#1: Get Into the Holiday Spirit or Change With the Seasons
Design cover photos that change with the seasons and the holidays. It’s easy—just experiment with seasonal colors or add traditional seasonal images like leaves or snowflakes.
The auto company Pep Boys, for example, created a simple and festive cover photo for the winter holiday season. It would be easy to create a similar cover photo using a stock photo and free tools from PicMonkey or Canva.
#2: Promote Trends
If you’re a retailer, use the cover photo to talk about new trends in your industry and feature new products.
The shoe company PiperLime does this really well. Here’s one of their cover photos that announces a new trend: dressed-up stripes.
#3: Direct Fans to an App
When you launch a new app, one of the best ways to promote it is to update your cover photo. You can draw attention to your new app by using arrows or other illustrations that point directly to your app thumbnail.
For instance, whenever your business launches a new ebook (like Facebook expert Jon Loomer did, below), PDF, infographic or other free resource, updating your cover photo notifies your fans of your new resource and points them to where they can get it. In the case of Loomer’s ebook, the arrow literally points straight to an app.
#4: Showcase New Products
If your company is a product-based business, use the cover photo to feature new or seasonal products. In the design of your cover photo, include text with relevant information about the products, like a date the product(s) will be available for sale or a few words to describe the product.
In the example below, Ampersand Design Studio, a design store, cleverly teases customers with a new fabric collection in one of their cover photos.
#5: Get Their Mouths Watering
If you’re a restaurant, a catering company or in the food industry, there is nothing more enticing than a photo of one of your mouth-watering dishes. As the seasons change, lots of eateries change their menus. Use this as an opportunity to update your cover photo to feature what’s new on your menu.
The popular Italian restaurant Olive Garden does this often.
#6: Promote Your Hashtag
Facebook began supporting hashtags a while ago and some brands have had great success using them. One advantage of the new feature is that it allows brands to track fans’ conversations about the business. You can discreetly feature your hashtag in the bottom right of your cover photo design, or make it the feature.
The headphone company Frends updated their cover photo in August to feature a hashtag that was associated with a summer contest they hosted.
#7: Promote a Facebook Exclusive or a Fan-Only Incentive
Forty-two percent of users like a brand on Facebook in order to get a coupon or discount (according to a 2013 Syncapse report). So give them what they want! Make your promotions exclusive to Facebook fans to incentivize users to like your page.
Promote your fan-only exclusives using your cover photo, like the Utah restaurant Riverhorse on Main. Their cover is very straightforward.
#8: Celebrate a Milestone
Businesses love to celebrate like-count milestones and anniversaries on Facebook. For these times, use the cover photo as a place to say thanks to your fans or have some fun with your cover photo design.
The clothing brand C. Wonder, for example, celebrated their birthday in October with a cute confetti cover photo.
#9: Produce New Leads
What kinds of leads are you most interested in acquiring? Whatever your goals, you can use your cover photo to encourage people to opt-in or find more information about your brand elsewhere.
If you want to encourage your Facebook fans to check out your website because you’re hosting a sale, use your cover photo to feature your business’s website URL. Or, if you want more newsletter sign-ups, use your cover photo to direct users to your newsletter sign-up app.
#10: Inspire Action
The cover photo can be an effective tool for motivating fans to take action! Brick-and-mortar businesses should use the cover photo to advertise store events, specials or new products, which will encourage fans to make a trip to your store.
Online businesses can also use the cover photo to encourage fans to check out new products and take advantage of special offers.
#11: Create a Sense of Urgency
Try uploading a cover photo image and CTA that are installed for a limited amount of time and then measure the sales that result from it.
For instance, if your business is having a sale that only lasts 24 hours, update your cover photo during those 24 hours to notify your fans of the sale. Make sure the CTA conveys a sense of urgency that motivates fans to respond fast.
#12: Have Some Fun!
Not every cover photo has to “sell.” On occasion, the photo or image can be just for fun and designed just to encourage engagement.
