In this Facebook For Authors post – just when you think you have Facebook figured out, they go and change things! For someone like myself, who creates videos and teaches others how to use Facebook, this can be frustrating :). But, in this case, there is a silver lining. Facebook has changed what you can do with your cover image, and the new rules actually benefit you!
Facebook For Authors – How It Used To Be
Facebook changed what you can do with your cover image. In the past, you were not allowed to do a number of things:
- adding any sort of contact information
- add call-to-action messages (for example, sign up to my email list)
- prices or product information
- information about sales or discounts of products
- references to Facebook features (the like button)
This really stunk, especially since Facebook also got rid of landing pages. Not so anymore (until the next rule change, ha ha).
Facebook For Authors – Anything Goes
Facebook has now said anything goes…but there is an exception (you didn’t really think they’d let us do anything, did you?). You can now add text to your image, but you have to remember the 20% rule. This means that you can only devote up to 20% of your cover to text. Anything beyond that and Facebook will not let you keep the image.
Facebook For Authors – How To Check
There is a nice tool you can use to check your cover for compliance – I can’t get the hyperlink to work, but here is the site: www.coverphoto.paavo.ch. You’ll put in the link to your page and it will load your cover image:
Then you highlight the boxes that have text in them:
The tool will give you the percentage of text in your image :).
Now, what to do if I have the cover of my novels (like I do) on my Facebook cover image? From what I can tell from Facebook’s rules, this does not count as text because it’s part of the product:
The 20% text policy doesn’t apply to pictures of products that include text on the actual product. Photos of products in real situations or photos of products with a background are acceptable. Images that are zoomed in on logos or images with text overlay aren’t allowed. We don’t allow images that are clearly edited to include text on the product as a loophole to policy.
You will definitely be flagged if you promote your page in the news feed. This is because Facebook doesn’t want the news feed clogged with huge text-based advertizing.
Facebook For Authors – The Impact
I know there are Facebook doubters out there, but for those of you that embrace Facebook as a way of marketing yourself and your book(s), this is a big change. This allows you more ways to draw attention to your brand (you). It better allows you to get your message out (that you write books). This can mean more sales.
You’ll find that when you design your cover image and you include a link, it won’t be live. So if you decide to use a call-to-action (CTA), make sure you include any links in your cover image description. For example, your image may say Visit my Amazon Page to Buy My Books, you can include the link, but when people click on it, it only brings up the Facebook image description. But in the description, you can say much more about your book(s), and you can include a link here – how cool is that!
Facebook For Authors – The Impact Part Two
Another reason why this change is important is because Facebook is changing their news feed. In the future, when you like someone’s page, part of your cover image will appear in the news feed of that person’s friends. If you’ve got a catchy cover image, this will catch their eye :). This is huge! I’m not sure yet if we’ll know exactly what portion of the image will appear, but if Facebook releases details, I’ll let you know. This will allow you to be even more strategic in how you design your cover so you display the message you want people to see.
I hope you all take advantage of this seemingly small, but important, change. I’ll end this post because I’ve got some work to do on my cover image :).