How to Create a Facebook Cover Photo using PowerPoint

Community College Students. Pictures used by permission.

Most of my students at the community college do not have PhotoShop, but they do have PowerPoint on their home computers or can use PowerPoint in the campus labs.

PowerPoint is a presentation program that is included with Microsoft Office.

If you have a little experience with PowerPoint, it is very easy to design your Facebook cover page. It will not be as professional as it would be if you hired a graphic designer, but it looks very easy and is free if you have the software.

If you do not have PowerPoint on your computer, you can purchase the student/teacher edition of Office which includes PowerPoint at WalMart for around $115.

After watching this short YouTube video by Cathy, Social Media Exchange, I was able to design a cover in less than 15 minutes.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

Create Facebook Cover Photo With PowerPoint

You may also want to read:

Why Social Media Should be Taught in the Community College (CarolHBates)

20 Facebook Cover Photos to Inspire Your Brand ()

How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer (Beth Kanter)

10 Obvious Social Media No No’s: Please Add to the List


Students Using Social Media – Photo by Royalty-Free/Corbis

There are many horror stories about people getting fired, divorced, or sent to jail because of information they freely posted on a social media web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Most of these recommendations seem like common sense, but many people do not seem to have any when it comes to social media.

I am going to list ten obvious social media “no no’s.” Please add two or three more to the list.

Social Media No No’s

1. Never post anything negative or private about your job. This includes talking bad about employers, coworkers, work studies, students, interns, or the cleaning crew.

2. Don’t constantly talk often about not feeling well. Prospective employers may use this information against you when making a hiring decision.

3. Don’t share too much private information. There are crazy people out there who stalk Twitter and other social media. It may not be wise to post your location.

4. Don’t use vulgar and inappropriate language. It’s just not right.

5. Don’t say anything that you would not show your mother or that you would not post on a Billboard for everyone to see.

6.  Don’t forget about context. Think about how your comments will sound when read out of context. Many of your Tweets or Facebook posts will be read without the surrounding context.

7. Don’t be rude. Respond to your “fans” or “friends.” It is poor etiquette not to respond to their comments especially when they are directed to you personally.

8. Do not post too much. There is no hard and fast rule about how much is too much, but too much is considered spamming.

9. Don’t rant – don’t talk excessively or negatively about your friends, husband, ex husband, politics, religion. You get the idea.

10. Don’t post inappropriate photos! Isn’t this obvious?

I can’t wait to see what you will share. Your comments are appreciated.

You may also want to read:


Top Five Etiquette Tips for Parents (Kathy Doyle)

Facebook Etiquette for Business: How to Keep Your Fans (Elisa Pequini)

Digital Over-Sharing, Constant Complaining And Other Top Mobile Etiquette Mistakes (Jenna Goudreau)

Most Annoying Online Faux Pas? Oversharing (Ned Smith)

Why Social Media Skills Should be Taught in the Community College


Some educators have questioned the value of teaching social media.

  • Don’t students already know all about social media?
  • What social media platforms should students learn and why?
  • Should community colleges offer for credit classes in social media?

First, what are social media?

Social media as defined in Wikipedia includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities, and individuals.

Kaplan adds that social media tools make it possible to create user-generated content (UGC). UGC allows ordinary people to have a voice. Information is created, shared, and amplified by online word of mouth. The information shared may be in the form of text, video, PowerPoint presentations and other forms of media.

Content or “digital assets” can be shared on multiple social media platforms.

Social media tools include but are not limited to Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. Also included in social media are Wikipedia and virtual game worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life.

Businesses increasingly use these social media tools to engage with their customers, generate leads, and market products. Businesses of all sizes appreciate the fact that community colleges equip graduates with knowledge of the latest industry trends.

Why Do Students Need to Learn to Use Social Media?

The fact that Fortune 500 companies are embracing social media should encourage students to learn more about social media.

In January there were over 13,000 jobs requiring social media skills. This is an increase of 87% from the previous year. Demand for social media skills continues to rise.

Social media skills are needed across many business functions.

Strong social media skills are a requirement for many jobs such as account executives, PR specialists, office and administrative support workers, journalists, sales professionals, and marketing. In fact, entire categories of employment opportunities have been created for jobs such as social media coordinators and social media analysts. A list of occupations that require social media skills can be found on Carolyn Menz’s blog.

