Your Facebook cover photo is the first thing people will see when they visit your Facebook page and it can be quite tricky to choose the exact right thing.

It should be something that conveys your brand and personality. You might want to include a phone number or details of your website or products, but the most important thing should be making the right first impression. It is a chance to be creative and add something eye catching that will help you stand out from competitors.

What you choose really depends on what sector you are in; a humorous image might not be entirely appropriate for say a solicitors firm or funeral director (yes there are funeral director pages on Facebook) BUT…. that said, a little gentle humour could be the very thing to show humility and make you all the more approachable.

I’ve scoured the web for my personal favourites, I do hope they help inspire you to think of something unique and memorable for your own pages…

1) Raaawwrrr

What better way to inject humour in to your Facebook page than by allowing your fans to see you about to be eaten by a dinosaur? Pretty cool idea, and great integration between the profile and cover images.

best-cover-photosCredit: coverjunction.com

2) The Eye Test

Who could possibly resist ‘testing’ their sight to read this message? Perhaps you could reveal a coupon code on the bottom line or some other secret giveaway. Simple yet compelling.

facebook_cover_photo_eye_test-851x315Credit: fxcovers.com

3) Being Bold

Pointing out the obvious yet it makes quite a statement…

hey-look-its-me-facebook-timeline-coverCredit: bestcoverpix.com

4) Airwaves

Combining the cover and profile picture is always effective, well done to KLM. Your profile picture is seen in the newsfeeds throughout Facebook and in my humble opinion should always identify your page by including your logo.

best-cover-photos

5) Queue

A great creative image combining brand with a fun cover photo concept.

chase-community-givingCredit: inboundly.com.au

6) ET Phone Home

How clever is this?! Eye catching and fun.

funny-creative-facebook-timeline-cover-16Credit: mashable.com

7) Fantasy Vs Reality

A great way to show off your creativity and give insight in to what goes on in your imagination…

Credit: creativebloq.com

8) Appealing to the senses

Who wouldn’t take notice of this scrummy picture? A delicious selection that’s eye catching and shows of the standard of the product

9) Just silly

This one’s a little daft, but if your product itself is fun then why not?! If you can feature yourself in the picture it is always a great way to appeal and make your business more personable.

10) Point it Out

This is a clever idea, add the image of your choice in the magnifying glass – your logo, a picture of the outside of your shop or yourself holding a flag?

images (1)Credit: www.nw-businesssense.com

11) Clothes Line

Simple and effective, this concept is a great way to show off products, team members or maybe posters and flyers.

creative-facebook-cover-photos-12_largeCredit: pinterest.com

12) Fan of the Week

Social media is always about engagement, and Dunkin’ Donuts are bang on with fan of the week on their cover photo

fans

13) Clever

Great quote and concept for this profile and cover photo combination

14) Curly Straw

There is probably no brand more recognisable than Coca Cola, this curly straw picture is simple and effective.

coca-cola-integrated-cover-photo-profile-picture

15) The Whiteboard

This is a clever idea that could be applied to all kinds of scenarios … revealing your thoughts, promotions, mottos and doodles of your team or products?

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16) Shooting

Not sure to how many businesses shooting applies to BUT it doesn’t have to be ducks and it doesn’t have to be shooting. Binoculars to look at a view? A chameleon style tongue snatching up cakes?

17) Who We Are

A great idea for the more serious business, introducing the team via polaroid snaps!

Beavis-Morgan-Facebook-Page-Design-e1413281673562-1024x414

18) The Big Knit

Clever. Fun. Sums up the campaign in one image.

Innocent-Drinks

19) Beer anyone

Technically this one breaks my rule that your profile picture should include your logo, however Carlsberg is so iconic that this clever combo totally gets away with it. The profile picture is easily identifiable as the brand.

Screen-Shot-2012-10-22-at-17.43.34-765x464.png

20) Pringles

Humourous and a problem most Pringles fans can identify with (although perhaps ever so slightly exaggerated)

Screen-Shot-2012-10-22-at-14.13.13-765x438.png

I hope this collection goes some way to helping you think out of the box when it comes to your own cover photos. They don’t always have been be funny, and they don’t always have to be fantastically unique ideas but something that conveys your brand and your business effectively will help you stand out from competitors and resonate with your customers.

