How to Use Your Facebook Cover Image to Generate Leads

Facebook used to prohibit any calls to action or even any contact information on your cover image. The good news is, the guidelines have changed! Now you can now include contact information, pricing, and calls to action in your timeline cover photo.

This change of policy first occurred in March of 2013. At that time, while calls to action became “legal,” there was one restriction: the cover image could not be comprised of more than 20% text. Even with the 20% text limitation, this was a great step forward, but there was some confusion over how to determine if the text on your cover image was beyond the 20%, so the 20% rule was a common topic of conversation and confusion for many.

Thankfully, on July 1, 2013, Facebook quietly removed the 20% rule. Their guidelines went from this:

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 images with more than 20% text.

to this:

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.

Note that the second paragraph is missing the final sentence found in the first paragraph.

Timeline Cover Lead Strategy

amy_webinar_without_lightbox

As a result of this change, the current timeline strategy is different than it was in the past.

As you can see in the image above, I added information about a webinar. I wrote, “Have You Signed Up for My New Free Webinar Yet? ‘The 4 Most Important Webpages In Your Business And How to Tweak Them to Triple Your Revenue In The Next 12 Months.’ CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR SEAT!

Pretty cool, right? And the great news is, it’s REALLY easy!

Taking it a Step Further

handmadeology761

Let me take it one step further. Above is a great example from Handmadeology. Notice they have “Click. Download. Learn.” If you click on their timeline cover photo, just like any other image on Facebook, a light box pops up.

What’s cool is they’ve added text in the actual status update when they uploaded their image. It says “The top two concerns with creative business owners and Facebook are:” and then it lists the concerns, and then says to “grab a copy of our Creative Facebook Marketing Guide for FREE,” and then there’s a link!

This a great way to collect leads with a timeline cover photo!

Learn More!

Blueglass761

Here’s another great example where BlueGlass actually added a big, red button. When you click that big red button, the lightbox pops up, and again, there are the words, “Learn more” and immediately following that is a link, a bit of copy, and AGAIN, the words, “Learn more” and the very same link!

What they’re saying is, “Hey, we REALLY want you to do this!”

Change Your Cover Image Often for More Exposure

Changing your cover image often is a great way to get more exposure AND more leads as well because every time you add a new image — including a new cover image — it gets out into the news feed. It’s just like any other post, and helps you to get even more traction.

This is really powerful, and will help you get more leads from the people that matter most: your fans. Your fans are the people you want to turn into leads so you can then take them on a journey with you until they eventually become a customer.

So I want you to think about how you can change your timeline cover photo so there’s a call to action and a built in lead gen opportunity.

Basic Steps, Cover Specs, and Resources

At the beginning of this post I told you that a great thing about this strategy is that it’s easy — and it is! All it takes is three easy steps.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Upload your photo.
  • Click on the photo
  • Click on edit, and add text. I encourage you to add a link to a lead opportunity page, where you can collect names and email addresses.

That’s all there is to it!

Cover Specs and Resources

People often ask who does my cover images, so I want to give Custom Fan Page Designs a shout out. I’m not an affiliate of theirs; I just love the work they do, and they’ve always created my timeline cover images.

If you prefer to create your own timeline cover photo, check out this great HubSpot article. It will help you figure out the dimensions (851×315 pixels) and how to create not just timeline images, but other images for your Facebook page as well.

Question: Have you experimented with adding calls to action in your cover image? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below!

 

  • http://byehighschool.org/ Nikki R

    Haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to. Thanks for your help!

  • Carey Buck

    Great post Amy! Thanks for the tips!

  • Sage Taylor Kingsley-Goddard

    Can we only do this on our fan page, or can we also do this on our main friend profile page, and on our groups? Thanks, this is GREAT information. And I love how thorough you are – and how positive too! :)

  • Tea-Notes.com

    I like it! I am going to start doing this asap. One question does FB prohibit putting a website address in the timeline cover photo?

