What can you use in a Facebook image?

This week’s post is inspired by a question from one of the inner circle – asking ‘What can I put on image in Facebook?’

I’m going to run through what you can put on image in your Page Timeline AND in your Cover Photo.

What can you do with your Page Cover Photo? (or more accurately – what can’t you do)

The Facebook Page Cover Photo is the big one at the top!

There used to be a lot of restrictions around what you could and could not put here – but during 2013 Facebook have drastically simplified it…

  • Cover photos are public so anyone who visits your page can see them, so don’t put anything up there you don’t want everyone to see – so private page offers.
  • Cover photos need to be a unique image that represents your page – your products, your team, your logo.

There are restrictions including that they must not:

  • be deceptive
  • be misleading
  • infringe someone else’s copyright

Oh, and you must not encourage other people to upload your cover photo onto their timelines.

Old restrictions that have been lifted during 2013 (so you can now do all of these):

  • Including price or purchase information, eg “40% off”, “Sign up now at yoururl.com.”
  • Contact information (website address, email, mailing address phone number etc)
  • References to Facebook features or actions, such as like or share, or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
  • Calls to action (buy now, click here)
  • Text on a Cover image should occupy 20% or less of the space. (bizarre rule, now gone)

What about other images I put on Facebook?

There’s not a lot written about these – so here goes:

  • You mustn’t encourage people to tag themselves in photos they are not actually in.
  • You cannot put adverts for other people on your page without Facebook’s prior permission.
  • Running promotions – it must include the total release of Facebook by each entrant or participant (ie Facebook ain’t responsible), it must also be clear that Facebook has nothing to do with it.
  • Promotions can’t be administered via personal timelines, so you can’t ask someone to “share on your own timeline” OR “share on your friend’s timeline”.
  • If you’re going to use the ad method “Sponsored stories” the image cannot contain more than 20% text.
  • Images shouldn’t include – promoting illegal activity, ‘hate speech’, target children, sex or nudity, shock value. Mustn’t infringe the rights of others (copyright, privacy, trademark etc)

So, broadly speaking – you can do a great deal with these images!

If you want to understand what size to make all these images watch out for tomorrow’s infographic share.

Tips for using Facebook Images Well

So, there’s not a great deal of tough restrictions around the Facebook images – so here’s a couple of tips to do them well:

  • Use images that look great – a great image is worth a 1000 words
  • Use text on the images when you need to get a message across quickly
  • Change your Cover photo every month or so – it gets a lot over visibility and you should keep it fresh
  • Don’t only post images to your page – use a mixture of post types, including text and images and videos and questions.

What are your Facebook image tips?