The new Cover image on Facebook Timeline is a great way to provide a brand experience for your Facebook Page visitors. The newly squared profile image is an excellent opportunity to use your logo and associated iconography to have your brand visually appear throughout the Facebook platform. The cover image itself is an opportunity to subtly market to your users.
Choosing a good cover image is important. The image can be used to convey an emotion or key value that you would like associated with your brand. The following examples and analysis illustrate how three major brands are using the new Timeline to engage with their customers.
Starbucks has removed all words from their logo, allowing them to diversify their brand beyond coffee. However, they don’t want to lose the association with coffee. The Timeline Cover helps them to keep the association by showing coffee beans, firmly reminding visitors that they are still about coffee. The image also has a vintage effect on the left side. It makes the image appear older, reminding people that they’ve been doing this for a long time and are experienced.
Ford has taken a different approach with the Ford Mustang product page. Ford created a composite image to show a product detail but also convey power and speed through the use of a car smoking the tires. This hero shot of the product in action resonates with their target demographic, the aggressive look of the front end when it’s still and the taillights are all your friends will see when the car is in motion. They establish themselves as the front runner. They also cleverly use the grille and the iconic stallion as the profile picture, effectively merging the two.
How does Facebook use the cover image? They chose to use a data visualization of the global connections between users. It shows the interconnectedness of the world and re-enforces not only their brand of being a network, but also demonstrates their scale in a visually compelling way. They also use blue to illustrate the connections, their corporate color, to further cement the brand.
What Can You Do?
These three brands have art departments to create images for their brands which most smaller companies do not. Brands and companies that lacking those resources can look to stock art and stock photos. Sites like photos.com provide a searchable database of great images that you can license.
For example, searching for “coffee beans” returns over 8,000 images that would all be suitable for a Facebook Cover! Photos.com offers all images in multiple resolutions. The “Web Plus” resolution, which runs about $5, will give you sufficient detail in a cover image. If your budget is a little tighter, Facebook will accept images that are as small as 399 pixels wide for cover images. These are typically around $2. Lastly, you can also use this art in your printed materials if you purchase the print version for $8 – a great way to provide a consistent image for your brand.
If you have some great imagery and want to explore how it might work on Facebook, AF-Design is providing a free PSD to help layout your Facebook Timeline.
Disclosure: The links to photos.com are affiliate links. AF-Design earns revenue from sales originating from this post.