A guest post by Paul Prisco of Dog Food Design.
Social media is becoming more visual. Take Pinterest and Instagram, for example. And on March 30, 2012, Facebook is becoming even more visually appealing by updating all pages to the new Timeline layout.
Thanks to this update, every business now has the opportunity to display a large photo or image above its profile picture. This image is your Facebook Cover. Brands will have to go beyond typical promotions and giveaways, requiring further investment in unique content creation and design.
So, how will your brand use Facebook Cover? Here are some ideas for making the most of it.
Start Off Fresh
Think about your Facebook Cover as your homepage design. It's the first visual that users see, enabling them to make a snap judgment of your brand. The new Facebook Cover layout presents conceptual challenges, though. The new image size is 851 x 315 pixels, but it can be lengthened. You should think about developing a presence that is welcoming, engaging, and unique.
Brands that simply copy and paste pictures and text will miss the mark and lose opportunities to further engage. Avoid stock photos and images that don't jive with your brand. Promotional material of any sort is a no-no; avoid discounts, promotions, and URL listings in the actual image design.
Adapt a holistic view of your social media presence. See what your fans are talking about then use that data to guide the process. Now might be the time to shift your strategy.
Use Familiar Visual Cues
Do not abandon your brand equity, however. Build trust and increase your overall fan base and engagement by using the visual cues that your customers find familiar to make the transition to Facebook Cover seamless and memorable.
And don't leave the following items out to dry: brand colors, visual identity aesthetics, and brand taglines.
Keep It Social
The conversation is always changing—so should your creative. Social media is not a one-shot deal; it should be consistently fresh. Changing your Facebook Cover often to set the tone of your business.
Here are some suggestions for keeping your Facebook Cover fresh.
- Sync it with an infographic.
- Use seasonal appeals that trigger positive associations.
- Highlight lifestyle imagery.
The social media ecosystem requires a constant evolution of content strategy. Find the balance of staying true to your brand while using fresh content to engage your customers.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Photographer)
Paul Prisco is the founder and principal of Dog Food Design, a design and direct marketing agency for brands. He has developed his expertise in his work with such brands as AARP and Hasbro.