How to Quickly Overcome Facebook Ad’s 20 Percent Text Rule

I will confess, Facebook’s 20% text limit in images was driving me crazy.  

I said some not-so-nice things about this rule! slang

I’m a Facebook Marketer, so trying to create a Facebook Ad that pertains to Facebook without using the word Facebook, or Facebook image representations, and keeping text to less than 20% is CHALLENGING!

I was pumped when Facebook announced the larger image sizes for link page posts in September….4x on mobile and 8x on desktop!  Sweet!  They also announced changes to their Ad image and Sponsored Stories images sizes (full guide here on Facebook, or access it here from our server if needed) to bring images sizes into a more cohesive order.  That was great.

But…..I’ve had dozens of Facebook Ads rejected.   Sometimes those ads would start, get some reach, then get squashed by Facebook as unapproved.  Generally, it was always too much text!   I’ve got the email memorized…

Screenshot 2013-10-03 14.35.53

So then I started using their tool noted in the link above, “You may upload your ad image to see why it is considered 20% text….”.   What I found was that their grids were not flexible!

See how the words, “eBook Guide To” in the title line below has Facebook’s grid line running horizontally through it? The “B” and “k” of “eBook”, and every letter of “GUIDE TO” have the line running through it.

facebook-ads-image-tool-1

Yep, they were dinging me as shown in image below. “Guide” for instance was being noted as in row 1 column 2 and row 2 column 2.

facebook-ads-image-tool-2

Any grid with text equals 100% of that box as having text in it!  Yes, so a slight overlap into a grid, means the whole box was included.  Go ahead, test your image here: Facebook’s Ad Tool to Test Text in Images:  https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay.

So, if I move my text slightly to fit within grids and not overlap grids where not absolutely necessary, BINGO!  I meet the criteria and stay within 20%! See below.

facebook-ads-image-tool-3

So, I modified my images, loaded up to Facebook to test, then repeated.

Loaded, repeated.  Loaded repeated…. trial and error until I got the text laid out to fit within grid boxes so that I was within the 20%.  This was painfully slow! I need to be efficient!!!

…..So I created my own PhotoShop Templates with the Grids!

Then I thought, “Well, others might need these as well!”  So I packaged them!

All you need to do is download this Zip file and the top layer in each is the grid.  Simply add your design layers below the grid layer, then turn the grid layer on and you immediately know if your image meets the 20% text guidelines, or if you need to move your text a bit so that it doesn’t get dinged by overlapping!

OPTION #2 – If you don’t want to download and have this layer in your images, you can also setup a 20% Grid in PhotoShop and turn it on or off.  Here’s how:

Go to Edit > Preferences > Grids, guides & Slices, and set your Grid to show a Gridline every 20 percent with 1 subdivision. To show the grid within Photoshop, go to View > Show and select Grid, or just use Ctrl plus ‘ to toggle it on and off.

Screenshot 2013-10-04 08.13.02

You can have text in up to 5 of the boxes that then appear on your image.

I hope this saves you time like it saves me time!

What’s included in the download:  Download this Zip file
1200 x 627 Page Post Link Ad Grid PSD (Facebook Recommended Size)
400 x 209 Page Post Link Ad Grid PSD (News Feed Link, in case you want the smaller size)
1200 x 900 Page Post Photo Ad Grid PSD (Facebook Recommended Size)

1200x627-page-post-link-ad

Why the different sizes?  Page Post Link Ads and Page Post Photo Ads use different sizes!

Don’t take my word for it, here’s the list from Facebook Ad Master Jon Loomer himself!

loomer-ad-image-sizes

So, hope this tip is helpful to all you creating Facebook Ads who had been getting digned for the 20% text limit!  Many times it means not reducing text, but simply moving your text to fit in the grid!

Again, if you want, you can pull down these PSD files.  Hopefully this saves you time if you are using Facebook Ads!

1.91:1 Aspect Ratio

This is the main thing to keep in mind if you are really wanting to be efficient. The width of your image needs to be 1.91 times the height. When this is the case, it will scale nicely across Desktop News Feed, Mobile and Sidebar Ads.  With this recent change to a much larger size for links, and the fact that with a single click on the photo or the text in a link post the user is taken to the link destination, this means that Photo Ads are less needed.  So if you don’t want to play around, just use the 1200 x 627 PSD.

That is all.

Infographic version:

Facebook Ad 20 percent tip - make your text fit and not overlap grid lines!

About Mike Gingerich

Author: Mike Gingerich, TabSite Co-Founder. Facebook and Social Marketer. Part geek, part marketer, total social media junkie. Mike is a writer and speaker, having presented at Social Media Week Lima, Social Media Camp (Canada) and more. He is a regular contributor to Social Media Examiner and Business2Community. Mike is a marketing, social media, and internet enthusiast with 10+ years experience building apps, consulting, and training businesses with winning integrated web and Social Media Strategies. Mike loves deploying tactics to increase awareness, sales, and maximize ROI in both B2B and B2C markets via digital media.