Facebook Changes Their Cover Photo Requirements

Apr 09, 2013
Facebook recently updated the rules concerning how the user’s cover photo arrangement should be. Initially, most users were worried that the requirements would limit the ability to advertise, such as including call-to-actions and the “like our page” and similar mantras. But that wasn’t the case. And though it wasn’t broadly publicized by Facebook, it has gained in popularity and actually fits into effective marketing strategies quite well.

Basically, this change in the rules states that the user’s cover photo can contain a maximum of 20 percent text. Considering how large your photo is and how large the text needs to be in order to be legible, it doesn’t leave much room for a lengthy message.

Increasing marketability

The effect of this rule requirement actually promotes marketing strategies and has already been a popular choice for many brands. The result is that users can now use their cover photo to better market their online store. Rather than a lengthy message, such as call data or website link information, the priority now becomes the simple but powerful call to action (which Facebook decided not to limit as an opportunity).

The act of a short call to action plays a far more effective part in a Facebook page as well, since the majority of the other information can be found elsewhere. And because of the space limitation, it does help a brand cleverly sum up the purpose of their content and deliver it in a more memorable way. In fact, the shorter the mantra, the more likely it will be remembered and shared with others during conversations. This is ideal for exposure, since a shorter call to action can be shared easily by your audience’s networks, enabling you to reach a broader online audience.

This also gives greater incentive to focus on creativity when constructing a functional cover photo. Rather than a standardized cover that exhibits stats and reference sites, the user can implement the cover to do a much more important job, using clever artwork and blending it effectively with the text to deliver the most effective and memorable message.

And because Facebook updated the slide view- so that a user slides the cursor over a hyperlink to view a profile without clicking on it- both your profile and cover photo will appear, making it available to anyone, regardless of whether or not they are presently on your profile page.

Using your cover to advertise your store

Additionally, cover photos are a great way to get attention on the newsfeeds as well. In fact, they have their very own update status that shows up, stating that your online store recently updated their photo cover. This means that you can use the cover photo in a far more unique way than ever before.

For most online brands, the profile photo is their brand image or badge, and should be the same for every social network or online profile used. However, the cover photo can be used more flexibly. It can show, demonstrate, and deliver different messages when it’s convenient for you.

The most effective use of this ability is to market product specials, offers, and opportunities that are currently available. If you want some extra attention for a certain line or product, you can use your cover photo to implement this strategy by showing and stating what’s trending with your online store at that time.
The benefit of this is that you’re updating keeps you in the newsfeed, offering excellent strategic exposure for your latest opportunity or sale. And even after the cover has expired from the newsfeed, it will remain right at the top of your page for visitors to view.

Change in harmony

However, it doesn’t mean that you should change your cover photo too much too often though. Like any action, there is a good rhythm to practice so you don’t turn a good situation into a social blunder. It’s easy to litter your newsfeed or overwhelm your audience with varying messages and advertisements with your cover photo though. Choose your timing effectively, such as once a month or during special occasions like holiday specials to boost brand awareness.

While we can look forward to new changes in the future, such as the reply feature for active threads, change is often a good thing when seen in the right light, and Facebook made a good move with its new cover requirements. Although some will have to reconsider their marketing strategy when it comes to utilizing the new concept, it does open up the window of opportunity that will boost the effectiveness of the once simple cover photo.


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