Facebook has recently made two major updates: Graph Search and a fresh News Feed layout. With both of these announcements, Facebook began creating buzz for their press events weeks in advance, keeping marketers, business owners, and social media enthusiasts on the edges of their seats. In the last month the company has also proven that they’re not always showy with their changes. On March 6th Facebook slyly revised their cover photo guidelines without making an announcement, though the changes have a big impact on businesses.
Prior to this update, business pages were not allowed to include calls to action of any sort in their cover photos, meaning that contact or pricing information, prompts asking followers to “Like” or “Share” page content, and language such as “Get it Now” or “Try Us Today” were off limits. When the social media giant made their edits to the cover photo guidelines they discreetly removed these restrictions, replacing them with the paragraph below.
“All cover photos are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the cover photo. Cover photos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms. You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.”
What Does This Mean for Businesses?
The new cover photo guidelines give businesses a new found flexibility. You can draw attention to seasonal specials, offers and deals, new downloadable guides and white papers, and other promotions right in your cover photo. That being said, remember that the 20% text rule still applies, meaning your text may not take up more than 20% of your cover photo. Businesses must carefully craft their calls to action so they make a big impact within a small space.
Put It In Action
Swap Covers Frequently:
Yes, you could simply add a call to action to your current cover photo and re-upload it, but more followers will take notice if you create a fresh new cover photo to go along with it. Not only will this strategy make an impact with more followers, it also allows you to feature images that specifically relate to the call to action. For instance, if a restaurant is offering 20% off of their desserts, the cover photo should spotlight a delectable dessert item along with the call to action. Start by swapping out your cover now as a part of your spring updates to rejuvenate your digital marketing.
Plan Your Promotions:
As you are planning your monthly promotions, make a note of which offer should be called out on your cover photo. Be sure to mark when a new cover should be uploaded in order to coincide with an offer on your calendar. Planning your promotion schedule at the beginning of the month gives you time to take quality photos, write eye catching calls to action, and create impactful cover photos.
Alternate Your Offers:
The ability to promote your business and your offers on your cover photo is an advantage, but like Mom always said, you can have too much of a good thing. You don’t want to bombard your followers. Resist the temptation to add a call to action to every cover photo you upload. A best practice we recommend is to upload two cover photos per month, with one focusing on an important special or offer and the other featuring a captivating photo with no calls to action (though you may include descriptions, a quote, or other general text).
This new found flexibility offers worlds of opportunity for businesses on Facebook, but be sure to follow the tips above to work cover photo calls to action to your advantage.
Need help determining which specials deserve their own cover photo, or do you simply not have the time to conceptualize and create covers with this frequency? Contact us for a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your Facebook marketing strategy.