While community college students should not rely on social media skills alone, social media skills should be added to their list of comprehensive skill sets. It is clear that our graduates will be looking for jobs in a social media saturated online world. Graduates will have an advantage when they have an understanding of how social media tools work and can demonstrate expertise in using social media in their field.

What is the Co-Requisite for Social Media Skills?

But all the social media skills in the world will not help students if they do not learn good communication skills. A co-requisite for social media skills is good communication skills. Students must develop strong writing skills, and they must learn how to write for the web.

Assignments for Week One

Assignment #1 – Define social media in your own words using 140 characters or less. Open a Twitter account and Tweet your definition. Be sure to mention me in your Tweet @carolhbates.

Assignment #2 – What is your career goal? Post a comment to this blog describing your career goal and how you might use social media in your job.

Assignment #3 – Define UGC. How can you use “digital assets” to build your brand? Post your answer as a comment to this blog. Note: If you do not have a product, you are your brand. You are branding yourself!

Assignment #4 – By next week, create a Facebook page. We will learn more late. For now, just create your Page.

Assignment # 5 – Read at least two of the articles below and post a comment to this blog. Respond to at least one other student’s comment.

Andreas M. Kaplan Faculty Page.

Social Media Tools 101 (From Blogs to Wikis) (Interactive iiG Social Media Group)

Ultimate Guide to Facebook Pages (Robin Broitman)

The Super Simple Guide to Setting Up Your First Company Facebook Page Without Blowing a Gasket – Part One (Jennifer Laycock)

20 Things You Should Share on Social Media (Jeff Bullas) (Susan Payton) (Jim Durben)

Social Media Jobs, Skills Rising in Demand (Jamie Yap)

What Are Basic Social Media Skills Journalists Need? (Ben LaMothe)

Do SEO Careers Require Social Media Expertise (Onward Search Career Center)

Hiring for Social Media Skills Continues and Creates Hard-to-Fill Occupations (Carolyn Menz)

Employers Increasingly “Like” Social Media Skills (Beth Panitz)


Social Media in the Community College: Put Your Ear to the Ground

Ear to the GroundJay Choi in his article Put Your Ear to the Ground: Engaging More Directly talks about the importance of engaging directly with the people you manage.

Community college instructors can use new powerful social media tools along with Choi’s management tips to increase  student engagement.

Take opportunities to talk face-to-face with students

Although students love to connect with social media, instructors should still look for opportunities to talk face-to-face with students. This may sound obvious to an outsider, but students are much different than they were twenty or even ten years ago.

Students no longer visit faculty in their offices. They register online, attend orientation online, and contact their instructors online. Faculty should look for opportunities to meet with students face-to-face when possible by attending sporting events, sponsoring clubs, or just hanging around a little longer after class.

Actually experience the good or service you provide

It is easy for faculty to get bogged down with grading papers, preparing lectures, and attending committee meetings. We sometimes forget the importance of our finished product. We need to connect with business owners who have hired our graduates to find out how they are performing on the job. Also, it is important to talk to graduates to see if they feel they have the needed skills to be successful after graduation. Surveying businesses and graduates via social media such as Facebook sometimes gives a higher response rate than mailing out surveys or trying to contact by phone.

Put yourselves in different shoes to solve complex problems

Faculty forget what it is like to be a student. If it has been many years since you have attended school as a student, enroll in a class at the college where you teach. If you don’t want to be stressed out over a grade, audit the class. It helps to look at the college through the eyes of a student.

Go where the water is fresh

Learn something new. Stay up-to-date on trends. Instructors can share excitement with students and colleagues when they are learning and keeping up with new trends and ideas.  It is always better to change before you are forced to change.

According to Eric Stoller (2011), a prevalent trend in education is the use of social media to engage students. Many faculty have been slow to adopt social media in the classroom. Social media can be used to engage students and may improve student learning outcomes and retention.

Social media offers endless ways for faculty to connect with other professionals and stay up-to-date with trends. Professional relationships can be nurtured through interaction and sharing.

You also may be interested in reading:

Put Your Ear to the Ground: Engaging More Directly (Jay Choi)

Are They Listening? Social Media on Campuses of Higher Education (Amy F. Ratliff)

Social Media Unsessions (Eric Stoller)

Social Media: Engage, Engage, Engage (carolhbates)