls for action
The Profile Picture
The profile pictures is the smaller “picture within a picture” consisting of a 125 pixel square image inserted in the cover photo on the lower left of the screen. This little image is a powerful piece of advertising that does double – make that triple – duty:
- Acts as an extension of the cover photo
- Acts as a thumbnail icon on all posts and other pages
- Acts as your bran image or logo for Facebook app’s on mobile devices
Whew! It’s obvious that little picture packs a big punch so be sure to take all three functions into account when selecting the profile photo. Many business owners use a logo which seems to work just fine but be sure it’s easy to see and clearly recognizable.
Custom Image Tabs
The custom image tabs are limited to four prominently displayed tabs consisting of 111 x 74 pixels. Although they cannot be repositioned, you can opt to show fewer than four and create your very own unique visual elements. This is a great way to unify the overall theme and create a consistent look.
Highlight That Message
By using the “Highlight Feature” it’s possible to attract greater attention and help readers locate important information with ease. Simply click the star icon on the top right area over an update; once highlighted, the post will occupy both columns rather than only one making it much more visible especially when combined with a compelling visual element. Just use sparingly to readers don’t become over-burdened by highlights.
The Milestone feature is yet one more way in which Facebook is allowing small business owners to incorporate photographic elements to add interest; simply click the “Milestone” option when creating a status update. Now the post will remain “sticky” and is added to important events within the company.