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Importance of a Cover Photo

May 21
Photo: @gingerandspicephoto

Photo: @gingerandspicephoto

Almost every social media channel has them, and we can’t help but look at them. Yes, I am talking about cover photos. On Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more, they are the center of attention when users visit these channels. Which is why representing your brand effectively through the use of a cover image is one of the most important things to consider when setting up social media channels for your business. Since the cover photo is often the first thing users see when visiting your page(s), it’s the key to creating a lasting impression.

Here are three things to consider when choosing a cover photo: 


You’ll want to make sure the image you’re using for your cover photo is of high quality and doesn’t appear blurry, cut off or extremely pixilated when resized to fit the cover photo space. When you create an image graphically it is easier to address these issues and make sure it fits properly. However, if you are using a photo, be sure it is a professional-looking photo and not an iPhone shot that is dark or blurry. This doesn’t leave a user with a good impression of your company. Think of your cover photo like what you’re wearing to work. You wouldn’t come in wearing jeans and a T-shirt to a meeting with a new client, right? Make a positive impact and show that you care about your business by putting your best foot forward (or your best suit on.)


When it comes to making the image fit in the space allotted, each channel has specifications for sizes. Since the channels are always redesigning their layouts, these can change. For instance, Twitter recently announced an updated profile page look, which changed the size of the cover photo. Right now, the sizes are as follows for each channel that includes a cover photo:

Facebook: 315 x 851 pixels

Twitter: 400 x 400 pixels

Google+: 1192 x 2120 pixels

YouTube: 1440 x 2560 pixels

LinkedIn: 220 x 646 pixels

Additionally, make sure that your profile picture isn’t covering up something important in your cover photo. Users can get a bad first impression if the cover photo looks askew. 


It’s important to use the same design concept in the cover photo on every channel for brand cohesiveness. Though some variations will have to be taken into consideration due to the sizing limitations of each channel, having the same image concept will help people remember your brand. This can be executed with color, font, print, graphics, logos, or a photo of products that your business sells. It needs to reflect the business and be consistent on all channels, if possible. For example, we are currently promoting our Social Media Bootcamp so we changed our cover photo to reflect this, but still made it consistent with our branding with the chevron pattern, colors and font types. (See below.)

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 10.01.31 AM

Finding or creating the right cover photo for your business sounds like an easy task, right? But you’ll want to take the time to choose this component of your channel carefully as it could make or break a potential fan/follower that could have brought you business.

For more social media information, find us on Facebook!


Carina Signature





Carina is the Managing Content Editor at Katie Wagner Social Media. Carina’s background is in publishing and print journalism. She is also the editor of KWSM’s monthly e-newsletter.

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