Carly is a digital marketing and e-commerce professional, specialising in online business development and design.

In the ever changing, ever improving, world of Facebook business pages, there is an abundance of tools and functions to help your performance. Here’s a round of up of 5 useful tricks that you might not know about…

Use Facebook as your Page

Using Facebook as your page enables you to comment, like and share posts and updates from other pages as your business, rather than as yourself. It is an ideal way to get your business noticed by becoming involved in conversation and sharing useful content from other pages to your own news feed.

The way to access this function has recently moved and been re-named, which has caused a little confusion among page admins. Previously you would simply select your page from the drop down menu at the top right of your screen, but this now only takes you to your page.

To interact as your page, choose the option to ‘See Pages Feed’ located on the left of your screen as below…

use-facebook-as

Watch Other Pages

Watching other pages from your ‘Overview Panel’ allows you to compare your performance to similar businesses and keep you on track, an element of the competitive is always helpful! It’s a great way to keep an eye on your competitors (and they won’t be informed that you are watching them).

You can see how many likes they have, how that number has changed, how many updates they have posted, and their levels of engagement all for the last 7 days.

To watch other pages go to INSIGHTS > OVERVIEW then scroll down to ‘Pages to Watch’. You can add up to 5 pages.

pages-to-watch

By clicking on the business name, you can also view their top post of the week, ideal for inspiration and ideas!

top-post

Set up Instant Replies, Out of Office and Greetings

A recent addition to the functions of Facebook pages, Message Assistant, enables you to send automatic replies to anyone messaging your page. This is particularly useful if you are not on Facebook throughout the day or are going to be away from the office for a while.

Set an automatic reply to let your customers know you will get back to them as soon as possible, or the date you are away until. You can even set up a greeting message which will show to anybody who opens a message to start writing which is a nice touch.

Go to SETTINGS > MESSAGING to set up yours…

instant-replies

Know When Your Page Fans are Online

By going from your INSIGHTS > POSTS you can find out what time of day your page fans are online. Useful for planning your updates and reaching as many page fans as possible by updating your page at an opportune time, toggle over the graph to see the numbers.

page-fans-online

Scrolling down the page, you can also see the performance of your posts, and understand which attract the best reactions. This is useful for deciding upon future updates in view of which go down best with your page fans, engagement is key – the more likes, shares and comments the better!

post-performance

Schedule Posts

Further to understanding what time of day your page fans are online, scheduling posts on Facebook makes it easier to plan what you are going to post and when. If you are not going to be around, or prefer to spend a little time planning and creating all of your updates for the week or month ahead in one go, then the schedule option is a really useful tool.

Create your update as normal, then select the drop down arrow from next to ‘publish’. This gives you the option to schedule and offers a selection for the time and date, you can also choose a date to stop distribution on your news feed if you so choose, which maybe useful for time sensitive offers.

scheduling-updates

 

I hope you learned something new that will help you to make the most of Facebook for your business! We offer a range of social media support packages and 1-2-1 coaching to support your business needs, contact us today to see how we can help you.

Carly is a digital marketing and e-commerce professional, specialising in online business development and design.

Whether your a small to medium sized business which has yet to enter the social media game fully or a brand new start up which has yet to even set up your social media accounts, there are two things you should know:

  • It’s absolutely fine to start small
  • It’s a marathon not a sprint

There are lots of social media platforms out there, but you don’t need to be on all of them.

Not sure how Pinterest can help your business? You probably don’t need it.

Haven’t got a clue how Instagram can help you? Don’t sign up.

While being active on social media sites can help build loyal followers to your brand and increase search engine visibility, it’s also a time consuming activity.

Time is precious, wasting it on trying to be active on all social media sites is a mistake.

