Your header image is like a virtual handshake. Many times, people will research your products & services before they even enter into a relationship with you. This might be their first impression of you – and first impressions are lasting ones.
How can you make a good first impression with your header images? We design & run social media feeds for ALL KINDS of clients - and we want to show you how to engage your audience & win trust by including these 6 essential qualities into your header images. We’ve also included several examples of how to use your cover image effectively…
1. Your cover image needs to be clean, clear and professional.
Keep this area nice and tidy. Clutter is not your friend. Don’t use a photo here if it’s blurry, grainy, pixelated or has on overcluttered background.
People tend to associate the quality of your images with the quality of your work or service, so this is an area to INVEST. Consider getting a professional photo taken of yourself OR invest in a stock photo to help build or design yours. If you add text, only add a few lines that make ONE point or communicate ONE thought altogether.
2. Your images should have human interest.
One of the best ways to attract attention to your image and make it more interesting is…surprise…featuring people! People want to see other PEOPLE in action. This is a great place to either show yourself in action or your target audience experiencing your product or service. Go for realistic – and avoid overtly cheesy photography (Please, no people in offices smiling and throwing paper in the air. That never happens in real life).
3. Your header area should build credibility and relationship at the same time.
In terms of relationship, your audience wants to see your face. People want to know that they’re not doing business with or interacting with a robot. By seeing your face, they know who and where you are – which helps build trust. This element is crucial to a successful social media feed.
If you’ve won prestigious awards, have been recognized by large institutions or possess special certifications, you can also overlay a couple of those logos on top of your header image to add a level of credibility to your page.
4. Less is more.
Say it with me: “Clutter is my enemy.” Don’t overload your image with text or with overlaid icons or logos. Keep it simple – two or three lines of text max – that communicate ONE point or thought. Leave the other areas of the image ALONE.
I know it’s tempting to want to communicate EVERYTHING you have to offer in this area, but think of this like meeting a new friend. You don’t get to know everything about a new friend in the first two minutes (and if you do, in most cases, that relationship is not a lasting or engaging one).
Open with a confident thought, and let your timeline and your website communicate other points that you have to share. If you want to make a good impression, FOCUS. Keep it simple!
5. Make sure any text that you’ve added will show up on mobile or iPad.
When your timeline is accessed on a mobile phone or iPad (between 50-80% of users are – and this number grows every day), your header image is cropped. Make sure any necessary items in your image or text fall towards the middle of your cover image. That way, they’ll be seen on any device.
6. Make sure your image is made in the right dimensions & leave the bottom of your image free of any text.
Avoid placing necessary text in the bottom half of your cover image. You need space for your profile photo, the text and the buttons (call-to-action, like & message buttons). Make sure that your image is the right dimensions by building your image in Canva.com (great for beginners), PhotoShop (what we use for our clients), or other design software.
Want to see these principles in action?
See our 2nd blog post with examples to get a better idea of how to apply these principles as you build an awesome cover image for yourself, your business, your nonprofit or artist platform.
Please share this with friends who may need this information and comment to let me know what you learned or if you have any questions.