Starting today, January 15, Facebook will implement a new policy regarding cover photos for pages. The new policy limits the use of text to no more than 20 percent of an image’s area.
CAREFUL: The text that resides in your logo does count in the 20%.
For Facebook page administrators that were used to the stipulations of call-to-actions (not allowed in cover photos), contact information, pricing (also not allowed) and the like, this change may not have much of an effect on your current cover photo or page’s visual strategy. For those who are new to the game, it’s important to take note of the change.
Facebook’s new “20% or less policy” also affects page post ads. These ads will also be subject to a review of text overlay. It’s been noted that Facebook is preparing a grid-based text overlay detection tool to pinpoint images not adhering to the new rule.
Administrators can use Facebook’s Power Editor (ad management tool) as a way to double check their own compliance related to the new rule. For a full list of Facebook terms, you can check out Facebook’s Pages Terms area.
What you can do
This new rule does not affect all visual posts on Facebook. For example, you can still post images that have more than 20% text as long as you are not promoting them in the news feed (ie: paid, promoted posts).
This rule also does not apply to the sidebar ads on the right.
We’ve long been coaching clients and brands digging in to social media content about the shift in visual elements on Facebook. This change does not come as a surprise; it’s right in line with where Facebook wants to go and keeps with the company’s strategy to maintain a social, engaging atmosphere.
You shouldn’t be using push-marketing tactics and sales verbiage on your Facebook pages anyway. Encourage the members of your marketing team to take this change as an opportunity to develop an even stronger strategy:
Keep images top of mind
It’s still all about the visual. And, it’s about relevant content. Get creative with your cover photo. Tell your story through pictures. Give your audience a sneak peek or behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on. Make them feel like they’re a part of the action through your visual posts.
Know your audience and involve them in your story
Think of new ways to engage your audience without the typical sales tactic. How about a “this or that” post where your audience can vote on product lines?
And always, always analyze your results. You should have a sense of what’s done well in the post and which posts your audience doesn’t respond to. Beef up the ones that get rave reviews and engagement and forget about the ones that don’t.
As marketers, sometimes roadblocks force us to think in creative ways. The business model has been changing. Facebook rolls out new policies to protect the users–the consumers–from spam and marketing ploys. Take that challenge as a way to cut through the noise and showcase your brand’s message in a way your audience wants to receive it.