The first thing fans, and potential fans, see when they visit your company’s Facebook page is your cover photo. That’s why it’s so important to use eye-catching images with an embedded call to action — and then update this photo at least once a month. The image you use can vary, depending on what you want to promote, and you can even use stock images that you’ve purchased on the Web, or simply spiff up one of your company photos using applications like PhotoShop or PicMonkey.
But don’t just slap any old photo up there. Take care when choosing and creating your image, because you want to create a good first impression when potential fans first click on your page. Don’t stop at the image either; be sure to add a description or caption, because the image will actually live in your cover photo album forever. You probably won’t want to delete it after you’ve put so much thought into the image, after all.
Need some inspiration on how to promote your brand? Here are five ways to drive engagement, get more likes, and — most importantly — find new lifetime clients.
Offer a Facebook Exclusive and Gain Likes
While Facebook has done away with the fangate — which requires users to like a page before viewing the page’s content — there are ways to encourage new users to interact with as well as like your page. For starters, offer an exclusive deal to Facebook fans. If you own a restaurant like Riverhorse Main, you can offer a Facebook-only coupon, like, “Buy One Entree, Get One Free,” and then require that fans click one of the boxes below your cover photo to get the coupon. Within the photo’s description/caption, you can link to the coupon there as well.
In a similar vein, covers are a wonderful way to promote Facebook-only promotional codes. With apps like ThunderPenny, you can even require that fans like your page before being able to view the code. With both these options, be sure to include an arrow pointing down to the box they need to click; the simpler you make it, the easier it will be for fans.
Alternatively, you can use your cover image to simply ask your potential customers to like your page, as Braid Creative and Consulting did. It’s simple, straightforward and it works!
Demonstrate What You Offer
Whether you’re a freelance writer, a retail company selling shoes, or SEO companies in Washington DC, a cover photo can be a great place to showcase why you’re the best for what you’re offering or selling. These images should be both personal and simple. CooperHouse, for example, simply states what it does — branding websites — against an image that’s in line with its brand’s colors. For product-based companies, like L’ovedbaby LLC, you can promote a new product line that’s coming soon.
Inspire Fans to Take Action
No matter what kind of company you run, you’re offering a product or service. As such, cover photos can be a great place to promote your products, as well as in-store events and online contests. They can also be a great place to encourage fans to subscribe to your email list for special deals and news about your company. What all these ideas have in common is that you should inspire your fans to take some sort of action, whether it be downloading a coupon, hitting subscribe or even submitting a video, as Travelocity does with its infamous gnome.
Again, it’s key to make sure that what you’re promoting is easily accessible so fans don’t have to go hunting for a link. Always include a link in the image’s description.
Another way to inspire your fans to take action is to spread word about your other social-media sites. Showcase your Twitter handle. Offer your Google+ link. Provide your Pinterest URL too, especially if you have particularly eye-catching images.
Showcase Your Customers and Fans
Make Facebook even more social by highlighting your fans and clients in your cover image. People will love the opportunity to be a part of your brand, whether it’s associated with a contest or not. Plus, when they’re featured, chances are they’ll share the page with their Facebook friends. Dunkin Donuts does this, for example, by showcasing a fan of the week. Other websites highlight their fan’s birthdays.
Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
One reason your company is on Facebook is to differentiate itself from the crowd. Cover photos can be a big part of that strategy. It’s not just about finding a unique way to show your company off, however. Specifically give reasons why you’re different from the competition. For one, you can offer what your pricing is for a particular product or service as compared to “the other guys” (so you’re not naming your competitors), just like The Bouqs flower company did.
While Facebook cover photos can be a great advertising tool, as the five ways above suggest, don’t forget that this is a social-media site. Have fun with your images too, as long as they’re still somehow in line with your brand. By having fun, you’ll encourage engagement, and engagement often influences fans to hit that share button so even more people discover your Facebook page.