Facebook has long made great photos a central focus of having a standout presence on the network. After rolling out cover photos last year for extra visual space on Pages and Profiles, Facebook is now adding the option for members to display a similar banner-style image on your events. The change means more continuity with the other types of Pages you and your customers might see on Facebook.

This new look will be the standard for any events you create on the platform, so brands will need to know how to prepare their images accordingly. Here are some key points for your brand and your social media team to keep in mind as you look for images to use along with your events.

What Has Changed for You

In the old event style, photos for the event were usually small and set off to the far left of the page. The new layout puts your photo front and center. You won’t be required to use the new banner photos, but after creating the event you will see a button giving you the option to add an image. An event without a photo looks less professional, so you’ll want to make sure you are ready to go with the new format.

You have two options for the image that will appear at the top of your event. First, you can select any photo that your Page or Profile has already uploaded to Facebook. When you use images that are already on Facebook’s servers, you’ll be able to move around the photo and center it however looks best, so even an image with a vertical orientation can serve as your banner photo.

The second option is to upload a brand new picture. If you take this route, you’ll want to make sure that you have an image that’s the appropriate size. Facebook hasn’t released an official statement with the dimensions, but the available space is 714 pixels wide by 264 pixels tall. That’s smaller than the 851 x 315 pixels of a regular cover photo, so be prepared to find images that fit that reduced scale.

One important note to keep in mind is that so far, the full image you use will not appear when a thumbnail of the photo is necessary. In any posts about the event or on the main event page, only the center portion of the image is visible. It’s possible that Facebook’s developers will come up with a solution that doesn’t crop out the sides of your banner, but for now, plan to keep any essential elements of your event photo in the middle.

Some General Facebook Photo Tips

We’ve offered advice on Sprout Insights before with some key tips for making sure that the photos you upload to social media networks look great, and those concepts all hold true with the new event photos. You can check out your options for free photo editors and for good sources of legal images if you need tools. As with any other image you use, make sure that the photo you upload to use as your event cover photo is the appropriate size and resolution. This will keep your image from looking distorted or blurry to viewers.

If you do opt to include text in your event photo, keep in mind that Facebook has not spoken out about whether these images will be subject to the same rules as cover photos. For the time being, it’s probably better for your brand to play it safe and match those standards. That means no calls to action and no more than 20 percent of the image can be text, according to Facebook’s latest standards.

Another important part of your event cover photos is to remember that they are a supporting element of your company’s branding. If you have a consistent look to the images you use across social media, then maintain that feel in your event photos. Even if you don’t work with a graphic artist to supply similar images for all of your social needs, make sure that you have your company name or logo clearly visible. Select photos that best convey your brand’s ideals so that all the images affiliated with your company will represent you well.

Got any other tips for good Facebook Event photos? Let us know in the comments!

[Image credits: Courtney Carmody, Mike Baird]