Friday, December 27, 2013

25 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Cover Photos

#1: Get Into the Holiday Spirit or Change With the Seasons

Design cover photos that change with the seasons and the holidays. It’s easy—justexperiment with seasonal colors or add traditional seasonal images like leaves or snowflakes.
The auto company Pep Boys, for example, created a simple and festive cover photo for the winter holiday season. It would be easy to create a similar cover photo using a stock photo and free tools from PicMonkey or Canva.
Update your cover photo for the holidays or the seasons.
In the image below, Edible Arrangements says “Happy Valentine’s Day” with their photo.
Edible Arrangements adjusts their cover photo to celebrate holidays like Valentine’s Day.

#2: Promote Trends

If you’re a retailer, use the cover photo to talk about new trends in your industry andfeature new products.
The shoe company PiperLime does this really well. Here’s one of their cover photos that announces a new trend: dressed-up stripes.
The cover photo can be used to show recent trends in your industry and new products.

#3: 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. You can draw attention to your new app by using arrows or other illustrations that point directly to your app thumbnail.
For instance, whenever your business launches a new ebook (like Facebook expert Jon Loomer did, below), PDF, infographic or other free resource, updating your cover photo notifies your fans of your new resource and points them to where they can get it. In the case of Loomer’s ebook, the arrow literally points straight to an app.
Use the cover photo to direct fans to a recently built custom Facebook app.

#4: Showcase New Products 

If your company is a product-based business, use the cover photo to feature new or seasonal products. In the design of your cover photo, include text with relevant information about the products, like a date the product(s) will be available for sale or a few words to describe the product.
In the example below, Ampersand Design Studio, a design store, cleverly teases customers with a new fabric collection in one of their cover photos.
The cover photo is a great place to highlight new products.

#5: Get Their Mouths Watering

If you’re a restaurant, a catering company or in the food industry, there is nothing more enticing than a photo of one of your mouth-watering dishes. As the seasons change, lots of eateries change their menus. Use this as an opportunity to update your cover photo to feature what’s new on your menu.
The popular Italian restaurant Olive Garden does this often.
Restaurants can use the cover photo to show an entree to excite fans about their meal.

#6: Promote Your Hashtag

Facebook began supporting hashtags a while ago and some brands have had great success using them. One advantage of the new feature is that it allows brands to track fans’ conversations about the business. You can discreetly feature your hashtag in the bottom right of your cover photo design, or make it the feature.
The headphone company Frends updated their cover photo in August to feature a hashtag that was associated with a summer contest they hosted.
Hashtags are a powerful marketing tool that brands can promote in their cover photo.

#7: Promote a Facebook Exclusive or a Fan-Only Incentive

Forty-two percent of users like a brand on Facebook in order to get a coupon or discount (according to a 2013 Syncapse report). So give them what they want! Make your promotions exclusive to Facebook fans to incentivize users to like your page.
Promote your fan-only exclusives using your cover photo, like the Utah restaurant Riverhorse on Main. Their cover is very straightforward.
Fan-only content wins on Facebook, so use the cover photo to promote fan-only offers.

#8: Celebrate a Milestone

Businesses love to celebrate like-count milestones and anniversaries on Facebook. For these times, use the cover photo as a place to say thanks to your fans or have some fun with your cover photo design.
The clothing brand C. Wonder, for example, celebrated their birthday in October with a cute confetti cover photo.
Let your fans in on the celebration of special milestones.

#9: Produce New Leads

What kinds 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 elsewhere.
If you want to encourage your Facebook fans to check out your website because you’re hosting a sale, use your cover photo to feature your business’s website URL. Or, if you want more newsletter sign-ups, use your cover photo to direct users to your newsletter sign-up app.
Or, if your company just wants to boost page likes, create a cover photo like the design agency Braid Creative & Consulting, which has an arrow pointing to the Like button.
Produce leads and boost page likes using the cover photo.

#10: Inspire Action

The cover photo can be an effective tool for motivating fans to take action! Brick-and-mortar businesses should use the cover photo to advertise store events, specials or new products, which will encourage fans to make a trip to your store.
Online businesses can also use the cover photo to encourage fans to check out new products and take advantage of special offers.
In the example below, the travel company Travelocity has a cover photo that uses inspiring travel photos along with a few different CTAs. Notice the “Get a daily clue on our Let’s Roam app” text at the bottom right of the image and their campaign’s website URL “” incorporated into the cover photo design.
Use the cover photo to motivate your fans to take an action like booking a trip.

#11: Create a Sense of Urgency 

Try uploading a cover photo image and CTA that are installed for a limited amount of time and then measure the sales that result from it.
For instance, if your business is having a sale that only lasts 24 hours, update your cover photo during those 24 hours to notify your fans of the sale. Make sure the CTA conveys a sense of urgency that motivates fans to respond fast.
The software company HubSpot, for example, uploaded their “Flash Sale” cover photo to advertise a promotion for their inbound marketing conference.
Creating a sense of urgency makes fan want to act quickly and the cover photo can do this.

#12: Have Some Fun! 

