Five Tips For Creating A Facebook Cover Photo
Facebook allows for an ongoing conversation with your followers; an opportunity to establish a successful relationship with your target audience.
One of the very first things a potential or current follower will see when interacting with your Facebook page is the cover photo. It’s a great chance to make an impression on your audience.
Here are a few tips for creating a great Facebook cover photo + a handy infographic.
Tip 1: Be Creative With Your Facebook Cover
Too many businesses are taking the easy way out with their Facebook cover photo by simply following suit. There are too many cookie cutter cover graphics that consist of things like the following:
- the company logo
- the outside of the company office building
- the inside of the company office building
- the company logo as it appears outside of the office building
- a generic image found by doing a google search for “facebook cover graphic”
Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and your competitors. It’s always a good idea to take a peak at what your competitors are doing, just keep in mind that there are many SMB’s out there that frankly:
- don’t know what they’re doing, or
- don’t have enough time to do things right when it comes to social media
Remember, social media should be a casual, fun, engaging and informal interaction with your followers. Give them something exciting and original to see when they first get to your page.
Bonus Tip: You can get really clever by strategically planning out your profile photo and your cover graphic at the same time so that they both play off of each other. Carlsberg does a clever job intertwining the two…
Tip 2: Obey The Rules
You’ll need to make sure you are following a few guidelines and specs set out by Facebook. Here are the major ones you’ll need to abide by:
- Images should be 851px wide by 315px tall*
- Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
- You cannot encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
You can see a more complete list of Facebook cover guidelines here.
*Make sure your graphic meets these specs; failing to do so could result in an image that’s fuzzy, distorted, or pixelated. You’ll want a nice, crisp, clean looking cover graphic.
One Facebook Cover Photo rule no longer exists:
Facebook has gotten rid of it’s 20% Text Rule which governed that a particular image could not be made up of more than 20% text. (Note: this 20% text rule does still apply to Facebook display ads)
Take advantage of this, but don’t abuse it. In addition to the visual part of the cover graphic, you should use words to your advantage to communicate things like a promotion, contest, company message, or call to action.
But, do not go overboard with text; although Facebook no longer enforces the 20% text rule, it is still a good gauge for how much copy is appropriate.
Tip 3: Tie It In
Keep the same or similar look and feel of your brand. You could also tie into a particular promotion or campaign theme.
Continuity is important. Even though social media can often take on informal tone when compared to traditional media, your cover photo should still try and tie into existing branding efforts.
Remember, if you’re using social media for your company effectively, then you know that:
- You should be using Facebook as an ongoing conversation with your audience
- Users should be interacting with your brand, in addition to just viewing its content
- You should be establishing your brand as being popular, informative, and an expert/authority in your field
With those things in mind, your cover photo is one more place for users to get a glimpse of your brand when interacting with your company’s page on social media. You can take on a more lighthearted tone, should you so choose, but keep an overall connection between your cover graphic and your brand and/or individual campaign theme(s).
This will lead to increased brand awareness / brand recognition by tying your cover photo theme into an existing campaign or existing look and feel of your brand.
One Example: Nike’s Facebook page. Clean, bold yet simple, and ties into the infamous “Just Do It.” tagline.
Another example: Coca-Cola’s Facebook page shows the highly recognizable coke can as its profile picture, but the cover graphic shows a playful, humorous action shot of Marvel’s Ant Man splashing down on an overflowing can of Coke.
Tip 4: Use Calls To Action On Facebook Cover Photos
What is it that you want your visitors to do? Tell them. Below are a few quick ideas to use as a Call To Action.
Like Our Page
Be sure to tell users why they should like your page. What benefits would someone receive by clicking that like button?
Like Us On Facebook To Win
35% of Facebook Fans like a page so they can participate in contests, according to BufferApp.
Like Us For X% Off
42% of fans like a page to get a coupon or discount, according to Socially Stacked.
Keep in mind: while Facebook can be used to generate leads or sales, it is typically more common (and effective) to execute a soft sell (if any). While Calls To Action on Facebook are important, a constant, hard sell of your product or service may ultimately sour your followers.
Here’s one example of a good call to action from HubSpot…
For another good example of not over doing it, take a look at Under Armour’s Facebook page. Their cover graphic is very clean and simple, with the copy tying into a current campaign theme. The only calls to action included are the Facebook-generated buttons used in the bottom right of their cover photo: Shop Now, Like, and Message.
Bonus Tip: Notice the posts Under Armour publishes…not too much in the way of pushing products / driving sales. Rather, they’re engaging their users with fresh, relevant content.
Remember, offer users beneficial insights, useful tips, etc., that will help position your brand as an authority while helping to increase top-of-mind awareness with your target audience. That leads us to…
Tip 5: Provide Value
There’s a ton of value in following e-commerce or retail stores on Facebook just to keep up on different promotions. Best Buy’s Facebook page, as an example, has over 7 million followers.
This is probably in large part due to the fact that they are regularly posting different deals and promotions.
However, think about your company’s particular product or service in detail and ask yourself, “Why would someone want to follow this company on Facebook?”
The answer for your particular business is probably much different from that of a Best Buy. Think about some of these example questions for SMBs…
- Why would anyone follow their local doctor’s office on Facebook?
- Why would anyone follow a law firm on Facebook?
- Why would anyone follow a gym franchise on Facebook?
- Why would anyone follow an emergency power company on Facebook?
- Etc., etc.
Those questions need to be answered, and, if possible, communicated in your cover photo or somewhere on your Facebook page.
Hopefully, the content which you regularly post to Facebook helps answer that question. For example:
- Is the local doctor posting health tips on Fridays? Diet tips on Tuesdays? Office hour updates? etc.
- Is the law firm posting interesting content pertaining to current legal news? About updates to local laws?
- Is the gym posting motivating workout videos? How-to videos? Training tips?
- Is the emergency power company posting updates about preventative maintenance tips? What to do in an upcoming storm?
If your content is focused around useful information like that, then be sure to tell your audience. Identify with them the value associated with liking your company Facebook page and it will go a long way.
Executing A Great Facebook Cover Photo
Recently, DMG updated the cover graphics for one of its clients, Hoffman DiMuzio. Take a quick look at how we executed all five tips above as an example as to how to create a great cover graphic.
– Cover photo is visually and creatively much different from any competitors.
Obey The Rules
– Graphic meets Facebook’s exact specifications.
Visually Tie It In
– Ties into the firm’s rebranding effort DMG did.
Use Calls To Action
– Uses words such as “Like Our Page” and takes advantage of Facebook’s ‘Contact Us’ button, which points to the firm’s Contact Page.
– The firm posts weekly Your Legal Corner articles to its Facebook page. These are helpful articles covering a wide variety of everyday legal topics, providing helpful info to its followers. We provide value to the visitor by telling them they’ll receive these updates by simply liking the page.