  • http://randipierce.com/ Randi Pierce

    Love it! You always deliver the coolest tips :)

  • http://www.DevaniFreeman.com/ Devani Freeman

    Great ideas! Thanks Amy!

  • Isabel Garcia

    Awesome information, Amy! Thank you!

  • Carolyn Hancox-Barr

    Thanks Amy. Fabulous and simple ideas.

  • Carolyn Hancox-Barr

    I just tried the 3 easy steps but when I click on the photo no edit button came up on my business page. Any ideas Amy?

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/ Rebecca Livermore

    Hi Carolyn, I’m Rebecca, Amy’s content manager. I just tried this on my own Facebook page and also on two of my client’s pages and in all cases, there was the edit button. In the past sometimes I had a hard time seeing it myself, so I took a screengrab of Amy’s, and added an arrow pointing to the edit button: http://screencast.com/t/gebK7hlTAIC — if you don’t see it there, then I’m stumped! If you don’t, my only guess is that it’s one of those Facebook glitches that happens from time to time. If that’s the case, you may just need to try again later.

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/ Rebecca Livermore

    Hi Tea-Notes, I’m Rebecca, Amy’s content manager. This is no longer prohibited. For the rules, check out the paragraph in the second gray box in the post above. (Hope that makes sense!) That lays out the only current restrictions/things you need to know.

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/ Rebecca Livermore

    Hi Sage, I’m Rebecca, Amy’s content manager. The same is true for all! :)

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    It’s a good thing I knew about this! Better start getting creative on my Facebook profile :)

  • http://www.leadsandappointments.com/ Anika Davis

    Facebook seems to be trying to slowly appeal itself in the business industry. This is good news for us to generate more leads through the use of multimedia. Our profile pictures are also a valuable asset, as they lead people to visit your profile. Make sure your profile picture coincides with your cover photo, so when they have good chemistry it can attract visitors and eventually our leads!

  • http://jackiejohnstone.com/ Jackie Johnstone

    Yes! Love these examples of what’s now possible with cover photos after that quiet rule change :) To make your own custom cover photo, I LOVE PicMonkey — they have a pre-set layout for Facebook cover photos and you can add text, buttons and banners easily. (I love it so much I even made a tutorial: http://jackiejohnstone.com/2013/07/custom-fb-cover-picmonkey/ )

  • http://heksebua.com/ Linda Ursin

    I’d love to add one to mine. I just haven’t figured out what to put there yet

  • Daniel

    Amy this is a great post. I wasn’t aware of the small change removing the 20% rule so this is great news for me and my customers! I did take advantage of redoing some cover photos for some customers when news hit that CTAs were allowed by Facebook. I’m also glad to read that you recommend changing the cover out frequently. I’ve told my customers that bit of advice too so its good to know a pro marketer like yourself is also saying the same thing! Thanks again for sharing your insights with us!

  • http://www.freshrag.com/ Dave Conrey

    I just uploaded my first “call to action” image. I’m not sure how much activity I’ve got so far, but since it leads to my first book, and I have gotten a few new sales, I’ll assume it’s working a little.

  • Shannon Baker

    This is a great post Amy, thanks! This has been on my to do list since the change was made in March. I need to make it a priority because CTA’s are too important to miss the chance to use them on FB now!

  • Austinot

    Great article Amy. Solid resources too. All the best!

  • Suzanne Delzio

    Hi Amy,

    Help! For your great “how to sched Facebook posts” newsletter, I can’t find the icon for scheduling a Facebook post in the lower left of my status box. Do I have to upload the photo first? Thanks, Suzanne

  • Gary Hargreaves

    Thank you Rebecca! That is great news. Have a great weekend!

  • http://brankicaunderwood.com/ Brankica

    Love this and plan to put it to action next week as I “soft re-launch” one of my sites :)

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/ Rebecca Livermore

    Hi Suzanne, I’m Rebecca, Amy’s Content Manager. Are you trying this on your profile, or on your page? (The options are different on profiles vs. pages.) You don’t need to upload the photo first to see the schedule option, but you do need to at least click in the area where you type the status update for the scheduling icon to appear. Hope that helps!