In the cover photo example below, the email marketing company MailChimp uploaded a photo of their mascot Freddie with his back facing the reader—their fans loved this!
#13: Establish Authority
Use your cover photo to showcase an image that represents your brand or features your credentials.
Take a look at Nathalie Lussier‘s cover photo below. With a simple cover photo image, she establishes authority as a digital strategist. And for users who visit her page for the first time, there’s no question about who she is or what she does.
#14: Show What You Do
The cover photo is the ideal place to show your fans what your business does. The more literal you are, the better. This prevents any confusion for users who discover your page for the first time.
Katelyn Brooke, a designer and blogger, makes it clear what she does. In the design of her cover photo, she showcases her work in a personal and effective way.
#15: Compare Your Business to Your Competition
If you’re in a competitive industry (and heck, who isn’t?), experiment with a cover photo that shows your company head-to-head with your competition.
The flower company Bouqs does this really well. Make note of how they use the words “Other Guys” rather than listing off the name of a specific competitor. This prevents them from looking combative, while still making their point: They’re less expensive than their competitors.
#16: Promote Your Other Social Platforms
If you want more followers on your other social channels like Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter, use your Facebook cover photo to cross-promote your other accounts. Be sure to include a strong CTA within the cover photo’s image description and links to your other social profiles.
In this example, ShortStack used their cover photo to attract their Facebook fans to their Twitter account.
#17: Feature a Fan or Customer
Every single day for months, the cookie company Oreo uploaded a new cover photo featuring one of their fans who was celebrating a birthday.
Oreo received hundreds of likes and comments on each of their fan-featuring cover photos.
#18: Keep it Simple
Sometimes simple is best.
The design company CooperHouse created a cover photo that has a beautifully simple design and one concise sentence that describes what their company does. Nothing more is needed.
#19: Promote Your Contest
During the back-to-school season, the tortilla company La Tortilla Factory updated their cover photo to promote their back-to-school–themed photo contest.
If your business is hosting a Facebook promotion, one of the best ways to notify fans of your contest is by updating your cover photo. Like La Tortilla Factory, it’s nice to feature what your contest prizes are within the design of your cover photo.
#20: Include a Strong Call to Action
Some of the best CTAs are posed as questions.
Pinterest expert Melanie Duncan‘s cover photo is a great example of how to use a CTA question in a cover photo. The most important text is bolded and the entire CTA is framed in an eye-catching red box.
#21: Advertise a Sale
The yoga company Yoga Six participated in Black Friday last year by updating their cover photo. On it, they displayed their Black Friday deals. Instead of changing their cover photo on the day of Black Friday, Yoga Six uploaded their Black Friday–themed cover photo a few days before the big shopping day.
#22: Appeal Exclusively to One of Your Audiences
If your business has an audience you want to speak directly to, use a cover photo to share a message with them.
The clothing company Loft, for example, recently updated their cover photo for a week to celebrate National Teacher Day. To reward teachers, they created a cover photo that directed their teacher fans to an app that revealed a special shopping offer just for them!
#23: Show Your Value Proposition
Your business’s value proposition is key to attracting new customers. Use your cover photo to show off your brand’s value statement.
The application and web development company Social Media 180 uses their cover photo to do exactly this. And the best part: The arrow featured in their design points to an app that hosts a portfolio of some of their best work.
#24: Feature a New Offering
If your business has an exciting new offering, use your cover photo to let all of your Facebook fans know about it.
When the sushi restaurant Sushi King first introduced their new membership cards, they updated their cover photo with a design that featured the card, along with some instructions on how to get it.
#25: Celebrate a Quirky National Holiday
Find out what quirky holidays are relevant to your brand and create cover photos to celebrate the silly days.
The shaving company Harry’s is an awesome example of how to do this. National Shave Day is December 1, the day after the widely celebrated Movember month. Harry’s created a “National Shave Day” cover photo to lead users to a fun “National Shave Day” page on their website.