Facebook 20 Percent Rule – Do You Measure Up?

Facebook 20 percent rule
In early January, Facebook rolled out updates to cover photos, ads and images.  No, they didn’t change the sizes of them again.  Instead, they have implemented a Facebook 20 percent rule.  What the Facebook 20 percent rule aims to do is control how much text you use on your Timeline cover photo, ads, and in images you want to promote. Before you start to panic though, remember, the Facebook 20 percent rule is there to help you…become a better marketer for your business on Facebook.

How can the Facebook 20 percent rule help you?

With the Facebook 20 percent rule, what Facebook aims to do is to control the quality of images that get posted to the site. This means you won’t be able to get away with posting images that are spammy in nature – or misleading (which is a good thing).

So how is the new Facebook 20 percent rule going to help you? It seems like there’s going to be more work with the new Facebook 20 percent rule.

For starters, it means that Facebook Pages owners will finally have to start focusing on the quality of the content that they post.  For example, it’s ok to post images with quotes if they align with the goals of your business. It’s not ok to post them if they don’t align with the goals of your business and are just being used to get fans and customers to engage with you by liking an image that is unrelated to your business.

While posting unrelated quotes and images to your Facebook Page help your business look more engaging, they actually hurt your business because they take the focus away from customers and fans from really learning about your business or the products that you have to offer.

This means that if you want to build engagement with your fans and customers, you’re going to have to get better at marketing your products.

Restrictions on Facebook cover photos, sponsored stories and images?

If you’re concerned about what types of images you can post on Facebook, here’s a rundown on the restrictions:

    • If your images are going to be promoted (paid content) in the news feed, the 20 percent rule applies to the following:
      • Cover photo
      • Images
      • Sponsored Stories
        • Links
        • Offers
        • Mobile app installations
    • If your images are not going to be promoted in the news feed, the 20 percent rule does not apply to the following:
      • Cover photo
      • Images
      • Sponsored Stories
        • Links
        • Offers
        • Mobile app installations

Great – so if I don’t plan to advertise your quotes through the Facebook news feed, I can still continue posting them!

Wrong! While you’re not forced to stop creating images that don’t follow the Facebook 20 percent rule, you do have to think long-term.  Sure, you’ll get people to like and share your quotes and Internet memes, but over time, as people get tired of seeing the same types of content over and over from your business, you’re going to have to advertise to bring in more related fans and potential customers.

By conditioning fans now, as your Facebook Page grows, you’ll come to be known for the quality content you provide.

Does your cover photo break the Facebook 20 percent rule? Let’s find out.

Just so you understand the Facebook 20 percent rule, this handy tool can help show you if your Timeline cover photo breaks any of the text rules. 

If you’re not sold on this tool, here are more Facebook 20 percent text rule templates that show you different positions of text for on cover photos that violate the 20 percent rule.

In addition to cover photos and sponsored stories, be sure to check out Section III. Page Features within Facebook’s Guidelines for Facebook Pages and what you can and cannot do because they’re starting to police them and make it more difficult to post content.

Overall, I’m excited about the Facebook 20 percent rule even though it seems like it makes it more difficult to post content. How do you feel about it?

Question: Will you be changing your social media strategy on your Facebook Page to compensate for the Facebook 20 percent rule? Leave a comment.