Making that killer first impression is always a nerve-wracking task, whether you’re meeting your partner’s family for the first time or introducing yourself to a potential lead over social media.
When it comes to the Facebook cover photo, this dilemma can become the stuff of nightmares. As your cover photo is one of the first things people see when they visit your Facebook Page, you want to make sure that it represents your business in precisely the right way.
They say a picture tells a thousand words so exactly which picture should you settle on to tell your story and what words should it convey?
Here are ten do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
Your cover photo is the perfect opportunity to highlight any aspects of your business that are likely to generate new leads or even sales. Take this chance to shout about any promotional offers you may have going on, advertise upcoming events, or even use this platform to demonstrate some of the unique features of your business.
This cover photo from Burger King is the perfect example of this kind of marketing.
The brand has made use of their cover photo to publicise their ongoing promotion of ‘The Stacker King’ and have illustrated this promotion with a clear, simple photo of the burgers in this range.
They’ve also mentioned in small text that this offer is for a ‘Limited time only at participating restaurants’, therefore encouraging consumers to try out this meal while it remains available.
While some text can be useful for drawing attention to a promotion, too much text can be distracting on your page.
Motivational quotes are often an easy go-to for many brands’ cover photos but you should make sure that any text such as doesn’t overwhelm the background it’s placed on.
Generally, it’s best to choose a cover photo that can speak for itself rather than one that needs to be explained through big chunks of text.
It’s important to make sure that you keep your branding consistent at all times.
You want visitors to your social media page to be able to recognise your brand straight away, so make sure that you don’t forget to use a colour scheme that’s in-keeping with your brand guidelines.
Your guidelines might even also include logo variants that you might wish to include in your cover photo.
Slack do exactly this. Not only does the company utilise its branded colours, it also makes use of the shapes that form its logo to create an image that is instantly recognisable and yet unique at the same time.
Lots of businesses fall into the trap of settling on a pretty photo that vaguely has something to do with their company.
Unfortunately, by doing this, these businesses are sacrificing this opportunity to grab the attention of potential leads.
You want your cover photo to have an impact - you want it to be engaging for your audience. So steer clear of more generic images (no matter how pretty they may be).
Facebook now offer the ability to upload a video instead of a static cover photo on Facebook Business Pages. Simply make sure that the video file is 820 pixels wide by 426 pixels tall and between 20 and 90 seconds long in order to utilise this option.
Cover videos are a great option as they give you the chance to tell a story, demonstrate how a product works or simply make your image a bit more dynamic.
Uber makes great use of its Facebook cover video, essentially using it as a showcase for a mini advertisement.
This ad associates Uber rides with a hopeful message about embarking upon new opportunities.
However it doesn’t get too bogged down in the storytelling. By keeping the words ‘Doors Are Always Opening’ in the centre of the frame and showing a montage of clips of people getting out of cars with the same point of view each time, the brand is able to communicate a succinct and yet emotional message all at once.
More than 75% of Facebook users access the platform via their mobile so it’s incredibly important that you keep this in mind when creating your cover photo.
On mobile, a portion of your cover photo will essentially be cropped, therefore you need to make sure that there is space on either side of your image that can be chopped off without impacting the message you want to portray.
Keep in mind the fact that because your profile picture is on the left-hand side of your cover photo, making the focal point of your cover photo right-aligned will help to bring balance to your image.
Plus, right-aligning your cover photo can help to draw attention to your call-to-action (the big blue button on the right hand side of your Facebook page).
Just make sure that you don’t place the focal point of your cover photo so far over to the right that it’ll get chopped off on mobile.
You can see here how Tesco have right aligned their logo within their cover photo and have even created their own blue bar to mimic and draw attention to their call-to-action.
The best cover photos are often very clean, simple images with just one focal point and a coherent colour scheme.
So why do so many people go off the deep end, creating cover photos that just have far too much going on? While you want to draw the attention of your audience, you don’t want that to be for the wrong reasons.
Clutter on your page immediately carries with it associations of disorganisation and a total lack of clarity. Keep things simple in order to avoid these associations and present your business to potential customers with a sense of confidence instead.
Your Facebook cover photo can be a great chance to show off the behind-the-scenes at your business, such as your exciting office space or the team members that help your business run.
Let potential leads get to see the human side of your business. By inviting them in to see how you work, you’ll start to build trust and an informal, personal relationship with them.
Buffer, for example, have used images such as the above in the past to publicise their annual retreats for staff members. In doing so, they’re able to show off not just the friendly face of the company, but also their teamwork skills and sense of personality.
You don’t have to slap a logo on every image you use as a cover photo, but it’s important for your branding to be visible in some capacity.
All of the cover photos that we’ve featured in this article demonstrate some form of branding, whether that’s through the subtle typography used in Uber’s cover video or through Slack’s use of the shapes that form its logo. Even Buffer have branding featured on the t-shirts of their employees in their cover photo.
Branding within your cover photo will go a long way towards helping to build awareness amongst potential leads so make the most of this opportunity and get yourself out there!
Now that you've heard our thoughts, it's time to get cracking. Often the hardest part is taking the plunge.
Just remember: keep it simple, stick to your branding and make it visually impactful.
And, if you get stuck, give us a call. Our design team can answer any of your questions, or whip up a photo easy peasy!
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