Deciding which social channels to sign up to and engage with your audience, depends on who they are. It’s important you find out where the majority like to hang out the most and start there.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Snapchat – Younger audience (teens)
  • Pinterest – Female, mothers, fashionists
  • Linkedin – Business people, entreprenuers, leaders
  • Twitter – Bloggers, influencers
  • Facebook – Young, old (almost everyone)

Now you have an idea of where your customers are, it’s time to start connecting, build some engagement and most importantly make some sales!

We have comprised the following tips, which will kick start any social media campaign for any business in 2016.

1) Choose a consistent handle

Every social network you sign up to will require a handle (name). Keeping this the same across the board will ensure brand consistency and make it easy for your customers to find and recognise your business.

Check to make sure the handle is available across all channels before you start signing up, it would be annoying to sign up to Facebook only to find the handle has been taken on Twitter.

2) Keep At It – Don’t Dissapear

I’ve already mentioned that social media is a marathon not a sprint. Not only should you keep running but also keep a steady pace when updating and posting, consistency is key. Go missing for 2 – 3 weeks and your social accounts will loose traction and engagement.

In order to help you stay consistent it may be worth investing in social media management software like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

3) Twitter Can Directly Increase Your Businesses Sales

Would it surprise you if I revealed that 72% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy from you if they have engaged with your business on Twitter?

Details of the full study can be found in the infographic below – Credit here.

Twitter Buying Infographic

If your business is not currently on Twitter, sign up and get active.

4) It’s Not Just About Sales – Or It Shouldn’t Appear So

If you turn your social media accounts into a non stop self promotion contest, it’s likely followers & fans will become disinterested, killing engagement.

You need to give something back whether that be useful information, contests or communicating directly etc.

You probably have more valuable information to share than you think, work out how you can re – purpose content at your disposal to fit in with different social channels and the steps you need to take in order to produce additional content.

5) Be Responsive & Improve Your Business Customer Support

If a customer makes a comment (good or bad) get back to them. Failing to respond to comments will portray a business that simply doesn’t care. How’s that going to look for potential customers that connect with your business on social media for the purpose of making a buying decision?

6) Images & Video Are Important

Social media isn’t just about written words, it’s about visually putting your businesses message across.

It’s a competitive environment, where you will be competing with lots of other brands to get your customers attention.

Beat of the competition and wow them with attention grabbing visual magic!

7) Encourage Feedback

Many social channels provide the option for customers to leave reviews for your business. It’s important you encourage this as much as you can as reviews leverage social proof and authenticate your business.

8) Join The Best Linkedin Groups For Small Business

Winning the players player of the year award for my local football team at the age of 11 was one of my finest moments! My parents still have the trophy!

You could say I absolutely love an awards ceremony, which is the reason I am hosting the best Linkedin groups for small business awards tonight.

Time to get spruced up with an elegant ball gown or black tie, and celebrate the Linkedin groups that every small business owner should turn to when they need help, advice or talented team members.

9) Keep It Real

Having the ability to portray your businesses personal side via social media is a valuable asset.

It’s important you try and keep the same tone and message consistent across the board having identified the type of language your customers use to talk about your industry.

If your business is not in a position to employ a dedicated social media manager, it’s a good idea to delegate the work to 2 or 3 employees. You could even go as far as to integrate a social media policy to help educate your team.

10) Remember Mobile

Just because you and your employees are communicating on social media sites via PC’s, doesn’t mean your customers are. The majority of Twitter and Facebook users will actaully be accessing from their mobiles. Imagine their disappointment having clicked through to your website to find it isn’t mobile friendly.

11) Keep Learning

Any business owner or even social media “expert” who claims they totally understand how to make social media work, is frankly full of _____.

Social media is constantly evolving and new social media sites, each with a slightly different way of communicating are regularly being introduced. Don’t sit back on your success, keep reading, learning and developing your businesses social media strategy.

12) Track Your Results

It’s likely your business will make a sizeable investment in social media over time, which makes it important you see results. By results I mean the cold hard cash type, not the impressive follower count that fails to generate any revenue type.

Questions, suggestions and general chit chat are most welcome via the comment section below, it’s time to get social!

James Brands specialises in the development of websites and applications at WilliCreative. He is also a proven SEO expert using the latest techniques to increase the visibility of both local and national client sites.