First impressions definitely count when it comes to your Facebook Page.
Your Header or Cover image runs across the top of your Facebook Page, and is the first thing visitors to your Page see. This is a great opportunity to make an impact and ensure your brand or business stands out from your competitors on Facebook.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the budget for a pro designer and don’t know your way around Photoshop – I’m going to talk you through designing your own branded header image using a free online tool called Canva.
Step 1: Head over to http://www.canva.com and sign in.
Step 2: Select the Facebook Cover design template from the menu:
Step 3: Consider what you want to achieve with your cover image. You can use your cover image simply to showcase your brand, you could use it to bring attention to a Call To Action button (for example, to drive people to your website), or you could even use it to celebrate your customers.
Here are some examples of great cover images I’ve seen:
a) This is a cover image for a blog by a coach, written for entrepreneurial women. The image is being used for lead generation (you see the link to download the free guide when you click on the image) and the CTA button at the bottom links to a video.
b) Here, the cover image is being used to promote the key products and services of the business and also encourages Fans to stay up to date by ‘subscribing’ to notifications on Facebook.
c) The One of Many cover image highlights the community of women involved in the movement and showcases some of the key values of the brand – connection with other women, feeling good and having fun. The CTA button links to an event-booking page.
Step 4: Once you know what you want your cover image to achieve or represent plus have an idea of what you want it to look like, you can start designing! Canva has a range of pre-designed layouts for you to amend which already look pretty good – these are displayed on the left of your screen. When you use any design elements (images) provided by Canva, there may be a $1 charge per element, or you can use your own for free.
Alternatively, you can create your own design from scratch using free design elements plus your own uploaded images. You can explore the options available to you by browsing the menu on the left.
Search: (shown above) Here, you can browse all the free design elements Canva has to offer. These may be seasonal, or generic. Click on each icon to see the available designs.
Text: allows you to add text to your image. There are a range of text designs you can use and amend words and colours.
Layouts: pre-designed images you can tweak. You usually have to pay for the premium elements in there, but you can copy a design you like with your own images.
Background: allows you to select a background for your cover image, over which you can layer text or other images or elements.
Uploads: allows you to upload your own design assets and to view what you’ve already uploaded.
Step 5: Choose a design, or upload some elements of your own to create your image.
If creating your own image, the first thing you’ll want to do is select a background. I uploaded some stock photos (I use bigstockphoto.com) to try out as backgrounds, and will overlay text on top in my example. If your background is too small once you’ve dragged and dropped it onto the Canva cover image template, make it larger until it fills the template. I’ve chosen a pretty image of flowers on a blue background with space for text to use as my background:
Step 6: Next, I’m adding some text. Less is often more when it comes to cover images, so I’ve kept it simple and used a pre-designed text template from Canva.
To add text to your image, go to ‘Text’ on the left menu, and you can choose from the templates they have by dragging and dropping them onto your image. Once they’re on your image, you can amend the words, the font and the colour to suit your style.
Step 7: Save and download as an image. It’s easy in Canva to create alternative versions or make amends to your design even after you’ve downloaded it to save on your computer, so even if you’re not sure this is your final design you can still download it in case you decide it’s the one.
Step 8: If you’re happy with your cover image, upload to Facebook.
If you want to make amends to your image, you can continue to add or change elements of your design. Here, I’ve changed the text template I used, amended the colour to match the flowers and added an arrow in to point to the CTA button on Facebook where people can sign up to a free webinar training:
It’s easy to spend a long time re-creating images over and over, but simplicity really is the best route. You can create a great cover image in less than ten minutes as I’ve done here, so beware of spending too long making multiple changes in the quest for perfection!
Step 9: Add a Call To Action button to your Facebook cover photo once uploaded.
In the bottom right of your uploaded cover photo on your Page, select ‘Create Call To Action’.
In the pop-up window that appears, you can select the best button for your purpose, choose a landing page to direct people to when they click on the button and set mobile website destinations if relevant.