One of the best things about social media is the ability to express your business visually on your profile page.
Beyond a little thumbnail of your latest selfie, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all now offer various versions of a cover photo you can use to further enhance your brand.
Don’t underestimate it’s usefulness — this prime real estate is much more than just another way to pretty up your space. In fact, cover photos can help businesses invite engagement with their customer base in all kinds of creative ways:
Celebrate a success.
If you’ve recently been listed as a top influencer in your field or your business has won some other kind of reward, recognition or accolade, your cover photo can be a great way to brag tastefully. You can also announce the anniversary of your brand and other company milestones.
Promote a product launch or special event.
Got a new app in development? Planning a fancy schmancy fundraiser? Your cover photo can help pique public interest about your brand’s next big thing.
Call fans to action.
Invite visitors to hop on over to your primary website, download a free e-book or even just like your page by including a call to action right on your cover photo.
Showcase your work.
If your brand lends itself well to visual imagery, you can make a collage of photos that act as a mini portfolio. You can also combine pictures for an instant overview of a recent shindig or other notable event. Proceed with caution, though; you don’t want the space to get overly busy or cluttered.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to showcase how you work with people (say as a personal trainer or a photographer), tagging clients who are also Facebook friends is a fabulous way to spur engagement. The cover photo then shows up in their friends’ feed — not a benefit you’d receive by using a more general photo.
Change It to Win It
People love photos, so even the very act of changing your cover photo to something new will call attention to your page. Try to change it monthly with new approaches. Or, if you run a blog or are super active on social media, change it more often. Having a give away? Change it up. Sharing a new recipe? Showcase it with a large photo.
One Small Caveat with Cover Images…
Although cover photos can definitely spruce up your social media profile, be sure to respect the rules of the respective road for each platform, as guidelines can change (and frequently do) about what exactly is allowed.
For example, when Facebook first rolled out cover photos, businesses were told that under no circumstances would they be allowed to include coupons, CTAs, or other advertising-type content. Then that rule was removed in favor of a new rule that said, okay, including text was fine—as long as the words accounted for no more than 20 percent of the photo. All of these restrictions are now defunct, but that’s not to say they couldn’t rise again like zombies in search of ToS violations (and, of course, brains).
Not All Social Media Cover Photos Are Created Equal
Every site has different size guidelines for their cover photos (they couldn’t make it easy on us, could they?). Be sure to follow our post with the most recent social media image dimension guidelines to make sure they are the right size. We also urge you to keep your photos in line with the rest of your branding — consistency is key. If you have an existing color scheme and font guidelines, don’t deviate. Other than that, GO NUTS!