It’s a small area — just 828 pixels by 315 pixels in your vast marketing landscape — but the cover image on your business’s Facebook page is an important part of your social media presence. It’s a blank canvas, a prominent visual space, even bigger than your profile picture and just as important. It’s a place to show something appealing, get followers excited about your business, make a strong call to action, and more. How can you make the most of your Facebook cover image? Check out these six useful tips.
- Put your best foot forward.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes, and an awesome shot of your product can often help it sell itself. This is especially the case with food; if your cupcake, or taco, or whatever looks especially delicious in your cover image, your followers will probably want it, and right away too. For example, take a look at the cover image on NYC’s Shake Shack page, and then try not to crave a bacon cheeseburger. (Spoiler alert: unless you’re a vegetarian, it’s pretty much impossible.) The same goes for experiences — make it look like a fun, unique, and unforgettable time, and visitors will come. Walt Disney World currently does this with a gorgeous shot of fireworks lighting up the sky around Cinderella’s Castle.
- Promote, promote, promote.
You might think of your Facebook cover image as a giant display ad on your site. You’ve already bought the space, and you can use it to push anything you’d like. Events are an obvious one; Slow Food International is currently using their cover image to promote an upcoming conference in Turin. The key with using your cover image to promote an event, though, is to change your photo once that event has passed; fail to do so, and you’ll quickly have an obviously outdated cover image.
Promoting people is also fair game in cover image shots, and the Texas Rangers are currently doing just that; they’re using their cover image to get fans to vote some Rangers onto the American League All Star team. Hashtags can also easily be promoted in a cover image, provided you have some time to create a custom graphic to promote whatever it is that you want to be trending.
- Invoke nostalgia.
If you’re able to conjure up your followers’ good feelings about the past, you can create a strong connection between them and your product. Not every company can do this (those offer products or services that are just too new may not be able to play the nostalgia card), but if you’ve been around for a while or have a link to the past, it’s a fun and visually appealing approach. Take a look at the ‘70s inspired shot that Coca Cola is currently using, or the ‘60s look that Havaianas has up right now, and you’ll see what we mean.
- Make it pretty.
Great photography will stand on its own every time. Give your followers something stunning to look at, and you’ve not only created a memorable picture in their minds, but you’ve established your company as one that understands and values outstanding aesthetics. For a perfect example, check out what Jelly Belly is currently using as its cover image: the rainbow colors, the clever fruit reflections, and the stark white background all come together to make for a winning photo. (It also plays into tip number one; who wants jelly beans?)
- Change early, change often.
Social media is a highly fluid place, and to keep up, you’ve got to change your look on a regular basis. It’s not enough to have one great cover image — you’ve got to consistently have great cover images. Updating the visuals on your page keep it fresh and give your followers something to come back for. One great way to approach this is to keep your photo seasonal and relevant. For example, warm weather is upon us, and retailers like Gap and LL Bean have very summer-like cover images on their profiles right now. When the season turns to autumn in a few months, you can bet that their photos will reflect that; the same goes for winter and spring.
- Get the tech specs set.
You’ve seen the mistakes: cover images that don’t quite fit the space, or that get cut off in all the wrong places, leaving people headless and words cut off. Facebook may be really easy to use, but you still need to pay attention to the little details. Neglect to do so, and your cover image looks like a mistake.
How’s the cover image on your company’s Facebook profile? If it’s dull, if it’s outdated, if it hasn’t been changed in a while, or if it doesn’t fit the extreme horizontal space, it’s time for a new one. Keep our tips in mind as you continue to shape and evolve your page.