11 ways to create a better Facebook cover photo

You should change your Facebook cover photo about once a month. Here are enough ideas to last you almost the entire year.

Your cover photo is the first thing people see when they come to your Facebook page. What are you doing to make a statement with that valuable real estate?

To give you some inspiration, below are 11 examples any brand can use. But first, some tips to keep in mind:

  • Update your cover photo frequently. Once a month is ideal.
  • Always include a description with links and a call to action when you update your cover photo.
  • Use arrows and other design elements to direct visitors’ eyes to the like button or an app.
  • Coordinate your cover photo with your profile photo.
  • Use or design a cover photo with the optimal dimensions (851 x 315 pixels). Download a cover photo template here .

Here are some things you can do with your Facebook cover photo:

1. Promote trends.

If you’re a retailer, use your cover photo to talk about new trends in your industry and feature new products. PiperLime, a show company, does this well. Here’s one of PiperLime’s cover photos that announces a new trend:

2. Direct fans to an app.

When you launch a new app, one of the best ways to promote it is to update your cover photo. Draw attention to your new app with arrows or other illustrations that point directly to your app’s thumbnail.

For instance, whenever your business launches a new eBook (like Facebook expert Jon Loomer did below), PDF, infographic or other free resource, update your cover photo to notify fans and point them to where they can get it.

In the case of Loomer’s eBook, the arrow points to an app:

3. Showcase new products.

If your company is a product-based business, use the cover photo to feature new or seasonal products. In the photo, include text with relevant information, like when the product will be available or a few words to describe the product.

In the example below, Ampersand Design Studio cleverly teases a new fabric collection:

4. Promote your hashtag.

Facebook began supporting hashtags a while ago, and some brands have had great success with them. One advantage of hashtags is that they allow brands to track fans’ conversations. You can discreetly put your hashtag in the bottom right of your cover photo, or make it the feature.

Frends updated its cover photo last August to feature a hashtag associated with a summer contest the company hosted:

5. Promote a Facebook exclusive or fan-only incentive.

According to a 2013 Syncapse report, 42 percent of users like a brand on Facebook to get a coupon or discount. So, give people what they want. Make your promotions exclusive to Facebook fans to incentivize people to like your page.

Promote your fan-only exclusives using your cover photo, like Riverhorse on Main did. Its cover photo is straightforward:

6. Produce new leads.

What kind of leads are you most interested in acquiring? Whatever your goals, you can use your cover photo to encourage people to opt-in or find more information about your brand.

If you want to encourage Facebook fans to check out your website because you’re hosting a sale, use your cover photo to feature your business’s URL. If you want more newsletter sign-ups, use your cover photo to direct users to your newsletter sign-up app. If your company just wants to boost page likes, create a cover photo like Braid Creative & Consulting that has an arrow pointing to the like button:

7. Inspire action.

Your cover photo can be an effective way to motivate fans to take action. Brick-and-mortar businesses should use the cover photo to advertise store events, specials or new products. It will encourage fans to visit your store.

Online businesses can use cover photos to encourage fans to check out new products and take advantage of special offers. In the example below, Travelocity has a cover photo that uses inspiring travel photos along with a few calls to action.

Did you notice the “Get a daily clue on our Let’s Roam App” text and the campaign’s URL, “gnomenabbed.com,” incorporated into the cover photo design?

8. Establish authority.

Use your cover photo to showcase an image that represents your brand or features your credentials. Take a look at Nathalie Lussier’s cover photo below. With a simple cover photo image she establishes her authority as a digital strategist. For people visiting her page for the first time, there’s no question about who she is or what she does.

9. Compare your business to the competition.

If you’re in a competitive industry (and heck, who isn’t?), experiment with a cover photo that compares you with your competition. Bouqs does this well. Make note of how the company says “other guys” rather than the name of a specific competitor. This prevents Bouqs from looking combative while still making the point that Bouqs is less expensive than its competitors:

10. Promote a contest.

During the back-to-school season, La Tortilla Factory updated its cover photo to promote its back-to-school photo contest. If your business is hosting a Facebook promotion, one of the best ways to notify fans is by updating your cover photo.

Like La Tortilla Factory’s cover photo, it’s nice to feature what your contest prizes are within the cover photo’s design.

11. Have some fun.

Not every cover photo has to sell. On occasion, the image can just be fun. For its cover photo, MailChimp uploaded an image of its mascot. Fans loved this!

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service custom app design tool used to create Facebook apps for Facebook pages, websites and mobile. A version of this article originally appeared on Socially Stacked.

COMMENT

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.