How Your Business Can Use the New Facebook Cover Photos

social media how toAre you familiar with the new Facebook cover photo rules?  You are now able to put calls to action and your website or address information in your Facebook cover photo, but there are still text restrictions.

Would you like some inspiration for what your business can do with a cover photo?

Many people have not updated their cover photos to be in compliance.

In this article I’ll tell you what’s changed and show you 9 examples and how you can leverage the new rules to boost your business.

Facebook’s New Rules

As of March 6, Facebook’s rules state that cover photos may not include more than 20% text. But the previous restrictions that were in place were removed (i.e., no calls to action, no websites and no address information).

The maximum 20% text rule also applies to any photo in a Facebook ad as well, so keep that in mind with your next ad campaign.

There was some initial confusion about how the 20% text area was measured, so Facebook came out with a post that clarified how this area was calculated and what was acceptable.

cover compliance

Check your Facebook cover photo with the Cover Compliance Tool.

Facebook Cover-Photo Compliance Tool

Use this tool by Paavo to help you see if your cover photo is in compliance. All you need to do is to put the link to your Facebook Page (or your Fan Page ID, whichever is easier for you) in the box labeled Fanpage ID and click the blue check mark. Then select the boxes that have text in them.

For cover photos, they have a grid of 25 blocks (5 x 5) over the photo. If there is text in more than 5 of those boxes, your photo is out of compliance.

One thing that is confusing in the example provided by Facebook is that there are a couple of boxes that have text extending slightly into the box and Facebook did not mark them as having text. Hmmm.

Also worth noting is that the 20% text policy doesn’t apply to pictures of products that include text on the actual product. But Facebook goes on to say that they aren’t allowing images that are edited to include text as a “loophole to policy.”

Some of these 9 examples may have a little text that appears in one other box (similar to Facebook’s own examples). The examples are for your inspiration and we recommend you comply with the 5-box maximum guideline to avoid any problems.

#1: Mari Smith – Facebook Marketing Expert

As usual, Mari does a great job with her Facebook marketing and is on top of the trends. Her cover photo does apply the fact that the image of the Facebook Marketing report shown is a product photo and therefore is not included in the 20% text allowance.

mari smith

You can now have calls to action such as “Click Like!” with an arrow.

#2: Intuit – Small Business Products and Services

Even though it’s a little busy, I like the Intuit cover photo. It showcases some of the good things they are doing, as well as the members of the community. Your Facebook Page is always about your audience and how you can serve.

intuit

A good example of a brand showcasing their audience.

#3: Qlixite – Marketing Solutions

Qlixite does a great job with drawing your attention to the freebie that they have every month. The photo is simple and the graphics are eye-catching.

qlixite

A simple photo with a big attention shift to the Apps space.

#4: James Haydon Coach Realtors

James Haydon Coach Realtors’ cover photo looks nice and is easy to create with Pagemodo. The free version will have the attribution in the lower right corner but if you sign up for their monthly subscription (with more capabilities), you can have the photo without the attribution.

As the new rules state, you can have your phone number on the cover photo and that is a smart idea for local businesses like realtors.

james haydon

This cover photo was easily created with Pagemodo.

You can also use a free tool like Timeline Cover Banner or iPiccy to create a cool cover photo.

#5: Harvard Business Review

You may just want to keep things simple with an engaging picture. The Harvard Business Review chose an artistic shot from their current magazine.

harvard business review

Keep it simple with an interesting photo and no text.

Make sure you caption the photo to tell more about it and possibly include a link to your website to which you want to direct traffic.

#6: Through a Dog’s Ear

Through a Dog’s Ear has a great example of a cute picture (which is a little easier to do if your business involves dogs) and their tagline and website all in one cover photo.

through a dogs ear

Add your tagline and your website.

#7: Realty Austin

If your business revolves around your website, have it on your cover photo. Realty Austin has a simple, clean cover photo and their website address stands out.

realty austin

Add your website prominently.

#8: Inbound Zombie

Talk about minimalist cover photos! Inbound Zombie has a very clear call to action on their cover photo and all within the new guidelines. Once you click on the tab clearly marked Free Webinar, you can then sign up right on Facebook.

inbound zombie

No mistaking the call to action in this cover photo.

#9: Lawyers.com

This one may be outside the 20% rule, but I had to share it because it’s cool and it could easily be made compliant with some shifting of some text.

lawyers.com

Feature something new.

Lawyers.com uploads a new cover photo that features their latest blog post. When you click on the picture, you get the link to the blog post in the description. Great way to showcase new content!

Final Thoughts

As the Facebook news feed changes start rolling out, it will become even more important to have an engaging and interesting cover photo.

Facebook is putting greater emphasis on cover photos when people interact with your Page. And if you have a Page that is noncompliant, it’s a good idea to fix that as soon as possible.

What do you think? Did you get any new ideas for your Facebook Page cover photo? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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About the Author, Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and also uses her improv comedy skills to blog as Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer. Connect with her at www.andreavahl.com. Other posts by »




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