  • NeoLife Club Leaders

    Have uploaded a new photo on my Page and clicked on the photo but no Edit option shows. What am I doing wrong?

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/ Rebecca Livermore

    It should look like this: http://screencast.com/t/gebK7hlTAIC — is that not happening?

  • Lynne

    Hey thanks for the info! So glad that facebook has amended their polocies and that we can use our cover photos to promote our buisnesses. Will try this one right away.

  • Dan Ewah

    Hi Carolyn, be sure you are posting as your page and not as your profile; if you do this, the edit icon should show up

  • Steve Sharp

    I was under the impression it was to actually edit and add link into the header. Instead it is when they click on the photo it’s in the photo information. I think having a call to action and button in the header is a great way to get traffic to your site.

  • Kimberly Anne

    You forgot to mention the coolest part of what you did with your cover photo! My biggest issue with putting text in the image is that on mobile devices, the text is overlapped by the page name. You kept all your text in the left side, so that on mobile devices it is covered by the profile pic instead, and still looks great. We need a template for that… :)

  • NeoLife Club Leaders

    Rebecca, is this on my Profile or my Page? I just can’t figure it out to save me. Feel free to email me at ps47corp@gmail.com if you’d like.

  • http://www.professionalcontentcreation.com/ Rebecca Livermore

    This is on a page — but I just checked and it works on my profile as well. Do you want to send me an image that shows what happens when you click on your cover image? You can email it to rebecca@amyporterfield.com and I’ll see what I can do to figure it out!

  • Amgad Abdel Rahman

    Thanks for your help!

  • http://168opportunities.com/ Peder Aadahl

    Wow, good catch Amy! that 20% rule was always kind of thorn in many businesses side. thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.gofireyourself.com/ Laurel Staples

    Great post, Amy! I was still stuck on the idea that you could only use 20% text, so I’m really glad that you shared that FB dropped this guideline. I’ll definitely be updating my biz cover photo now. :)

  • http://www.thecommoncents.com/ Joyce M Washington

    Great Post, Amy. I never know what to do with my cover image so it’s like the low man on the totem pole… but I KNOW it’s the first thing that people see when they come to my fb page… so it’s prime real estate. I just changed it up to “advertise” my free video series. I’m excited to see the results (more leads)!

  • http://www.MarketingBytes.biz/ Alison Gilbert

    Your site is only the second one I could find that makes any reference to the latest facebook timelines page cover information. The 20% rule is gone. Thank you.
    I am so fed up with facebook’s fickleness that I have changed the name of my page from ‘Page Cover Mastery’ to ‘Page Cover Mystery’. How can one take them seriously?
    You can view my page with acknowledgement to you in the posting area at http://www.facebook.com/PageCoverMystery

  • Nicole

    This is so great thanks!! If anyone is looking for local leads, thumbtack is great

  • Nicole
  • Ollson

    You can also find creative facebook covers for personal profile in http://facovers.com/

  • Carlos

    How do I add a link to an exisiting button on the image?

  • Jim Oberst

    I have done this with my timeline photo – a call to sign up for my newsletter – but is there any way to tell if it’s been effective?

  • Louann Cormier

    @jimoberst:disqus if you are using Aweber or another similar system, you can have the link from your timeline photo go to a different group name. For example, I have a group called Facebook leads, Blog Leads etc…But all of the groups are sent my newsletter. Hope this helps

  • Jim Oberst

    Louann, I use MailChimp, and I believe I can do that. Thanks!

  • Jim Oberst

    Louann, FYI, what I wound up doing was to just create a bunch of different embedded signup forms on pages of my website. I send people to the appropriate page. And I embed a hidden input “source” telling which page the signup came from. Works good with MailChimp. The groups is a problem in MailChimp because I don’t want people to see a different list name when they sign up.

  • Tom Leonard

    I realize this post is from a while back, but it really helped on figuring out how to create a link from my cover image. Thanks Amy!

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