Facebook cover photos have always played a limited but vital role in marketing your Facebook business page. Vital because your cover photo serves as a visual treat designed to tickle your page visitors’ fancies enough for them to hang out a bit longer on your page and browse through your various posts.
‘Imply’ is the correct word to use here because the old Facebook rules on cover photos do not allow you to include any ‘calls to action’ script in them. Besides, Facebook also limits the allowed text in cover photos to no more than 20% of the photo. Without CTAs and with limited text content, your cover photo is actually reduced to being no more than a visual treat and an attractive ‘come on’ with less than effective implicit messages.
Rules has changed…
Since March of this year Facebook management have once more changed the rules and allowed CTA embeds on Facebook cover photos of business pages. However, it still limits text content to 20% of the cover photos. What this means is you can now ‘trick your treat’ with tweaks. You can now optimize your cover photos and transform them from being mere visual treats with tweaks that incorporates explicit calls to actions to enhance your Facebook page conversions. More than being mere creative visuals, your cover photos will not only grab attention and create interest for your brand and products, they can now also further develop the desire of your target market in the Philippines to act accordingly as a positive response to your embedded CTAs. This is reason enough for you to start considering tweaking your cover photos. Yet, there are other compelling reasons why you should.
Why You should Tweak your Facebook Cover Photos in the Philippines
According to a 2011 study made by Eyetrack Shop for Mashable, the first thing a Facebook page visitor gets to notice in the timeline is the cover photo after which he glances at the profile picture overlay where he spends a longer time (about 2.5 seconds on the average) before going back to the cover photo.
It is during this fleeting instant that a Filipino netizen decides whether to stay for while longer or make a hasty exit to surf a different page. What he sees first during those fleeting instants has everything to do with the split-second decision he will make. If what he initially sees is relevant and interesting enough then he is likely to stay and browse other posts on the page. On the other hand, if he finds what he initially sees as irrelevant, uninteresting, or fuzzy he may likely leave in a huff.
This is the main reason why you should carefully and creatively craft your cover photo to convey whatever message you wish to impart about your brand and/or your products or services with utmost clarity. And, to make sure you are able to achieve a higher degree of conversions you must embed an equally attractive and interesting ‘call to action’ script.
10 Mega-Vital Approaches in Optimizing your Facebook Cover Photo
Today, more than any other time, your Facebook cover photo will be playing a very vital and all embracing role in your social media marketing strategy in the Philippines. Outlined below are 10 of the more important approaches to optimizing cover photos to guide you on how you can maximize your social media marketing results.
- Before you introduce any aesthetic design changes to your cover photo, you should reassess first what the primary focus of your Facebook page is. Did you plan to make it as an online storefront? A tool to augment your customer services? Or, a vital part of a larger, more comprehensive online marketing strategy? Knowing exactly what role your FB page will play in your online marketing strategy will make it easy for you to decide how to format your cover photo as well as the other sections of your FB page. You’d also be able to choose the most appropriate tweaks or introduce the most effective CTAs to ensure maximum marketing results. If you want to use your FB page as a storefront for example, you may feature a favorite product in your cover photo or highlight an iconic product if you happen to have one every now and then.
- As much as possible try to use the same color palette for your FB cover photo and your profile picture as that which you are currently using in your profile pictures in the other social media networking sites and your company website. Consistency in color as well as in the over-all design in all the social networks will help visitors to easily identify you or your company as well as develop instant recall for your products and/or services.
- Study the exact size of the FB cover photo and optimize your chosen image with the same size. This will prevent the image from being skewed, distorted, or cut off after you have uploaded it and ensures that the image is posted in exactly the way you want it to appear. Remember, FB automatically re-sizes the image to fit the space if it is not of the same measurement. For the cover photo, the exact size is 851 pixels x 315 pixels.
- Never use an image that is so small that you will need to resize it before you can use it as your cover photo. It will end up highly pixilated to be of any marketing value. And don’t make the mistake of ‘Googling for an image that you intend to use as your cover photo. If the image you get is copyright protected you may end up with legal problems you can’t possibly handle. There are however, a lot of quality FB cover photos available online which are copyright-free some of which you can even download for free. They are already in the right size and there is no need for you to resize the image. If you can’t find one that can project the best qualities of your brand, then commission one to your heart’s desire from a professional. Investing money on high resolution, quality images is bound to pay off big time in the future. You may also consider sourcing out some ideas for your cover photo from your own fans, or from Fiverr. Never forget however that your cover photo must clearly and simply tell people what your brand is all about without them straining a touch harder to decipher it.
- For your profile picture, choose one that projects your brand image best while at the same time unique enough to be easily recalled by your fans. Choose an image that is 180 pixels x 180 pixels (the size of the profile picture overlay on your timeline. Make sure though that the image you choose for your profile picture can still succinctly convey your brand image even after it is shrunk to 50 pixels x pixels which is the size of your profile picture once displayed in your fans’ news feeds. Don’t forget that most of your social engagements with your fans happen in the news feeds and it is utterly important that your profile picture remains sharp and up to the point even after being shrunk. You can use any image editor to check this out before uploading it on Facebook.
- Never keep your cover photo dormant for a long while. Inject variety by changing your cover photo occasionally so your fans will have something to look forward to the next time they visit your site. Having the same cover photo all of the time can bore some fans and perhaps even shoo some of them away. On the other hand, changing your cover photo every now and then conveys the idea that you are always up to date with the current trends.
- Embed your photo with a catchy ‘call to action’ script but make sure you adhere to Facebook’s 20% text content rule without going beyond it. If you are using a photo with a text overlay and are not sure how to go about measuring whether or not you are within the 20% limit, here’s a simple way to do it. Divide your 851px by 315px image into 5 by 5 grids. You will have a total of 25 grids of equal length and height. Each of these grids represents 4% of your cover photo. So long as your text overlay do not occupy more than 5 grids (20%) your photo is good to go.
- Add a description to your cover photo. What you can’t include in the cover photo because of the 20% rule you can add to the description including URLs you may want your fans to visit. After uploading your cover photo, simply click on your cover photo and select ‘add a description’ in the option section on the right. Anything you post in the description will show up in your timeline post. This allows you to post more information meant to encourage engagement with your fans.
- Tag your images including your cover photo. Image tags get indexed by search engines too which means they have the potential of making them appear in search engine result pages from searches on related content.
- Think outside the box. Give your already visually appealing a further boost to make it more catchy and attractive by incorporating some interesting effects like using a profile picture that merges fluidly with your cover photo making the two images appear as one image. Other attractive cover photo effect includes the ‘missing jigsaw puzzle piece’ effect where your profile picture is the missing piece in the cover photo that serves as the whole puzzle. There are limitless possibilities on how you can effectively tweak your cover photos to make your Facebook page more engaging to your page visitors.
Paul’s Last Words: About Facebook Cover Photos
Facebook cover photos must be optimized not so much for the SEO and Graph Search purposes but more to enhance engagements with your fans in the Philippines. The most recent changes introduced by Facebook altered the News Feeds in such a way that when you have an engagement with a fan a story is automatically started and what will appear in his news feed is your cover photo instead of your profile picture. When his friends see the post with your cover photo they are likely to visit your Facebook page too. Always think of creative ways of optimizing your cover photos, it will serve you well in the long run! =)