Skip to content

Tips for Facebook Brand Timelines: The Five Rules of Cover Photos, and How to Keep It Classy

Note: The following is a chapter from our how-to guide for the Facebook Page Brand Timeline Redesign, a free resource featuring everything you need to know about the new social marketing tools.
It’s been over a month since Facebook first announced the Facebook Pages Brand Timeline, and now all business pages have been converted to the new format. The absolute first thing page administrators must do on their new business timelines is upload a great cover photo that conveys the personality and values of their business.

Here are the five rules of what not to do with cover photo and, further below, some really great examples of cover photo done well.

  1. No purchase info: As tempting as the draw of F-commerce might be, the cover photo is a place to express the brand’s character and personality, not to jump right into a sales pitch.
  2. No contact info: By the same token, Facebook wants to keep things clean and organized, so the rules explicitly prohibit contact info in the cover photo. This shouldn’t be much of a burden for businesses since the about section below the cover photo may include this information.
  3. No Facebook actions: On the old Facebook pages, a savvy social marketer might have created a landing page with a giant unmissable arrow pointing to the Like button. Before the user could see wall posts, photos, or any other type of content, they’d have to click the Like button and become a fan. Now, with Facebook action requests barred from the cover photo, you can’t coerce fans into liking your page.
  4. No calls to action at all: You get the idea: no purchase info, no contact info, no Facebook actions… no calls to action at all. In a nutshell, Facebook wants you to keep it classy.
  5. No lying: This should be a policy for every social marketer when interacting with customers on social media pages, but Facebook has outlined it as a specific rule for cover photos. Don’t promise anything you shouldn’t be promising. This coincides with advertising laws, so it should come as no surprise.
What NOT to do on your cover photo

Keep It Classy

So there you have it: five specific things that you cannot do with your brand new cover photo. So what can you do?
Express yourself!
Your business probably already has plenty of imagery and photography lying around just waiting to represent your brand on Facebook. The screenshot at top showing off Hearsay Social’s Facebook Page is just one way of customizing your timeline.
Here are some examples of big brands and their local representatives (not to mention Hearsay Social customers) using cover photos to express their company stories and character:

The sky’s the limit! Believe it: the more creative you get, the more users will enjoy visiting your timeline.