Imagine this. Your friend tells you about a great small business that he just worked with, and recommends them to you. You Google their name, come to a Facebook page, and it looks like this:
An overlooked opportunity
Facebook cover photos are a huge marketing opportunity and, if your page looks anything like the picture above, you are missing out on it. Don’t get me wrong, minimalistic photos can also draw attention to your page, but it needs to be saying something. First impressions are everything. So think of your cover photo as your handshake.
Previously, Facebook had been a little strict on what businesses could put in their cover photo. Now, however, you are allowed to put contact information, suggest people “like” or “follow” your feed, and provide your website address. Facebook recommends:
“For your Page’s cover photo, use a unique image that represents your Page. This might be a photo of a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product. Be creative and experiment with images to see what your audience responds to best.”
Taking advantage of the new rules
So what can you do now that the rules have changed? Your cover photos are now allowed to include “calls to action.” This means that you can suggest and provide a link to a special promotion. If the first thing people see when coming to your Facebook page is a coupon for 20% off, they’re going to be intrigued. Another idea? Promote an upcoming event, contest, or push a brand new product to the forefront of your page. The best part about cover photos is that you can change them as frequently as you want, so you can always be ready to switch over to the next promotion.
Tips for making a great cover photo
When making cover photos, there are a few things to keep in mind. Try to keep the text/image ratio to 20% as a best practice and note the specific size of the cover photo is 851 x 315 pixels. Stay as close as possible to this, any other size will have to be cropped or stretched, which risks altering the text or image quality. Also, you don’t just want it to be a lonely photo. If a customer sees a picture for something they’re interested in, but can’t find out more information, it’s basically useless. Try adding a call-to-action in the description area of the cover photo that will point visitors towards what they are looking for. A call to action is literally that— a specific instruction to complete an action such as; contact us now, click here to see our menu, etc. It can also be an arrow in the photo itself that points to a link somewhere else on your page. This way, if they see something they like, you can direct them to an order form or the link to your website.
Don’t forget about the newsfeed..
Another thing to keep in mind is that a picture really is worth a thousand words. Over 50% of what appears in a Facebook feed is now images and media. Detailed status updates are a thing of the past. Everyday, people scroll through their newsfeed and unless something catches their eye, they’ll scroll right past you. But if you do it right, they might like the photo, comment, or better yet share it on their own page.
“50% of News Feed content today is photos and visual content” – Mark Zuckerberg
This becomes increasingly more valuable because of the way Facebook’s newsfeed works. The more that someone comments, likes, or shares your photos, the more frequently your feed appears in theirs. You have the ability to exponentially increase your views, simply by posting interesting pictures, and conversing with the threads that follow.
So, what have we learned?
- Cover photos are your first impression. Would you ever not say hello to a client? Then you need to have your photo do the same.
- Remember the 20% rule. Text should take up 20% or less of the space in your cover photo.
- Facebook has the technology so that when people like something, they see more of it. They show their friends more of it. They buy your product, your service, or your sales pitch. So give them something they’re going to want to see and share.
Don’t have the tools to make your own? We can help
Ok, here comes the shameless plug. If you’re not graphically inclined, don’t have the tools, or just won’t want to mess with it, we offer social media graphics as a service. Check it out if you’re interested.
A picture’s worth a thousand words—what is yours saying? Here’s a few examples of Facebook Cover Photos done right: