25 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Cover Photos

social media how to Are you using your Facebook cover photo to maximum effect?

Do you change your cover image once a month, or once a year?

The Facebook cover photo is prime real estate for any business, and creating high-quality images. Use this to include calls to action (CTAs) and other helpful information for  your fans.

Here are 25 awesome examples of cover photo ideas you can use to make your brand stand out (there are also some cover photo best practices at the end of this post).

#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—just experiment 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.

pep-boys-cover-image

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-cover-image

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 and feature 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.

piperlime-cover-image

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.

jon-loomer-cover-image

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.

ampersand-design-studio-cover-image

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.

olive-garden-cover-image

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.

frends-cover-image

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.

riverhorse-on-main-cover-image

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.

c-wonder-cover-image

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.

braid-creative-consulting-cover-image

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 “gnomenabbed.com” incorporated into the cover photo design.

travelocity-cover-image

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.

hubspt-cover-image

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!

mailchimp-cover-image

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.

nathalie-lussier-cover-image

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.

katelyn-brooke-cover-image

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.

bouqs-cover-image

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.

shortstack-cover-image

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.

oreo-cover-image

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.

cooperhouse-cover-image

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 to feature what your contest prizes are within the design of your cover photo.

la-tortilla-factory-cover-image

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.

melanie-duncan-cover-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.

yoga-six-cover-image

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 offer just for them!

loft-cover-image

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.

social-media-180-cover-image

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.

sushi-king-cover-image

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 to celebrate 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.

harrys-cover-image

Use the cover photo to celebrity a quirky holiday.

So there you have it! 

Twenty-five cover photo examples to inspire you all year long.

Cover Photo Best Practices

Creating cover photos like these isn’t too difficult. If you’re ready to get to work creating new Facebook cover photos, keep the following in mind:

  • When brainstorming cover photo design ideas, think of ways you can use visuals to answer the question, “Why should a user become a fan of my brand?”
  • Update your cover photo frequently—once a month is ideal.
  • Always include a photo description when you update your cover photo image, and in the description, provide links and a CTA.
  • Use arrows and other design elements to direct timeline visitors’ eyes to the Like button or to an app.
  • Coordinate your cover photo with your profile photo.
  • Use or design a cover photo with optimal dimensions (851 x 315 pixels).
  • If you haven’t yet, experiment with free photo-enhancing sites such as PicMonkey.

What do you think? How often do you change your cover image? What other inspiration can you share? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the Author, Jim Belosic

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service software that allows businesses to create engaging campaigns for social, web and mobile. Other posts by »




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  • JS

    That’s EPIC.
    So, when’s the google+ cover photos post planned ?

  • http://www.christiankonline.com Christian Karasiewicz

    Great collection of cover photo examples Jim! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sacha Liddiard

    Thanks for the great ideas – starting using Canva after listening to the podcast and I cant recommend them highly enough – it makes changing your cover photos so quick and easy

  • http://www.canadawebservices.com/ Steve

    Nice Collection of cover photos! Really appreciate your work.

    And we can create our cover photos by these great cover photos collection!

  • http://www.WindyCityParrot.com/ Mitch Rezman

    We change covers every week or 2 – we had a unique one for black Friday and cyber Monday and then a fresh one in between the two days. Web surfers be it on Facebook or websites have the attention span of a lit match. Keeping the covers fresh helps keep them coming back to your page

  • http://changeyouremotions.com/ Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    That was fantastic. I’m right in the middle of developing my FB business page so I will be really looking more closely at these examples. Thanks!!

  • Bryonna

    Great post … as always! I love receiving these in my email. Heading over to Facebook to change my cover now ! Thank you and best wishes for a prosperous 2014.

  • http://jameshalloran.net/ James R. Halloran

    All great tips! I definitely agree about changing your header to match the seasons. Nothing boggles my mind more than seeing a summery scene when it’s snowing outside everywhere.

  • janetkennedy

    I manage Facebook communities for a florist and a scuba shop and we change our covers almost weekly featuring new work, holidays, special events or weddings.

  • http://www.thesocialsyndicate.com/ Michael Naughton

    Always great tips! Thank you. Happy Holidays. Michael

  • http://www.jinmasmarket.com/ Jin Mas

    These are great ideas! Will have to try them soon.

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    I heard there are “rules” for how much you can promote on your timeline cover… something like only 20% of the space. Is this untrue?

  • Tasneem_Alnajjar

    Amazing ideas ,, thanks

  • Pritpal

    Loved the article some great tips and insights. Thank you Jim n SME.

  • http://www.twelveskip.com/ Pauline Cabrera

    This is so awesome! Looks like I need to change my cover photo soon!

  • Rod Simmons

    Hey Jim! Great article! I use #17 weekly. I use it to feature a athlete in Mississippi and link them to a blog written by that fan about their personal story on what started them to running.

  • Sarah Garguier

    What about the 20% text limit ?

  • http://www.omgcupcakes.ca/ Laura MacLean

    Which would you recommend for business Facebook Covers – Canva or Pic Monkey?

  • http://www.adamsfuller.com/ Adam Fuller

    Thanks for the ideas. It seems like many of these examples and tips are geared to desktop users. Any tips or consideration for mobile when designing cover photos? I’ve found that text, arrows and calls to action often get cut off and obscured when viewed on the smaller format.

  • http://internetdreams.com/ Samuel

    Great examples to see and to grab some ideas for your own Facebook page.

    Many of these examples could be used for many others social media profiles you may have.

    Cover photos need to be used for every new event or milestone for your business or brand.

    The cover photo needs to be designed to catch as much attention as possible.

    One way I use cover photos is to promote other social media profiles I may have.

    Glad to see that mentioned here in this article.

    Thanks!

    - Samuel

  • Kanchana Arun

    Thank you

  • Javier Kracht Work

    I believe Facebook does not allow CTAs, promotions, contests and some other stuff in cover pictures. I think these ideas would be great, but if you do so, you can have a problem with Facebook.

  • http://www.GTreeAdvertising.com TheMediaFairy

    It was true, but Facebook lifted that restriction. Promote to your heart’s content.

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    Wonderful! And thank you for the reply!

  • Holly Crews

    For those worried about the CTAs and the 20% rule, here is the article from last July about the changes. Not sure if anyone has anything more current? The only info on cover in the guidelines is till the same (highlighted in the graphic).

    http://socialmediatoday.com/jim-belosic/1573851/facebook-changes-cover-photo-rules

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Good idea @disqus_lbZN7XE7rG:disqus, I’ll get working on that ;)

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Hi @sarahgarguier:disqus, Facebook lifted the 20% text rule a few months back so you are free to do what you’d like with your cover photo!

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Hi Laura, I would try them both and see which one works best for you. Our designer uses Photoshop but if you don’t have a Photoshop professional Canva and Pic Monkey offer some different options and you may enjoy one more than the other. I’ve seen a few people in this thread say they have used Canva for their cover photos and really enjoy it!

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Hi @adamsfuller:disqus, you are right and unfortunately Facebook has not updated their mobile app to be more cover photo friendly. We often use cover photos with arrows in them and have not heard any complaints or seen any sort of decline in engagement because of it. If a majority of your audience is mobile my suggestion would be to not include specific desktop calls to actions and use a great image or mobile call to action.

  • http://www.shortstack.com/ Jim Belosic

    Hi @javierkrachtwork:disqus, in the past Facebook has had some specific guidelines for the cover photos but those have all been removed in the last several months. You can now have any amount and type of text on your cover photo. Thanks!

  • AngelaEatSpinRunRepeat

    Great post! I’ve been using Canva tons for other projects related to my blog, including my latest e-book/guide, but haven’t used it yet for my Facebook page in the creative ways listed here. I know what I’m doing this weekend!

  • http://www.omgcupcakes.ca/ Laura MacLean

    Much appreciated Jim! Thank you!

  • cb

    I thought you couldn’t use a CTA in a cover photo including pricing. has this changed?

  • cb

    oops sorry! see that this was answered below. thanks.

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  • Ravi Shukle

    Thanks for sharing Jim perfect inspiration in time for the new year :)

  • Ravi Shukle

    Thanks for sharing Jim perfect inspiration in time for the new year :)

  • http://www.janicetantonblog.com/ Janice Tanton

    Fantastic ideas for cover photos. Although I don’t always aim for the hard-sell on a commercial basis, there are some good ideas to consider.

  • Barbara Muir

    Thanks for this article. I went on Canva right away and changed my FB cover shot.

  • Samantha

    This is great! There’s nothing like having your own, personal, “free” billboard to slap your brand, culture and personalities on! Now with the lifted restrictions, you can really get creative. We love the one about comparing your company to the competition.

  • Javier Kracht Work

    Ok, didn’t know that. Thanks!

  • Katrine

    Does anyone know anything about QR codes at Facebook cover photos? What is the rules about it? :-)







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