Facebook Timeline Appearance Part 1: How to make an awesome cover photo for next to nothing.

Well, for this weeks’ post, I was going to write about the new Google+ features, but it seems everyone is more interested in the new timeline format on Facebook. (Gotta give them what they want).  Therefore, over the next several weeks, I would like to work off of March 29th’s article and give you a few articles outlining how to make your timeline more visually appealing.  Today, we will visit cover photos.  And because imitation is the highest form of flattery, I will include examples of some great ideas other businesses and people are utilizing for your reference.

1. Visually enhance your timeline.

Now your content is priority, but if you want to be seen in a professional light, your page needs to look like you spent some money on it.  Here I’ll show you how to make your page look money, without being money…….and I won’t tell any of your clients (unless you want me to).

Cover photo

The first thing fans will see when going to your timeline, will obviously be the cover photo, and a cover photo can make or break your page.  When a potential fan goes to a small business page, it should be love at first sight.  Now there is 2 ways to accomplish this a)you have an incredible image with amazing colors that stand out. b)You have a cover photo with clever wording or idea, yet still simple.  Whichever you choose, make sure that your cover reflects your brand.  Let’s break these down further:

a) Great image that stands out and creates an impact on your fans

The timeline page from Old Spice is one of my favorite visual cover pages out right now.  It has it all.  From the bright colors and great graphics, to the integration of the profile pic into the background.  I don’t use Old Spice, but I still will like the page to see what they come up with next, and maybe take the bait on one of their offers.

Now since my focus is small business, I realize many of my readers do not have the money to pay a designer to have something elaborate like this made up.  I just wanted to use this as a guide.  We can create some cheaper options with the same effectiveness.

Simpler options:

Walmart does a great job reflecting their brand with their simple cover photo.  They have some of their products pictured, along with employees and some random smiling kids.  (Random cute kids can never hurt your cover photo.)

Above are some ideas that integrate the profile pic, which I think is incredibly effective.  These can be done pretty easily on Photoshop, saving you a couple bucks.  Here is a great article that guides you through creating a good cover photo.

b) Clever idea, without crazy graphics.

If you want to skip the graphics, you can come up with something less eye-catching focused on your clever idea.

Now, I do not now if the below is actually Mark Zuckerberg’s page, or a joke about how much a lot of users hate the timeline.  In either case, it is another example on simplicity, but effectiveness in your cover photo.  This is a great way to incorporate your profile pic into your cover photo without worrying about matching the pixels and both images:

Below, I borrowed an idea for my current cover, which includes all of my clients and most engaged fans.  It’s an homage to the people who keep my business going.  (Also, has a couple of cute kids).  This is clearly nothing elaborate and only took me about ten minutes with Paint, but it is effective.  It’s a reward without expense.

Hopefully, some of these examples will get you creative juices flowing and lead you on your way to a stunning page.

For your reference, I have included a cover image with the pixels outlined.  This will help you when trying to integrate your profile pic into your cover photo:

When creating cover photos, please follow Facebook’s rules, or you will run the risk getting your page shutdown.  Below are taken directly off their terms page:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.

Covers may not include:
i.    price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
ii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv.    calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
Also, if anyone has any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below, and I will answer them ASAP.
Thanks for reading!
Coming next week   Part 2: Incorporating custom tab images into your timeline


Filed under Facebook, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Facebook Timeline Appearance Part 1: How to make an awesome cover photo for next to nothing.

  1. Thanks for recommending my article on how to create a cover photo.

  2. Pingback: Facebook Timeline Appearance Part 2: Creating custom tab images | Simplified Social

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