“Don’t judge the book by its cover.” But guess what? We still do. This is why you have to make sure your Facebook video thumbnail looks good, appealing and drive your audience to watch the video you shared or click on that “Get Reminder” button in your scheduled stream.
In this article, we’ll share all the secrets on how to nail Facebook video thumbnails and get the most out of them.
What is Facebook Video Thumbnail?
A thumbnail image is a picture that is used as a cover for a video. It helps to recognize viewers what your video is about and usually serves as a “bait” to click on your live stream or video and watch it.
Why is it Important to Have a Custom Thumbnail in Your Video or Live Stream?
If you haven’t created a thumbnail image before, you should notice that Facebook auto-generates a thumbnail by picking a random shot from your video or live stream. Sometimes it looks good, and sometimes it does not.
Moreover, these randomly picked shots usually don’t have any explanation of what the video is about. A bystander who’s surfing Facebook (or any other social media) and trying to find something interesting to watch will most likely skip a video with a thumbnail that doesn’t catch their attention.
Therefore, your thumbnail should be:
- Simple to understand
By informative, I mean that your potential audience should understand what your video is about at first glance. For example, if it’s a recipe, you will get more clicks with a good picture of a ready dish or a photo of yourself wearing a chef’s hat.
Your thumbnail also should be bright to stand out in the newsfeed and have easy-to-read text on it so your viewers understand what the video is about.
Requirements for Facebook Video Thumbnails
The Facebook thumbnail has specific dimensions which you need to use to make sure that picture fits the frame neatly. The requirements are the following:
- It should be a 16:9 ratio.
- The recommended size is 1200 x 675 pixels.
- The image format is JPEG or PNG
Facebook Thumbnail: Best Practices
Creating a thumbnail for your video might seem to be difficult, but actually, it’s not. For creating a great thumbnail image that will bring you more views, you have to have just a few things:
- A custom image
- Set of fonts
- Software that will help you to edit a thumbnail
A Custom Image for Your Facebook Video or Live Stream
To create a striking thumbnail, you’ll need to have a high-quality image. There are several ways to get it.
- Take a photo of yourself;
- Take a photo of an object you’re going to shoot a video about;
- Use free images from photo stocks such as Pexels, Unsplash;
- Buy photos using subscription from Adobe Stock, Shutterstock.
If none of the options above work for you, you can make a screenshot from your video, which also can work.
Pro tip: You can take a photo for your thumbnail using the phone’s back-facing camera. The critical point here is to have good lighting.
Fonts to Use
Make sure that fonts in your thumbnails are BIG and BOLD, so they are easy to read. Many creators like to use in their graphics hand-writing fonts of calligraphy ones, but you are better off saving them for your Pinterest account. For Facebook (and YouTube), keep it simple and readable 🙂
Examples of good fonts for your Facebook Video thumbnail:
And don’t be afraid to experiment with this part; just make sure you keep it on brand and align with your Facebook page or Facebook Group graphics design.
Tools for Creating a Facebook Thumbnail Image
Once you have your image ready and understand what kind of fonts you will use, you can start the editing process. There are dozens of different software out there, but below, we share the most convenient ones, in our opinion.
A great platform that supports both desktop and mobile interfaces and will come in hand not only for creating thumbnails but also for other graphics you might need.
A superb digital marketing tool that offers various excellent features as background removal and images’ upscaling. So does Canva. They have a lot of templates that you can use for creating different custom images, including thumbnails. Available for both desktop and mobile, the free plan is imposing in terms of features.
Another fantastic tool for creating the graphics, it has the same set of features as the platforms above, but the prices are slightly lower than Canva.
A stunning tool that is used by a lot of creators for creating different types of graphics. The remarkable thing is that they have a 30-day Trial for their Individual plan, which allows you to use almost all of the features they have. Yay!
Besides mentioned above, you can use software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, but these are pretty expensive software (around $30 a month), and there is a steep learning curve.
Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Design Facebook Thumbnail
Once you decide which photo, font, and program you’re going to use – you can start designing your thumbnail. No matter which tool you choose: Canva, PicsArt, Easil, or Adobe Spark – the steps to take in terms of design will look the same. I’m a heavy Canva user, so let me share how I design the thumbnails with it.
So what are the steps of creating your thumbnail quickly and effectively?
- Log in to Canva;
- Create a canvas by clicking on “Create a design” in the top-right corner;
- Set a custom size (1200 x 675 pixels) for your thumbnail;
- Once you see the interface with a blank canvas, go to the Elements tab on the left and find a Rectangular Shape;
- Click on the shape;
- Once it appears on the canvas, choose the color of the shape and extend it to the size of the canvas;
- Add your photo on the right side of the thumbnail. Make sure you removed background;
- Go to the “Text” tab located under the Elements tab and choose the “Add a heading” option;
- Zoom your thumbnail out to the size in which people most likely will see it on Facebook. Clicking on the percentage at the bottom on the right and go for “25%”;
- Check if you still can read the title;
- Adjust the size of the photo and text if needed;
- Save in JPEG or PNG format by clicking on the three-dots button in the upper right corner and pressing the “Download” button.
Examples of Great Facebook Thumbnails
A great example from our stunning host and team member Molly Mahoney. Her photo is emotional and draws attention, so is her guest’s one. The title is big and easy to read. You also can see purple and yellow rectangles with additional information about the stream.
Another excellent example from Minessa Konecky. The thumbnail is standing out and aligned with Minessa’s branding. It makes it very easy to recognize who posted a video or go live even without reading what account made a post.
Pro tip: To understand better what kind of thumbnails work – pay attention to what thumbnail YOU click on. Stop consuming the content you’re offered to watch blindly and start to analyze it before, for example, clicking on the video. You’ll learn very fast what is working and how you can apply those tricks in your designing process.
Another great example of a thumbnail for a tutorial about privacy settings. The “lock” in the picture clearly communicates the topic, and the text is big and easy to read.
Pro tip: Thumbnails with people usually perform better than the thumbnails with illustrations or photos of objects.
How to Change Facebook Video Thumbnails Image
Once you design your custom thumbnail – you can upload it to your video on Facebook or start scheduling your stream in BeLive studio.
To change a thumbnail for a video on Facebook, follow these steps:
- Upload a video or find the one you want to update.
- Open the video
- Click on the three-dots button in the top-right corner
- Click on “Edit video.”
- Choose your thumbnail
- Click on the “Add Image” button.
- Pick a thumbnail from your PC or Mac internal folder
- Press the “Save” button
That’s it! Now you know how to nail Facebook video thumbnails quickly and create custom thumbnails that will help you to get more views!
For more tips on creating thumbnails – check out this article.
Do you have any tips on how you create your video or live stream thumbnails? Or maybe you can recommend other apps and software that work best for you? Let us know in the comments below. 👇
Content creator at BeLive