Facebook Profile Marketing for Realtors: Choosing the Perfect Cover Photo
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When properly used, your Facebook personal profile can be a brilliant tool for setting the right first impression with buyers, sellers, prospects and your sphere of influence. There are many strategic aspects of your Facebook profile to plan for and fine tune to fully capitalize on the power of Facebook. This post addresses a key aspect of your profile strategy - the cover photo.
What is the cover photo?
The cover photo is an 851 x 315 pixel image that stands as the welcoming image of your Facebook profile. Each Facebook user can upload a cover photo of their choice.
How to edit the cover photo
Facebook offers these directions for changing and editing your cover photo
Why the cover photo matters
According to Hubspot, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. The cover photo is the very first thing people see about you on Facebook. Based on this photo, they instantly develop an impression. Does your profile catch the eye? If it does, what does it communicate in a split second? A picture really does say a thousand words; what is your Facebook cover photo saying? [CLICK TO TWEET THIS]
And consider this: If your friends tag you on Facebook or you post a comment, and someone hovers over your name, does a beautiful image that speaks to who you are appear? Get noticed, and communicate what you do in a nano-second with a purposefully chosen cover photo. It's an essential part of your Facebook branding efforts and profile strategy.
Best REALTOR cover photo choices
Great cover photos are inviting, professional, and pleasing to the consumer’s eye. They are also a golden opportunity to make a fantastic first impression, and provide a chance to champion your personal brand and/or real estate profession. In selecting a cover photo for your profile, consider the following 10 do-and-don’t tips.
Tip #1: Have a cover photo
Having a blank cover photo screams that you are a Facebook novice. You must have a cover photo in order to create the correct brand impression on Facebook. If you do not have a cover photo, you are missing a huge opportunity to communicate who you are and what you do. Notice the difference:
Tip #2: Pick an image that you are comfortable sharing with the public
Facebook cover photos are always public. Once uploaded, you don't have the option to lock down its visibility with permissions. When someone views your profile, even if they are not Facebook friends with you, they will see your cover photo. Since it will be public, make sure it is an image that you are comfortable with the world seeing.
Note that the cover photo, as well as your profile picture, are the only two visual elements of your Facebook profile that must remain public. You can utilize permissions to control the visibility of any other photo you post on your profile.
Tip #3: Properly position your cover photo
The display size of Facebook cover photos is 851 x 315 pixels. You can format your cover photo to be exactly this size (recommended), or you can position a taller image to display the best part. You can do this by dragging the uploaded photo up or down before saving it. Note: Do make sure that the image you upload is at least the 851 x 315 pixels large, or else the photo resolution, and your perceived professionalism, will be impacted.
If you upload a photo that is taller than 315 pixels, keep in mind that may be a great photo when viewed in the light box, but make sure you properly position it if you choose to display it as your cover photo.
Tip #4: Use spectacular images
Photo quality matters— particularly on Facebook. As a real estate agent with a Facebook presence, always be thinking with a professional mindset. A powerful option is to select a single, spectacular image that is reminiscent of your market, niche, or personality. Alternatively, you can create a montage of quality images or graphics that speak to who you are and what you do. Whichever path you choose, quality is key in both photo selection and design.
So, what image should you choose?
When deciding what type of image to use as your cover photo, one option is to choose a photo that effectively communicates the business of real estate in a subtle way.
Use these questions to help guide you to an image that visually reflects your role as a REALTOR:
- What kind of houses do you sell?
- Where are you geographically?
- What kind of imagery represents the lifestyle that you sell?
Great solutions to these questions include the following examples which represent a single, spectacular image that is reflective of the agent's marketplace:
You can also consider ways to reinforce your profession by displaying your product (homes) through images that are either literal or more interpretive:
Other good single image options that are more literal to your profession as a REALTOR include displaying the interior or exterior of your real estate office, or using approved imagery provided by your brokerage:
You can also use design in conjunction with your selected image to reinforce your role. These examples illustrate subtle design elements, such as adding the Realtor logo (all the images we have for purchase in our real estate cover photo library include this), and using design overlays such as text and social icons:
If you prefer to not go real estate specific with your cover photo, you can choose one that is reflective of your personal passions. This could be an image representing an avid interest of yours (such as surfing), a photo of your family, or an image representing the lifestyle you sell (such as lake living). In addition to the cover photo, there are many other areas of your profile where you can showcase that you are a real estate agent (these will be addressed in future posts).
Cover photos that contain multiple images can also be effective for Realtors. If you are interested in having a cover image utilizing a collage approach, consider hiring a designer or using a third party application (Google this - there are lots and they change often) to create your image. Here are some real estate examples using multiple images:
Whatever photo you choose, be sure to pick one that screams you, whether it is a personal interest, or a real estate focus.
Tip #5: Change your cover photo occasionally
Consider changing out your cover photo on a regular interval - monthly or quarterly, for example - and have a plan to what you will post. When viewed this way, your cover photo becomes part of your Facebook content strategy since every time you update your cover photo, it creates an activity feed item for your friends to see. Changing your cover photo is simple, and this approach also gives you the ability to communicate multiple concepts over time. You can be literal in geography in one cover photo (showcasing your city skyline for example), literal in your product (a for sale sign or spectacular home exterior) in another, lifestyle oriented in a third, and personal passion oriented in a fourth. This is a great way for your Facebook friends and prospects to get to know your interests and expertise over time (and a key reason why we offer a buy 3 get 1 free offer in our cover photo library).
Tip #6: Don't make it sales-y
Sales pitches are counter to Facebook culture. Your cover photo is not a billboard — in the following examples, notice how they feel self-promotional and loud. Think about Facebook as an “inbound” instead of “outbound” marketing platform. You are not trying to interrupt someone’s day with your loud, sales oriented photo. Evoke an emotion and start a conversation. These example cover images would be better suited for a Facebook business page vs. a Facebook profile:
Tip #7: Don't steal an image off of the web
Be sure you own the rights to use the image(s) you want to use.
Tip #8: Don't upload a photo less than 851 pixels wide
851 pixels is the width of the cover photo box; anything smaller will be stretched to fit the cover photo box and therefore appear pixilated or fuzzy.
Tip #9: Don't upload a photo shorter than 315 pixels tall.
Remember: you can upload taller, but not shorter. Doing so will also distort your image.
Tip #10: Don’t have your avatar obscure the cover photo.
Your profile image will overlap the cover photo and this should be taken into consideration when selecting your cover photo.
Note that Facebook continues to evolve the timeline layout and the specs related to the cover photo size, and the relationship between elements such as the profile image and cover photo can change. As a result, it is a good idea to annually review your cover photo presence to confirm it works in the current Facebook environment.
Who thought there was so much to consider when selecting your cover photo?! As you can see, there are many nuances and approaches to consider when being purposeful in how you appear to friends, clients, and prospects on Facebook. The 10 do-and-don't tips presented above can be used to effectively present yourself on Facebook and support your efforts to capitalize on the full power of Facebook profile marketing.
Show us the cover photo you select to represent yourself on Facebook. Post a link to your Facebook profile in the comments below. We'd love to see it!
Get a professional real estate cover photo. Browse over 300 spectacular cover photos selected specifically for real estate agents in the Harmon Enterprises Real Estate Cover Photo Library. All images include the REALTOR logo as a subtle design element and are delivered at the time of purchase. Each image is just $29 and if you buy 3, you get 1 free.