4 Ways to Use the New Facebook Cover Photos

Facebook’s Timeline was first introduced in February 2012 along with very strict rules for cover photos on business pages.

The restrictions included no calls to action, no contact info, no price or purchase info and no references to Facebook features. Businesses were pretty much left with just an image.

However Facebook has changed its mind again.

Page admins rejoice ;)

On March 6 new rules were (quietly) released that the previous restrictions had now been lifted. And that cover photos may not include more than 20% of text.

The 20% max text rule applies to FB ads as well. So remember that before you start planning your next marketing campaign.

Anyway, these new guidelines open up the doors of opportunity for us to finally leverage on the full potential of cover photos.

Here are some 4 ways to take advantage of your new cover photo:

1. Ask visitors to “like” you


Before this, referring to any Facebook feature and giving a call to action wasn’t allowed.

Now that those restrictions have been lifted, Mari Smith, a Facebook marketing expert, makes use of this call to action in a simple, clear way. I like how she gives a benefit of liking her page – you get notifications! As in, her updates will show up in your newsfeed. Genius. That is the power of copy, take not people.

On top of that she’s building her list through Facebook by giving away a freebie in exchange for visitors to take a survey.

2. Promote your customized app


One of the best features of Facebook, in terms of marketing, is the possibility of creating your own custom app. I’ve seen a ton of pages with apps that run contests, showcase landing pages, sweepstakes, like-gating and more. For the most part, every good campaign will have an opt-in so that you can build your list directly through the app.

I’m totally into this minimalist approach from Inbound Zombie.

The call to action doesn’t get any clearer than this. And it stays within the 20% max text guideline.

Visitors and fans only need to follow the arrow and click on the “free webinar” app to sign up without leaving the Facebook platform.

3. Generate leads


As long as you stay within the 20% max text rule, you can now directly promote a product or service.

To get the most out of it, include a simple URL where people can visit to sign up for your promotion. And I mean simple. You can’t add live links on your cover photo. So buy a domain or add a page on your existing site so that the link looks something like www.yourwebsite.com/promo.

Instant lead generation.

HubSpot used their cover photo to promote an eBook. Something that was totally prohibited before.

4. Promote your website


For many businesses, their Facebook page is an add-on to their main site. So it only makes sense to use it to promote their official website.

With the new rules, you can now send fans and visitors directly to your site by clearly displaying it on your cover photo.

You can even take this a step further by adding contact information – office address, phone number, email address etc.

So there you have it. Four simple ways to take advantage of the new cover photo guidelines. Whether you want more traffic to your site or grow your email list, I suggest making full use of the new rules. You never know when Facebook will change its mind. Again.

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