On March 6, Google Plus announced via Sara McKinley that it had made several changes to user profiles and brand pages. Most notably, Google Plus changed the dimensions of cover photos to display at a size of 2120 X 1192 pixels when fully expanded. When uploading to this size, images are displayed in a 16:9 ratio.
And once a brand or profile page upgrades to the new layout, there’s no going back. Even the square profile picture format changed. They’re now in a circular format and displayed in the bottom left corner of the cover photo. About the only thing that didn’t change was the profile picture dimensions, which will remain at the minimum required size of 250 X 250 pixels.
The Weidert Group Google Plus cover photo shown above demonstrates just how much extra space has been provided to brand pages with the new larger format. You’ll notice that we’ve incorporated the same background from our website and included a banner for our HubSpot partnership in the top left corner.
The size change may leave you wondering what you’ll do with all the extra space. Well, we’ve compiled some ideas and examples to inspire the creation of your own updated cover photo.
How Brands Benefit From The New Google Plus Cover Photo:
1) Allows Brands To Show Off Their People
Most people's perceptions of a brand come from exposure to its marketing and experience with the product. Today, primarily because of social media, brands are able to paint a more faceted picture by promoting their company personality. These faces behind the brand help consumers more fully grasp a brand's culture – something the brand hopes will resonate with the right target.
With the size change, brands now have space to include images of its people. These photos are a powerful way to demonstrate attitude and draw a connection with targets. When featuring photos of your people, be sure those photos tell a story. They’ll get a stronger sense of who you are as a group and what you’re all about. HubSpot does a nice job of showing its people and using the new size change to its advantage.
2) Allows Brands To Better Highlight Products and Services
Another benefit to brands and a great way to attract users to your page is by uploading pictures highlighting your products and services. Use the extra space as an opportunity to draw attention to some of your best work, no matter what industry you're in. This shows users what you’ve got to offer, and what you deem important. And it’s also a good way to lead users back to your site, as they’ll want to learn more about what they're seeing. Ford Motor Company uses the new size change to its advantage by featuring one of its newest products, the Ford Fiesta ST, as the cover photo.
3) Allows Brands To Announce Major Events
The new size change also allows brands to announce major events. The extra space gives you room to include a short message and a compelling photo that alerts users to an upcoming release, trade show, product introduction, etc. Be sure to include only those that are most important, and be sure to remove the announcement once the event has taken place. ESPN does an excellent job of highlighting major events on Google Plus. Their current cover photo announces that this is championship week in college basketball. And they nailed it on the head using just 3 words.
There are other ways brands can make the most of the cover photo size change, like including customer testimonials or displaying infographics to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry. And while this list doesn't include every tip, it's a great starting point for helping you better engage users on Google Plus.
To learn more about making the most of your social media profiles, download our FREE guide: "Social Media Optimization Playbook".