Not every cover photo has to “sell.” On occasion, the photo or image can be just for fun and designed just to encourage engagement.
In the cover photo example below, the email marketing company MailChimp uploaded a photo of their mascot Freddie with his back facing the reader—their fans loved this!
Use the cover photo to post a fun picture for your fans.

#13: 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 authority as a digital strategist. And for users who visit her page for the first time, there’s no question about who she is or what she does.
Use an image that represents your brand and features your credentials in your cover photo.

#14: Show What You Do

The cover photo is the ideal place to show your fans what your business does. The more literal you are, the better. This prevents any confusion for users who discover your page for the first time.
Katelyn Brooke, a designer and blogger, makes it clear what she does. In the design of her cover photo, she showcases her work in a personal and effective way.
Show off the capabilities of your business in your cover photo.

#15: Compare Your Business to Your Competition

If you’re in a competitive industry (and heck, who isn’t?), experiment with a cover photo that shows your company head-to-head with your competition.
The flower company Bouqs does this really well. Make note of how they use the words “Other Guys” rather than listing off the name of a specific competitor. This prevents them from looking combative, while still making their point: They’re less expensive than their competitors.
Use the cover photo to do a comparison of your business with a competitor.

#16: Promote Your Other Social Platforms 

If you want more followers on your other social channels like Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter, use your Facebook cover photo to cross-promote your other accounts. Be sure to include a strong CTA within the cover photo’s image description and links to your other social profiles.
In this example, ShortStack used their cover photo to attract their Facebook fans to their Twitter account.
Direct your fans to your other social media platforms through the cover photo.

#17: Feature a Fan or Customer

Every single day for months, the cookie company Oreo uploaded a new cover photo featuring one of their fans who was celebrating a birthday.
Oreo received hundreds of likes and comments on each of their fan-featuring cover photos.
Apply the same idea to your business’s next cover photo design. But instead of featuring a fan or customer every day, feature a new fan once a week or once a month to avoid getting burned out.
Bonus: The birthday girl or guy is likely to share news about the honor with his or her friends, increasing exposure of your brand.
Highlight a special fan or contest winner on the cover photo.

#18: Keep it Simple

Sometimes simple is best.
The design company CooperHouse created a cover photo that has a beautifully simple design and one concise sentence that describes what their company does. Nothing more is needed.
A simple cover photo idea can attract fans and likes to your Facebook page.

#19: Promote Your Contest

During the back-to-school season, the tortilla company La Tortilla Factory updated their cover photo to promote their back-to-school–themed photo contest.
If your business is hosting a Facebook promotion, one of the best ways to notify fans of your contest is by updating your cover photo. Like La Tortilla Factory, it’s nice tofeature what your contest prizes are within the design of your cover photo.
Use the cover photo to promote a contest you’re running on Facebook.

#20: Include a Strong Call to Action

Some of the best CTAs are posed as questions.
Pinterest expert Melanie Duncan‘s cover photo is a great example of how to use a CTA question in a cover photo. The most important text is bolded and the entire CTA is framed in an eye-catching red box.
This kind of cover photo design is super-easy to pull off. Simply upload a photo you like into an online photo editor like PicMonkey, then use the tool’s text and shapes features to add your CTA into the image.
A strong CTA lets fans know exactly what you expect.

#21: Advertise a Sale

The yoga company Yoga Six participated in Black Friday last year by updating their cover photo. On it, they displayed their Black Friday deals. Instead of changing their cover photo on the day of Black Friday, Yoga Six uploaded their Black Friday–themed cover photo a few days before the big shopping day.
Use the cover photo to promote an upcoming sale.

#22: Appeal Exclusively to One of Your Audiences

If your business has an audience you want to speak directly to, use a cover photo to share a message with them.
The clothing company Loft, for example, recently updated their cover photo for a week to celebrate National Teacher Day. To reward teachers, they created a cover photo that directed their teacher fans to an app that revealed a special shopping offerjust for them!
Focus on one of your target audiences through the cover photo.

#23: Show Your Value Proposition

Your business’s value proposition is key to attracting new customers. Use your cover photo to show off your brand’s value statement.
The application and web development company Social Media 180 uses their cover photo to do exactly this. And the best part: The arrow featured in their design points to an app that hosts a portfolio of some of their best work.
Use the cover photo to show off your brand’s value statement.

#24: Feature a New Offering

If your business has an exciting new offering, use your cover photo to let all of your Facebook fans know about it.
When the sushi restaurant Sushi King first introduced their new membership cards, they updated their cover photo with a design that featured the card, along with some instructions on how to get it.
Use the cover photo to highlight a new offer for your Facebook fans.

#25: Celebrate a Quirky National Holiday

Find out what quirky holidays are relevant to your brand and create cover photos tocelebrate the silly days.
The shaving company Harry’s is an awesome example of how to do this. National Shave Day is December 1, the day after the widely celebrated Movember month. Harry’s created a “National Shave Day” cover photo to lead users to a fun “National Shave Day” page on their website.
Use the cover photo to celebrity a quirky holiday.

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