Friday, September 07, 2012
Al Facebook gurus will tell you that if you use pictures you’ll get more engagement on your fan page. But they don’t focus much on what kind of pictures or how to make them.
Let me introduce you to what I call The Shareable Squares. You get the shareable part. But why the square shape? It’s because otherwise they can get cropped and you want to control how they are seen.
It’s like with a Cinemascope movie. In the old days they panned and scanned them for TV and even now they typically aren’t letterboxed. They show them 16:9 on a Hi-def TV or even worse.
The posts on your fan page are 403 x 403 pixels square. I use 806 x 806 images because I want more quality and if you were a real stickler you could even go for 1209 x1209 because they look bigger when you click on them. If you upload a different shape Facebook will place it for you and let you reposition it, but even so you might not be able to make it work the way you want it to.
You might say to me, “I post and see wide images in my newsfeed all the time and on my fan page I have the option to show a very wide picture.” That’s true. But my fan page is always square and I want people who come to the page to be able to glance at it and like it. Not everybody is going to click on a picture to see the whole thing. Here’s a graphic made about the Koch Brothers for my “Save the Supreme Court Re-Elect Obama” Facebook page:
This image was formatted for the wide screen shape you get on a fan page when you click the star button to highlight a photo. It looked great on my there. The problem is that most people don’t go back to the fan page much after they like it; they see the subsequent posts in their own timeline. And it looked like this:
I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of truncated images like this on Facebook. Some much worse than this where you really can’t figure out what they’re about. If you’re curious you click on them and you see the whole thing. But the reality is that a lot of people keep on going and don’t click on them.
Square images always get seen the way you want them to on Facebook; square images always get seen period. As we are looking for any advantage we can get, a single extra share each time from somebody who is a very active Facebook user with a lot of friends, will result in a big payoff over time.
And getting reactions to the pictures you put up is the name of the game. And it’s going to be the main topic of discussion of this blog.