How to Make a Great Custom Cover Photo

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Small Business, Social Media, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Apr 03, 2012

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Blue Fish

Early last week, High Impact Designer released Timeline Image Creator, a free application for designing and downloading custom Cover Photo and Application Images. To help you make the most of this tool, we’d like to provide you with this creative guide for building sleek, engaging Cover Photos for your new Timeline Page.

Pick a Theme
As it takes up almost a third of your visible profile, the Cover Photo sets the tone for your entire Page. Before you begin planning your Photo, you should have an idea of how you want your page to look. If your company has a set color scheme, you’ve already got a good start. If not, start thinking about what you want your theme to be. Ideally, it will be simple; lots of colors and information will only overwhelm visitors.

Create Informative Content
Now that you’ve got a theme, you’ll want to start developing content. Think about what would best visually represent your business. Is it an object? An action? Remember, the most important thing is to keep it simple; too many words will confuse your visitors and discourage them from investigating your page further. You’ll also want to consider Facebook’s new Terms of Service which explicitly forbid any calls to action or pricing information on a Cover Photo. While announcements and product information are fine, requesting Likes or listing discounts will probably get you temporarily booted from Facebook (it happened to NBC when they put calls to action on their show pages).

Generally speaking, the best use of your Cover Photo is to encourage engagement and Likes. Facebook’s Page Guidelines now allow admins to share promotional information and direct visitors to the Like button. Try and think of creative ways to compel your audience and drive engagement.

Integrate it With Your Other Material

While not every Cover Photo has to flow seamlessly into the Profile Picture, the two images need to complement one another. If you can, you should also integrate your Application Images, as these will drive most of the traffic for your Page (more on that here). If you’ve planned properly, you should already have an idea of how these images will appear.

Example:
Henry Construction is converting their Facebook Page to Timeline. They don’t have a graphic designer, but they do have access to stock images and company records. Using their logo as a color base and Timeline Image Creator, they can take a standard construction photo like this one:

New Home Construction

And turn it into a banner complete with layers, text, and transparencies:

New Timeline Cover

They can then take color-matching images of some of their completed projects and, using the App Image Editor, layer on text to make engaging banners for their Applications:

App Sample

With Timeline Image Creator, this process took only minutes, and was 100% Free. You can find information about Timeline Image Creator and our Social Marketing Products at www.highimpactdesigner.com/social-page-builder.htm.

Henry Construction Timeline

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