6 Ways to Leverage Your Facebook Cover Photo

6 Ways to Leverage Your Facebook Cover Photo

For the past six weeks we’ve been using our Facebook cover photo to demonstrate fun ways to leverage the new cover photo rules. If you haven’t heard, a few months back Facebook relaxed their cover photo rules and now the only rule that business Pages need to pay attention to is that there can’t be more than 20 percent text in the cover photo. We found this awesome tool you can use to find out if your cover photo is in compliance with the 20% text rule, check it out here.

The great news is that businesses can have calls to action in their cover photos, driving traffic to their apps, website, in-store locations and encouraging engagement.

Here are six ways, including examples, that you can leverage your cover photo and use the new rules to your advantage.

#1: Drive your audience to your top apps

Facebook allows a business Page to have up to 12 custom apps installed. Three of the installed apps can be “favorites” and appear to the right of the profile picture below the cover photo.  Businesses and brands on Facebook use Facebook apps to run contests, sweepstakes and fan-gates as well as build e-mail lists, tout landing pages and integrate with other social networks.  In our example, our top apps link to our first eBook, Everything Your Social Media Guru Didn’t Tell You About Facebook Marketing, some ShortStack app examples and to our Facebook 101 ShortStack University Lessons. We used the cover photo to call out each app and direct our fans to the proper apps with different colored lines.

Direct Fans to your Top Apps

#2: Ask your fans to “Like” you

“Ask and you shall receive!” This is true when it comes to Facebook! Try using the cover photo to ask your fans to “Like” your business Page. Get creative by having someone point to the “Like” button or mention what cool perks your fans receive by “Liking” your Page. In our cover photo we featured one of our favorite developers, Dylan, smiling and pointing to the “Like” button. Who could deny Dylan?

Ask your fans to Like you

#3: Direct fans to an offer

In tip #1 we talked about “favorite” apps. Often times businesses will use the top three apps to feature their latest promotions or offers. If one of your apps is a link to something awesome for your fans, use your cover photo to display the offer and direct your fans to the app where they can claim it. In our example we had released a new eBook, Big Brand Facebook Secrets for Small Businesses, and fans of ShortStack could download the eBook by going to our custom app. In our cover photo we feature our eBook with a call to action and an arrow pointing to the top app where fans can get their free copy.

If your offer is hosted outside of Facebook, that will work too. Simply provide a link to where your fans can claim their offer, just be sure to make the link easy to re-type since you cannot have active links in a cover photo.

Direct Fans to an Offer

#4: Provide a link to valuable information

Chances are you don’t put every bit of valuable information you offer to your fans on your Facebook Page. Sometimes you want your fans to go to your website or other social networks to receive valuable information. The Facebook cover is the perfect place to lead people outside of Facebook for more information. Just keep in mind, as we mentioned earlier, that you can’t have active links in the cover photo so you’ll want to be sure to create a landing Page or have a simple URL or Bit.ly link that users can re-type easily. For our next cover photo we directed people to our Twitter Page where we provide Facebook and social media tips, links to free resources and articles by other industry experts. 

Provide a link to valuable Information

#5: Ask your fans to share your Page

This is similar to tip #2 where you asked your fans to “Like” you, only now you’re asking them to share your awesomeness with their friends. Oftentimes people log onto Facebook and they scroll through their News Feed and visit their friends and favorite brands’ Pages but they aren’t thinking about telling someone about their favorite brands. Your cover photo can be the perfect reminder for fans to pass on how cool you are. Be sure to make your cover photo fun and give your fans a reason to want to tell their friends to “Like” you. For our cover photo we featured a still shot from our Harlem Shake video with the call to action “ShortStack Rocks! (pass it on).”

Ask your Fans to Share Your Page

#6: Send people to your website

If you’re like us you use your Facebook Page to offer resources, talk about fun stuff, show off your employees, etc. You rarely get into the nitty gritty of business and pitch your product because that’s not really what Facebook is for, that’s what a website is for. If you’re wanting to pitch something about your product, try using your cover photo to lead your fans back to your website where they can learn about your product. At ShortStack we offer two months free when you sign up for any of our annual plans. We used our cover photo to tell people this and lead them to our pricing page on our website where they could learn more.

Send people to your website

There you have it! Get out there and implement the new cover photo rules for business Pages. If you need some help visualizing the 20 percent text guidelines rule, check out this resource we posted a few months back

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24 Responses to 6 Ways to Leverage Your Facebook Cover Photo
  1. Angela Iliopoulos Reply

    Love all your cover photos! Great ideas… Thanks for sharing!

  2. Aliet Pelt Reply

    Wow, I have such a boring Facebook Page cover! Seeing your suggestions has made me think of what I can do too – thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Sara Piccola Reply

      Thanks for you comment, we have fun thinking of new ideas for our cover photo, glad we could provide some inspiration!

    • FrancineM Reply

      I feel the same way! I was just tinkering with photos today.. might as well work on a new Facebook cover page too for @heardable. lol

      • shortstackdana Reply

        Hi Francine, you might check out PicMonkey — it’s free to use and we’ve had fun creating photos with text for our blog. Also, this template we made will help you visualize 20%. We’d love to see what you create when you’re done! http://pinterest.com/pin/79516749642703504/

  3. amarie000 Reply

    what’s the deal with the 2 cover image photos at the top, one with a typo? It’s never explained anywhere

    • Sara Piccola Reply

      We realized we had a typo in the cover photo and we were changing it, you must have looked at the article right as we were changing out photos! Sorry for the confusion :) Thanks for reading!

  4. Scott Ayres Reply

    Great tips guys! And your graphics are off the chain lately!

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  6. mkolier Reply

    Great ideas. We don’t have a graphic artist on staff. Other than Photoshop do you have any suggestions for how non-creatives can create images similar to your examples? Thanks!

    • shortstackdana Reply

      We use PicMonkey all the time! We use images from Creative Commons (for free) or Shutterstock (which we pay a monthly fee for) and then alter them using free tools on PicMonkey. Good luck! And thanks for commenting.

  7. Jami Balmet Reply

    I thought you couldn’t ask people to “like” your page from your cover photo? I thought that was against the new rules?

    • Sara Piccola Reply

      Hi Jami,

      This used to be against the rules but the new guidelines allow you to say “like” us and any other call to action! We’re glad they do this now, makes the cover photo much more powerful!

  8. Neil Reply

    This is all well and good, and I can see some lovely potential for applying CTAs to Facebook cover images.

    But… what about when users are viewing the Facebook page on their mobile? Which is probably the majority of cases now! The mobile versions of Facebook still use the same cover photo that appears on their desktop platform, so you’d end up with misleading CTAs that point to nothing.

    Any idea if FB are likely to roll out the ability to set a different cover photo for use on mobiles?

    • Sara Piccola Reply

      Hi Neil,

      I wish we knew, but we don’t! We’ve never really seen any issues with the mobile version I think most Facebook users understand that the image has been adjusted for mobile and that Facebook mobile doesn’t support custom apps.

      We hope they roll out that ability soon, crossing our fingers!

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  14. Staubsauger Tüte Reply

    Hi there :)
    In May 2013 you offered: “At ShortStack we offer two months free when you sign up for any of our annual plans.” Please be so kind and let me know if this offer is still valid.

    Thanks in advance and have a nice Sunday!

    Best regards,

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