6 creative ways to spice up your Facebook cover photo

Fans spend more time looking at cover photos than anything else on your Facebook page, so why not make them count?

First impressions last. Naturally, it’s important to make a good one.

What does this have to do with Facebook? A lot, actually.

When your followers land on your page, the first thing they notice is your cover photo.

According to a study by EyeTrack Shop, visitors spend more time focusing on the cover photo than anything else on a Facebook page. This is perhaps one good thing about the changes Facebook made. You get the chance to show your fans what you’re all about in one big picture.

The cover photo sets the tone for your Facebook page. The rectangular frame (851 x 315 pixels, to be exact) is an opportunity to portray your company’s personality, campaign, mission, photography skills, etc.

You probably want to jump back to your page to analyze the quality of your cover photo. Before you do, take a look at these six ways to make a great first impression and express your brand’s message with an amazing cover photo.

1. Set the mood.

No, you don’t need to dim the lights and add some romantic music. But you can show people what your company is all about in the blink of an eye.

Make sure you set the mood you want, whether it’s peaceful, hectic, colorful, or humorous. Give an uncomplicated message that shows visitors what they can expect from your page.

CNN’s Facebook cover photo says, “Hey, we’re hard working people here.”

The Cooking Channel is all about keeping it fresh.

And the Yankees invite you to its field.

2. Showcase your latest campaign.

You can promote seasonal items, topics, ideas, or milestones on your cover photo. It keeps your visitors up to date with what is happening at your company and showcases your work. That’s why they follow you in the first place, isn’t it?

Ray-Ban’s “Never Hide” campaign is artsy and intriguing, much like its products.

Adidas‘s latest campaign invokes engagement and has gotten more than 1,000 likes.

Burberry uses its latest deep and mysterious editorial ads. Doesn’t it make you want to buy one of the coats? I know I do.

Breaking Bad shows what’s to come next season by setting up its main character in what looks like a difficult situation. It draws you in and makes you want to watch. It also reminds you when the show airs in the bottom right-hand corner without distracting from the big picture.

3. Use high-resolution images.

Don’t use low-quality, grainy images. They are an immediate turn off and can make it seem like you have no idea what you’re doing. If the cover photo sets the tone for the rest of the visit, make sure you use quality, professional material.

Tiffany & Co. uses a beautiful shot of its nature brooches.

Canon made a collage from colorful and vibrant pictures.

4. Be creative, but keep it simple.

Play around with the design of your cover photo. It can be impressive and add a “wow” factor. However, don’t take it too far. The cover photo should be aesthetically pleasing, not overwhelming.

Facebook’s cover photo shows what it does best: connect people all over the world.

Crumbs Bake Shop shows its followers what it does best: bake cute, mouthwatering cupcakes.

Rock star Steven Tyler’s cover photo embodies his work and style.

5. Put a face on your company.

Cover photos with people add a human touch to your company’s image. Robots do not run your company. A community of hardworking people who make important decisions on a daily basis do.

Take The New York Times, for example. It just began a new cover photo campaign that showcases its journalists working in the field. Each photo reads, “Over the next several months, we’re going to update our Facebook cover photo with pictures of Times journalists at work in the field.” It then links to the journalists’ topic pages.

This is a great way to show what your staff does, and show appreciation of their work. Plus, the pictures set the tone that the journalists are bold and hard working.

Here’s a photo of its star photographer, Bill Cunningham, taking pictures on his bike in the middle of Times Square.

The clothing company H&M uses its models.

Animal Planet showcases its favorite animals acting like humans.

6. Make your profile picture and cover photo match.

This trick may take a little more effort, but the end results are aesthetically amazing. The top of your Facebook page looks sleek, and shows you took the time and effort to make sure the images matched.

Nike did it.

So did Sprite.

And Kate Spade New York.

Don’t you think these photos send a clear message? Yours can, too.

Anita Ferrer works in editorial at TMG. A version of this article originally appeared on Engage.

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