Facebook is notorious for its constant modifications.
Changes to the newsfeed have brought on waves of complaints and ridicule as people adjust and readjust to how they consume their favorite information. But still they sit at their desks, sneaking peeks at the world’s biggest social media platform to stay connected with each other.
This was especially true when Facebook introduced Timeline. Timeline was a complete revamp of each member’s profile page, or for businesses, the fan page. Timeline highlights the posts you make on your own pages, and minimizes the posts other people make on your page. For businesses, this is good in that your content is featured, but your interaction with your fans gets vastly less visibility.
And then there was the invention of the Facebook cover photo. You know, that glaringly empty space at the top of the screen, just above and surrounding your now lonely-looking profile photo.
The Facebook cover photo is a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their company in a new and interesting light. However, it has been somewhat misunderstood, or at the very least, under-utilized.
The cover photo is supposed to say something about what your company is, but without being as blatant as the profile photo. It is a chance to give a behind-the-scenes glance, while the image literally resides behind the profile photo.
The layering of the profile and cover photos has given the cover photo an elusive, subtle point of purpose. But what do you put there as a business? If you leave it empty, that alone is glaringly obvious and makes your business suddenly seem behind the times.
The Facebook cover photo is important, but not well explained.
Even here at KLA Group we had to sit and pause over what exactly to post there. The void had to be filled, but in just the right way. As Marketing Coordinator at KLA Group, it was my job to do the research to figure this out.
- Should the fan page cover photo be personal? Or professional?
- What were other businesses doing?
- What did we like?
- More importantly, what did we really not like?
Here’s what I discovered.
If you have impressive offices, a great idea for a Facebook cover photo might simply be a snapshot of your offices. This accomplishes what the cover photo is really meant to do in an unassuming way. It gives just the right inside look at what’s happening behind the scenes. People can picture themselves there. They instinctively trust the company more. The cover photo leaves them feeling like your company is the kind of place they wouldn’t mind visiting, which in turn can lead to feeling that they would probably enjoy working with you, too.
A potentially good idea gone wrong is using something clever and with personality, but that doesn’t actually convey a real message. For example, a cartoon that doesn’t make sense. If your cover photo doesn’t tell the story of your company, you lose your opportunity to make that impact. Without a clear purpose behind your cover photo your fans will be left scratching their heads in confusion, not intrigue. The Facebook cover photo is your chance to draw your fans in. But, if they can’t understand what you’re trying to say, it could potentially push them further away.
In truth, there are two big uglies. The first, and perhaps most obvious answer, is no cover photo at all. However, the worst Facebook cover photos I saw were poorly constructed graphics with random logos floating haphazardly around someone’s face. Not only did they not convey a great message, or tell a story about the company, but they were also unattractive to look at.
Logos are great additions to a business’s cover photo, but they have to be done thoughtfully. You want to convey branding, and a fun, energetic portrayal of who your company is. You can check out ours on our KLA Group fan page. The photo in this article is our profile photo that accompanies the cover photo.
There is tremendous untapped value to be discovered in the use of the Facebook cover photo. Whether for your business fan page or your personal page, it’s an opportunity to pull back the curtain and show your fans, or potential clients, what you have to offer on a more human level. The machine is gone, replaced by a face, a personality, and your company built of real people with real talents. All that conveyed in one photo, you might ask? The answer is, simply, yes.
Hilary Long is a Marketing Coordinator at KLA Group. She is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Denver and has worked in the field of Marketing and Public Relations for the last six years.