"We need a new Facebook cover photo."
That's a statement in-house designers have likely heard a time or two with very little direction about what to include, how big it should be or the overall goal of the image itself.
Before we explore cover photos that may work for you, let's review some info from Facebook on what works best for cover photos and their requirements:
+ Cover photos must be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall
+ PNGs work best for cover photos with a company's logo or text but JPGs load the quicket
+ Cover photos will not appear on smartphones (so don't worry about mobile optimization)
Goal: Show Off Your Staff
From a brand perspective, one of the best things about social media is the ability to humanize a company whether it's with Q&As with employees or a company-wide staff photo like Sprout Social includes in its Facebook cover photo.
Goal: Promote an Event
Since cover photos are static images on a Facebook Page, they can serve as a visual reminder to register or plan for an event. The host company will want to update its cover photo a few months before the show (or whatever the event may be) and make sure to update it when the event is over, as it reflects poorly on the Page if cover photos are outdated. Magento often changes its cover photo to reflect events it's hosting.
Goal: Be Seasonal
Brands can show off their spirit by changing their cover photos to reflect the current season whether it's summer (like in the case of Target below), fall, winter spring or a particular holiday (e.g., Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, etc.). Depending on the company, it's likely that social followers are excited about the current season or holiday too, so it shows brands are in-tune with current happenings and that the Page is updated frequently.
Goal: Promote a Value Prop
Chances are that a person won't arrive on a business Page by accident; they'll either click through an ad that was targeted to them, a Facebook post they saw a friend "like" or a social button on the brand's website. When they get to the actual Facebook Page, they are there for a reason: to like the Page, to leave a review, to learn more about the company or to find contact information. Brands are smart to include a value proposition within their Facebook cover photo to reinforce the benefits of further engaging with them. Facebook has gone back and forth about how much text can be included on the cover photo, so it's wise to stick with the earlier rule of text not taking up more than 20 percent of the image.
Goal: Display Accolades
Whether it's trophies (in the case of Blue Fountain Media) or a customer review, display accolades on a Facebook cover photo can bring instant credibility when done well.
Goal: Celebrate a Company Milestone
Business anniversaries, product launches and other company milestones should be celebrated and using cover photo real estate is the perfect place to show off the achievement.
Goal: Provide a Look Inside
For local businesses, images can make or break whether a person decides to visit the establishment or not. Garage Brewery provides a look inside its business to help encourage people to come visit.
Goal: Localize a Chain
Most patrons don't care about the 100 locations a chain has, but they do care about the location they are considering visiting. Pat & Oscars is smart to show off their menu items while also including a picture of the location that Page is managed by.
Ready for Your Cover Shoot
Vague stock photos just won't cut it for encouraging Facebook users to further interact with your Page, but creating a compelling cover photo is just half the battle. Brands will want to ensure that the call-to-action (CTA) that is included directly below cover photos are complementary of what is included in the image. For instance, if the cover photo is of a restaurant's menu items, the CTA may want to be "call now" or if the cover photo includes an app the Page offers, the CTA should probably be "download now."