social media how toDo you want a highly effective Facebook page?

Do you know which elements make up a good Facebook page?

While there are an unlimited number of strategic factors that can contribute to the success of a Facebook page, many share common elements.

In this article you’ll discover the six elements of successful Facebook pages and how you can improve your Facebook page.

#1: Add a Clear Cover Photo

When Facebook users land on your page, you want them to figure out who you are and what you do in about 3 seconds. That’s why a good cover photo is important.

Here’s a good example from Coca-Cola.

coca-cola facebook cover image

There’s no misunderstanding what brand this cover image represents.

Thankfully, Facebook has seriously relaxed the rules regarding cover photos. The current guidelines are the only rules to date (these are subject to change):

  • All cover images are public. This means that anyone who visits your page will be able to see your cover image.
  • Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
  • You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.

The 20% text rule doesn’t apply to cover images, so there’s no restriction on including prices or calls to action. Even so, I advise against filling your cover full of unneeded text. The simpler, the better.

Tips for Cover Images

Make sure your cover images are high quality. Use an image that is at least 851 x 315 pixels. Facebook will expand any image that’s smaller than these dimensions and that makes your cover blurry.

blurry facebook cover image

Smaller images stretched to fit cover dimensions will appear blurry, like this.

Only use images and text that relate to your brand, services or products. For example, if you sell boats, don’t use images of trucks.

To avoid a stale page appearance, change your cover in conjunction with the seasons, holidays or events that make sense for your brand.

If you don’t have professional image editing software, here are some free and paid tools to help you create a great cover image:

#2: Optimize Your Profile Photo

While your cover photo gives users who land on your Facebook page their first impression, it’s your profile photo they’ll see the most.

Unless they visit your timeline again, all they’ll see from you branding-wise is your profile photo on the news feed.

Your profile pic is more important than the cover photo because it appears in:

  • The news feed of your followers
  • Posts on your page’s timeline
  • Replies in comments
  • Comments and posts you make on other pages while using your page
  • Over the cover photo on your timeline

Tips for Profile Pics

Rectangular images must be cropped as square to upload as a profile pic so it’s best to use a square image.

shortstack facebook profile image

ShortStack’s profile pic was designed to fit a square space.

Your profile pic is uploaded at 180 x 180 pixels, but displayed at 160 x 160 pixels. Check to make sure the smaller image still looks good, like this one from ShortStack.

shortstack profile image in facebook update

ShortStack’s profile pic is easily recognizable at any size in the news feed.

As the news feed of your followers is the highest visibility for your profile pic, you should design your profile pic for that location; profile pics are resized to 100 x 100 pixels in a fan’s news feed, to 86 x 86 pixels next to posts on your timeline, and 43 x 43 pixels next to comments. Again, check to make sure your image is recognizable at news feed or timeline location.

#3: Complete Your About Section

An incomplete or misconfigured About section could result in missed traffic and likes on your page.

Be aware that this section will look slightly different, depending on the category you choose when you create your page.

Poco Auto & Tire is a “Local Business” with a physical location, so its About section includes address, contact information and business hours.

poco auto and tire facebook page

Example of what shows in the About section of a page in the Local Business category.

If you don’t have a physical location or it’s not common for people to come to your place of business, select a category such as “Company” or “Brand” when you create your page.

social media examiner facebook page

Example of what shows in the About section of a page in the Company or Brand categories.

Choosing either of these options lets Facebook show your short description under the profile pic on your timeline. And that description can include a hyperlink to your website!

Tips for Your Short Description

Regardless of the category you choose during page setup, you should complete every field you can because portions of the About section show up under the profile pic on your timeline for desktop viewers.

To edit the short description for company or brand pages, click on Edit Page in the admin panel, and then Update Page Info. From here, click on the pencil icon next to Short Description.

adding a url to the short description

Add your URL to your Short Description.

Type in your URL at the beginning, so it’s the first thing people see.

You get 155 characters to tell people who you are, but I recommend using no more than 100; be clear and concise, and don’t stuff in keywords.

#4: Optimize for Mobile Views

Sometimes the About section shows differently on the Facebook mobile app than it does on the desktop.

This is ShortStack’s page on a desktop:

shortstack facebook page

Shortstack’s description in the Facebook desktop view.

And this is how the page appears on my Facebook mobile app:

shortstack facebook page on mobile device

ShortStack’s page viewed on a mobile phone.

Notice the difference in the descriptive text?

Here’s another example. This is the Social Media Examiner Facebook page viewed on my phone. The desktop view can be found above in the first portion of this subhead.

social media examiner facebook page on mobile device

Social Media Examiner’s page viewed on a mobile phone.

On my Android device, the About section of ShortStack’s page is displaying the information in the Mission section.

shortstack mission text

ShortStack’s mission shows in the About section on mobile views.

The Social Media Examiner page shows me their Company Overview information.

social media examiner company overview text

Social Media Examiner’s Company Overview text shows on mobile views.

My best guess is that because ShortStack hasn’t filled out their Company Overview section, the mobile app is defaulting to their Mission section.

I suggest making sure your Short Description, Mission and Company Overview all begin with your URL so it shows first when someone visits your page on a mobile device.

Be sure to see how your page shows on all mobile devices.

#5: Leverage Third-Party Page Apps

Some people argue that third-party apps on Facebook pages are useless since Facebook doesn’t allow a default landing page and because app tabs aren’t shown when viewing a page on the mobile app.

But apps can be used to support a wide variety of goals.

Tips for Third-Party App Use

Let people sign up for your newsletter without leaving Facebook.

Collect more email addresses by using a contest app to give users an incentive to enter their email address in exchange for the chance to win a prize.

Cross-promote your other social channels by using an app to include content from Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc., like Amy Porterfield does.

amy porterfield facebook page

Amy Porterfield uses third-party apps to feature video and her Pinterest feed on Facebook.

There are a wide variety of app providers to choose from and almost all offer free plans with pre-made templates, so even non-tech–oriented people can install them with ease.

Here are a few for you to check out:

#6: Work From a Posting Strategy

The most important element of a successful Facebook page is a well-planned posting strategy.

You can have the prettiest cover photo and profile image, the most well-crafted About section and tons of amazing apps, but if your posting strategy lacks direction, you’re dead in the water!

Recent changes to the news feed algorithm mean you need to post more often to stay top of mind with your followers and get the most engagement. I recommend that pages publish three types of posts every day on their pages:

  • Photo
  • Text update
  • Links

Tips for Photo Posts

For the most part, stay relevant to your followers. If you’re running a page about real estate, an image of Miley Cyrus makes no sense, but images of amazing homes, vacation spots and pictures of your town do make sense.

That said, feel free to bend the so-called “rules” a bit and post funny images or memes once in a while. Post Planner‘s fans appreciated the humor in the photo below.

post planner facebook page off topic update

This off-topic photo post generated a lot of engagement for Post Planner.

Tips for Text Update Posts

Due to the changes described in Facebook’s latest announcement, text-only updates are reaching fewer people than before:

“Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. Over time, we noticed that this effect wasn’t true for text status updates from Pages…The latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends…posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types. This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates…”

Skittles knows this doesn’t make text updates any less important.

skittles facebook update

Skittles’ text updates generate a lot of likes, comments and shares.

To increase text post engagement, use questions or fill-in-the blank updates that are easy for people to respond to.

Mix in text updates that require a short response from users in the comments.

Tips for Post Links

A business on Facebook should never put all of its stock in getting lots of likes, comments and shares with text and photo posts.

The real value is found in posts that drive traffic to your website that turns to sales or conversions. Once there, users can read your article, sign up for your newsletter or purchase a product.

Make link posts the focus of your posting strategy and you’ll be highly successful.

Include a well-crafted call to action that supports that goal to get people to click and go to your blog or website landing page, like TOMS does.

toms facebook update

This link post on the TOMS page includes a strong call to action and an incentivizing coupon code to drive click-throughs to the landing page.

Make sure your landing page has a great image, because link posts now show a full-width photo preview on the news feed, which makes them look like photo posts.

Use a trackable URL from a service like or Pretty Link so you can easily measure the click-through rate from Facebook.

In Conclusion

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being awesome) how would you rate your page? Is there room for improvement?

Use the tips above to make sure your page has the five elements of a successful Facebook page.

Create a clear cover photo, design a profile pic that scales well visually, and display your URL in your page’s About section. Next, add tactical functionality to your page with third-party apps and guide your page posting with a defined strategy.

What do you think? Did you find these tips helpful? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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  • Social Chanakya

    Good Tips.

  • Thanks Social Chanakya!

  • Great tips @scottayres:disqus. Glad to see you writing for Social Media Examiner.

  • Thanks Christian! Excited to be able to add my advice and thoughts here as well!

  • Nice stuff @scottayres:disqus, would be interesting to see if Facebook would in the future allow pages to customize what description in the text showed up on mobile vs desktop. It’s fairly key.

  • Sara Piccola

    @scottayres:disqus thanks for mentioning ShortStack and congrats on your first SME post, welcome to the team 😉

  • Yeah I found it quite strange the way the info via mobile devices showed up. Seemed rather goofy and not consistent to me.

  • Thanks Sara!

  • Michelle Davidson

    Great tips. The examples you use have different formats from one of the pages I manage — their About pages and even the About section on the main page below the profile picture are different. I guess Facebook hasn’t given that page the new design yet.

  • Yes none of the pages I mentioned have the new layout yet. In fact none of the pages I even admin, including the page for Post Planner, has the new layout yet. Someday maybe we’ll get it right?! 😛

  • Agreed! Good to have the new author in the house!!

  • They’ll mention the new layout again about March right??

  • Raquel M Ramirez

    Another awesome article with great tips Scott. I know organic reach is going down the toilet, but what preference does Facebook’s algorithm to images, links, and text only? I seem to see the lowest reach for links. Thanks again Scott.

  • Wendy Gleeson

    How do you #4 optimise FB for mobile views? Is there an app or functionality within FB to do that for Business pages?

  • Great article. I will follow these instructions…

    Thanks Scot…

  • Glauber Couto

    What a great tips!! Thanks for sharing. I would like to recieve the Facebook Marketing Video Tutorial but i could’nt. Aweber says that my e-mail is registered already. Is that possible to send by another way.

  • Brian Clawson

    Absolutely wonderful advice! It’s articles like this one that will help clean up a cluttered cyberspace. THANK YOU!

  • nathanlatka1

    Great tips Scott and thanks for sharing Heyo with your readers!

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  • So it’s advisable to post three times a day, using each of the three types of posts? Or should it be one time a day, rotating the type? I wasn’t sure if there was a suggestion on the numbers of times you should post a day. I’ve heard it should be only 1 these days.

  • Great post Scott! Thank so much for including Antavo. Much appreciated 🙂

  • Great instruction. Glad to hear you and have such extraordinary tips. Keep it up

  • Caroline

    SO useful. Thanks Scott!

  • Becky

    Thank you! Awesome help for a new page … looking at what to post : ) and how to post in a helpful and interactive way!

  • Well you can optimize your photo and about section.

  • Awesome!

  • I’m not sure what you are talking about. Perhaps @CindyKing:disqus can point you in the right direction.

  • Thanks1

  • For sure Nathan! Love me some Heyo!

  • Honestly take any advice on post amounts per day/week/month with a grain of salt. Each page is so different you’ll need to see what works for your page honestly. But at least 3 per day is my norm.

  • How could I not include you guys!

  • Thanks!

  • Thanks Caroline!

  • Thanks Becky! Glad I could help out. We post tons of tips on our Post Planner blog you may find useful as well.

  • Thanks for these great tips. Canva is an amazing tool! Love it!

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  • Melanie Toland

    Hi Scott, I came to this article looking for some information on length of subhead text. I’m (not very enthusiastically) working with an agency to promote the content of a microsite our company built. Anyway, the agency has been very critical of the way I post. Specifically, the representative wrote to me about my subheads:

    “FB Subhead – We recommend trying to keep subheads to ~30 characters — a best practice from FB. Much of the information you’ve included here could be moved to the status copy to help explain the how.”

    I really know my stuff, but no one knows everything. He may be right, but I’ve read everything under the sun and I’ve never come across anything anywhere that says this. Thoughts?

  • Md Arifuzzaman

    Great article helps me better facebooking. Thanks

  • I personally think that this post strategy is one of the best. If you want more audience to click the link in your post, create a little curiousity. Try not to give it away in the post, but talk about the content more so your audience are complelled to click it and find out more.

    It doesn’t also matter how many liker you have on your page/site. Engagement is engagement. Which means if your post gets a loads of comments, likes and share, pay more attention. Do more of what you did on that post and you will begin to see your engagement.