10 Examples and 3 Tools: How to Win with New Rules for Facebook Timeline Covers

by 8 04/10/2013

Remember all of the rules and restrictions that came along with the new Facebook Timeline covers?

You couldn’t include anything in your Timeline cover photo related to pricing, contact information, calls to action, or even encourage people to like your page.

Scrap that.

Now, the guidelines for your cover photos state that it must be at least 399 pixels wide and not include more than 20% text. So you can be promotional, as long as you confine it to 20% of your cover.

In this post, we’re going to look at how businesses, brands, and people are enhancing their Facebook Timeline cover photos to make for a better Facebook landing page experience.

Why Your Timeline Cover Photo is Important

There are a few reasons why your Timeline Cover Photo is important to your brand.

1. Your Facebook page will look empty without one. (I would have expected Apple to do better than this.)

2. Your Timeline Cover photo is shown when people hover over your page anywhere on Facebook. So you want it to look good.

3. In the new Newsfeed, your Timeline cover photo may be used as a part of updates when people like your page. Again, you want something that looks nice so others will want to like your page.

As you can see, Timeline Cover Photos are essential for great branding of your business page. Now, let’s look at some cover photo inspiration.

Examples of New Facebook Page Timeline Cover Images

The following are some great Timeline cover images and how brands are using them to achieve specific goals for their Facebook page and business.

Mari Smith has maximized her 20% in a great way.She uses the space to:

  • Promote her social media survey in exchange for a free Facebook marketing report.
  • Draw attention to her like button to increase fans.
  • Tell people how they can get all of her latest updates by selecting the Get Notifications option.

Considering the number of likes she has, you can be assured that her strategy is working.

BlueGlass is using its Timeline cover photo to announce its acquisition of Idealizer and launch in Switzerland. It also includes a customized shortened link URL that is easy to type into your browser to learn more.

Amy Porterfield keeps it simple. She uses just four words to tell people who she is and what she does.

Game of Thrones (disclaimer: yes, I’m a fan) lets fans know when their new season is going to start.

Sprout Social simply states who its social media management product is for. The image does the rest, showing visitors an example of its average user.

Motorola uses it Timeline cover photo to showcase its latest products.

Social Media Examiner puts the focus on its social media marketing conference.

Freelance Swtich tells people exactly what they will find on the Freelance Switch website — advice, news, jobs, and discussions.

Gerber tells fans that they offer more than just baby food. They have information for families from parents-to-be to toddlers.

George Takei uses his Timeline cover photo in conjunction with custom content tabs to highlight that his new book is available to order.

Facebook Timeline Cover Templates and Tools

Need some help with your Timeline Cover? These resources will help.

Template Sizing

HubSpot offers a cheat sheet for cover photo sizing and templates for all of the major networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Test Your Timeline Cover for Text Percentage

Mari Smith offers a free tool to test Timeline Cover Photos for the percentage of text. Just enter your Facebook username (http://facebook.com/username) to see if your cover photo (or your competitor’s) is following the rules.

Learn More About Facebook Timeline Cover and Image Guidelines

You can read the new rules and guidelines about images on the following Facebook Help Center Pages.

What Timeline Cover Photos have you seen that best utilize the 20% text for branding, marketing, and encouraging likes? Please share in the comments!

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About 

Kristi Hines is a freelance blogger, ghostwriter, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani covers blog marketing and blogging tips for personal, professional, and business bloggers.

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8 COMMENTS

Colleen Conger

Fantastic post Kristi! I was super excited to hear that Facebook had tossed most of their restrictions. I can certainly live in the 20% text rule and will have happier clients.

I loved the examples you chose too. I’m always on the lookout for fantabulous examples of great Facebook Page timeline covers. I’ve already printed this post off and will keep it in my “designs to show my clients” book.

Some of my clients like minimalist, some like full-blown knock your socks off color. I’ve often wondered about designing a cover photo in 2 ways and then running some A/B tests to see which one garners more likes (of course, staying on brand.) What are you thoughts?

Thanks again for the great read and the yummy examples.

April 10, 2013 Reply

    Kristi Hines

    Thanks Colleen! I think that’s a great idea to try different cover images to see which ones lead to the most like conversions. I’d be interested in reading a study like that too!

    April 11, 2013 Reply

Jay

Good stuff.

Colleen, a few examples of timeline covers we’ve designed at digitalxbridge.com … https://www.facebook.com/Grubsly, https://www.facebook.com/225amcom, https://www.facebook.com/digitalxbridge.

What do you all think?

April 11, 2013 Reply

Myhox

Hi Kristi !
Thank you for sharing this excellent guideline. I have already read your many articles on your blog Kikolani.com. This post will help me to redesign my facebook Timeline and Facebook Page also.

April 14, 2013 Reply

Twitter cover photo

Nice photos. Thanks for sharing such useful information.

April 16, 2013 Reply

Andrew Woo

Doesn’t Facebook Guidelines prohibit drawing attention to the Like Button with arrows etc…?

April 16, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Not any more! That’s the good news. The challenge now is to keep it down to 20% of your cover.

    April 16, 2013 Reply

Adam Evanich

I’ll start to use that feature on Facebook timeline as soon as it comes up. Great post keep it up !! :D

May 15, 2013 Reply


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