Facebook has announced, that effective January 15, 2013, their Terms and Service will be adjusted to limit the amount of text that you can have in your cover photo and images that will be used in ad campaigns. Facebook has always stressed to keep the amount of text on your cover to a minimum, but with their latest changes to their TOS, they’ve instituted a policy to limit the amount of text in a cover image or promoted post image to 20% of the total image space.

The rules for Cover Images in Section III.B of the Facebook Terms of Service are quite clear:

Covers may not include:
i.    images with more than 20% text;
ii.    price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
iii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iv.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
v.    calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

 

Facebook promoted post sampleThe powers that be feel that promotional text and Calls to Action belong in the page posts themselves. So it’s contrary to their policies to put purchase information, special offers, contact information or even a strong Call to Action on your cover image.

In order to better enforce the 20% text rule, Facebook is developing a grid template and automated tools to check images and inform the uploader of a rules violation. Keep in mind that logos containing text also fall under the 20% rule.

(edit: see the comments below for a great tool for checking the amount of text in your cover image).

While the policy hasn’t changed since day one of its introduction, what is different is that it now extends to images that will be used as part of an ad campaign or promoted post. Promoted posts with images containing more than 20% text may not be allowed under the new automated content checking system. If the image won’t be used as part of a promoted post, it can still contain as much text as you wish.

Promoted posts with text heavy would no longer be allowed under the new Facebook Policies.

Promoted posts with text heavy would no longer be allowed under the new Facebook Policies.

With all these changes to promoted post images, here are some best practices for making promoted posts work for you.

  • Use an eye catching image that tells a story or reinforces the point in your promoted post.
  • Keep your ad text below 20%. This limit includes text in the logo.
  • Calls to action, and offers should be in the text of your promoted post.
  • Keep the user inside Facebook, use promoted posts to advertise events or apps within your own business page.
  • Text only posts are seen by 70% more viewers than image or link posts. Consider promoting text only posts to increase your reach for less cost.
Best practices call for engaging copy and an interesting image.

Best practices call for engaging copy and an interesting image.

Promoted posts are a cost effective way to get your message out to a maximun number of viewers. Well designed cover images help brand your site and stir interest in your page. Following the new policies will keep your page and posts on the good side of Facebook and in the long run increase your viewer’s engagement factor.

How will you be dealing with the changes to the Facebook image policy? Leave a comment below.