There’s no single aspect of a Facebook page more important that the profile pic. It appears with everyting. You open your page, it’s there. You post a status update, it’s there. You add a comment to a conversation. It’s there.
The power of this space should not be underestimated.
The most effective brands have very simple, easily identified logos — and appropriately use them to occupy this prime Facebook real estate. It is, or at least should be, the focal point of your Facebook public presence. Here’s a three things to remember when profiling a page:
1. Use every last pixel.
Facebook automatically adjusts the size of any photo you load to 200 pixels wide. These are all the horizontal pixels you’re ever going to get. So, for example, a standard 4″x6″ landscape photo translates into profile picture 200 pixels wide and 133 pixels high. A standard 4″x6″ portrait photo translates into a profile 200 pixels wide and 300 pixels wide.
What people fail to realize is that the allowable number of vertical pixels tops out a 600— essentially double the space taken up by a single standard portrait photo. Use this space.
2. Think about the thumbnail.
While Facebook may allow 120,000-square-pixels in a profile picture, it’s not nearly as generous when it turns that picture into a thumbnail that appears along every piece of content you post. Instead, Facebook takes an arbitrary area 176 pixels high and 176 pixels wide and shrinks that area down to 50-by-50 pixels.
How to you get Facebook to sample the right square area for your thumbnail? Easy: 1) Go to your profile; 2) Click your profile picture; 3) Select the pencil icon in the upper-right corner and drop down to the Edit thumbnail option; 4) Place the cursor over the image, click and slide the image around until the box shows the image you wish to use as your thumbnail; 5) Select the blue Save Thumbnail Version button to save your changes.
Remember, the maximum width of a full profile picture is 200 pixels and the area Facebook takes for a thumbnail is only 176 pixels wide, so don’t run text all the way to the border. It simply won’t show up in the thumbnail.
3. Be consistent.
Consistency is king. Once you’ve settled on a profile picture that does a good job of reflecting your brand and personality, leave it alone. Leave it alone for a very long time.
A Facebook post appears on in fans’ news feed for only so long before falling off the page. If your profile picture changed every time the fan logged in, how would they even recognize you? People scan their news feeds in a matter of seconds. You want your thumbnail to be immediately recognized and instantly identifiable.
Here’s a few examples: