This is how I used the video production platform Lumen5 to create a cover video for my Facebook page. It includes what did not work as well as what worked, and has a link to a supportive community group.

A bit over a month ago I included in my weekly Social Business Bites newsletter an item on the new Facebook feature of video covers for Facebook pages. This was just then being rolled out.

When I checked my Facebook page, I was pleased to see a little popup screen (as in the screenshot below) with an alert that I had access to this feature. At that time and still today the feature applied only to my (business) page, not to my personal profile.

Facebook cover video alert

I liked the idea. I did not act on it straight away. My excuses included not seeing myself as great shakes in the video production field – although I tell everyone else not to let that sentiment, if they are so affected, deter them!

Then along came Lumen5, the video production application I posted about here last week (Turn Your Blog Post into a Video with Lumen5).

No excuse now.

I could compose a blog post, convert it into a video and I’d be off to the races.

So I checked back on Facebook and saw that the little blue and white alert screen had gone but the camera icon in the top left of the current cover picture (as in the screenshot at the top of this post) now had, as well as a popout “Change Cover” message, a dropdown menu with various options, including two for videos (already uploaded or to be uploaded).

Facebook cover with video options arrowed

Uploading the Cover Video

The process of installing a cover video proved a bit tricky, partly because I did not at first follow the Facebook guidelines, and partly because, it seemed to me, there was an element of hit-and-miss involved.

The key guidelines are:

  • time of video between 20 and 90 seconds
  • minimum size 820px x 312 px, recommended 820px x 462 px

I did not like the error messages for my several uploading attempts!

I’d first tried to use a video I had already uploaded but at over 2 minutes in length it exceeded the 90 second upper limit.

I tried another and got another error message. I needed to check the width and height dimensions.

I wanted to use a Lumen5 video I had created but could not work out the actual size of the Lumen5 videos.

By taking a screenshot I was able to work out that at 728px width, 405px height they displayed on an aspect ratio of approximately 16:9 – on my blog.

The Facebook recommended size 820px x 462px is on an aspect ratio of 16:9.

So while I did not know the default width and height of the Lumen5 videos, I could see that the aspect ratio looked right for Facebook.

Then, from reading what some others had to say on a Facebook group, I figured that the best approach at this point was to just keep trying.

Eventually, that worked.

One Last Hitch

Facebook error message video not uploadedAn “Oh, no!” moment.

As soon as I had successfully uploaded a Lumen5 video, I realised there was, prominently, a stray extra word in it, left over from its origin as a blog post, and such as to potentially confuse a viewer. So I edited the video, gave it a new name, and tried to upload the edited version. Unsuccessful – even with only one word difference!

I decided not to waste time trying to figure that out, made another video, which uploaded without any drama.

A Helpful Lumen5 Group on Facebook

When I got stuck a few times in this process I was glad to have found and joined the Lumen5 Community on Facebook.

One of the several good things about the group is that various members share their videos, so you get ideas about how to get more value out of using the service.

Have You Installed a Cover Video on Your Facebook Page?

If you have installed a cover video for your Facebook page, please feel free to leave a link here in the comments, so the rest of us can see your work.

If you haven’t installed a cover video yet and have some questions or concerns, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer, or find someone who can.

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