Facebook’s Canvas Folio is a mobile-only portfolio. You can use it to present creative work in an engaging format with auto-playing videos, tilt-to-pan and swipe-able images. This guide explains how to create a great Folio that stands out and share it with potential clients, employers and collaborators.
A few things you should know…
There are a couple of things you should know about Canvas Folio before you try your hand at making one.
First, you’ll be creating a Canvas ad in much the same way that businesses do. These would normally run across Facebook as paid adverts but you’ll be posting your Folio to a Facebook Page for free.
It is your responsibility to ensure you’ve got the necessary permissions to share any content – for example music – in your Folio. Check out facebook.com/legal/terms for more information on this.
Finally, Canvas Folios are mobile-only, so when you share your Folio, people will need to be on a mobile to view it.
Collate the work you want to showcase
You can include as many elements in your Canvas Folio as you like, but we’d recommend you choose your best five to seven pieces – the ones that sum up your range of skills and demonstrate your thinking, your craft and the kind of creative work you’d like to do.
Remember to keep it simple. If you have to explain ads, they’re probably too complicated and perhaps shouldn’t be included. Your work should speak for itself.
You can include video as well as static images in your Canvas Folio and both can be displayed in a tilt format that allows people to pan across them – perfect for wide panoramic shots. Images can also be displayed in a swipe-able carousel format which can be useful for sharing storyboards or images of multi-execution campaigns.
Step 1: Create a page
You’ll first need to create a Facebook Page for yourself as a creative. This is where your Canvas Folio will live. To do this, just click ‘Create Page’ on the left-hand side of your Facebook profile. On the next page, choose the Page type that fits you best (it doesn’t matter too much which category you choose, but one from the dropdown menu under Artist, Band or Public Figure is usually most appropriate). Then, follow the steps over the next couple of pages until you have your very own Page.
Step 2: Build your Canvas
On your Page, click ‘Publishing Tools’ and select ‘Canvas’ from the left-hand menu followed by ‘+Create’. This will open the Canvas Builder. Here, you’ll be able to take a tour of Canvas and see some sample layouts.
Give your Canvas Folio a name and select a colour theme. Then, add a logo to sit in your portfolio header (this is optional) and a photo (either of yourself or something eye-catching that represents your work), followed by a link button. We recommend using a link to your full portfolio that is fixed to the bottom of your Canvas to ensure it’s always visible. Afterwards, click ‘+ Add Component’ to begin adding to your Canvas.
Step 3: Add content
Perhaps begin with a text block, giving a short bio about yourself. The three main creative formats in Canvas are Carousel, photo and video. You’ll also be able to add additional link buttons and blocks of text (for example, a description of the work you’re displaying).
Uploading components is fairly self-explanatory, and we’d suggest having a play-around with various options like making things link-able and tilt-able.
You can also reorder your portfolio by dragging and dropping. Consider adding a blank text box as a spacer between elements (note: you’ll need to add a space in the text box or you’ll receive an error message).
Step 4: Make it live
Once you’re happy with your Canvas, select the option to save it. You’ll also be able to create a duplicate so you can create a different version without starting from scratch.
You’ll then have the option to send a preview of your portfolio to your mobile device or share your Canvas with anyone else who is marked as an admin on the page you’ve created (for example, your creative partner). Click ‘Finish’ to generate a URL but remember – once you’ve done this, you won’t be able to make any further changes.
Step 5: Share your Folio
One important thing to remember is that Folios can’t be viewed on desktop, so it’s important to let the person you’re sharing it with know how to open it on a mobile device.
Your Canvas Folio will live on the Facebook Page that you created and it’s a good idea to ‘pin’ it to the top of the Page. You can put whatever else you like on your Page too – a link to your full portfolio, for example, your Instagram profile or other things that inspire you. Use your Page to sell yourself and show the kind of work that you’re interested in.
You can then share your portfolio using the URL or within Facebook via a ‘share’ button or boost your post’s reach by running your Folio as a paid-for ad to ensure it is seen by people from certain industries or organisations.
More information on creating Canvas Folio is available in the Canvas Folio Group on Facebook. You can also post questions and browse portfolios created by other members.
To help aspiring creatives get noticed by the right people, Facebook will be choosing a new Canvas Folio each month and giving it an ad campaign targeting creative agencies across Europe.
Insights is part of Inspire, a year-long partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram showcasing outstanding creative work and emerging talent on both platforms.
More advice and inspiration is also available at Facebook’s Creative Hub.
Creative Hub was launched in 2016 to help the creative communities understand mobile marketing. The online tool allows creatives to experiment with content formats – from Instagram video to Facebook Canvas – and produce mock-ups to share with clients and stakeholders. It also showcases successful campaigns created for mobile.