I’ve seen a lot of this lately, which means a blog post about it might help some of you with your Facebook Timeline cover image.
Yes, this image takes up a lot of real estate on your Timeline. Yes, it’s front and center when people come to your page. And yes, it’d be a great spot for some advertising. Yay!
Um, no. Facebook set up some rules to keep you from doing just that. You see, social media is about relationships. It’s not really about advertising in the traditional sense. That cover image is there for you to use to tell folks, visually, how you’re going to relate to them on Facebook.
I’m copying this straight from the Facebook information page (found here.)
Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
So what Facebook is trying to tell you is that the cover image is not a banner ad. (See? They knew you’d want it to be. Of course you do. That’s what traditional media would tell you to do.) This is a visual representation of your brand. Is your brand only about your Website? Your phone number? If it is, you have bigger issues!
Try to tell you story in a photo, or a set of photos, or a graphic, or whatever. But leave the advertising out. I have no idea how Facebook will monitor whether people work within the guidelines, but I do know that a lot of folks who have seen their page disappear suddenly. So big brother Facebook is probably watching. And wouldn’t you want to show the world that you “get” social media anyway?
Share you cover images for us, if you’d like feedback!