Facebook Cover. Does it Matter? Yes!
It’s pretty much unanimous and there’s just no way of going around it, and neither should you.
Despite it, many Hotels still disregard the fact that we’re literally talking about the center stage of any visit (even more for newcomers), which is why it’s adamant that your Brand is communicated as effectively as possible and completely in sync with your Digital Marketing Strategy.
Taking as an example Portugal’s Top 25 Hotel Rankings in 2016 according to TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice, there are still way too many cases of literal curve balls when it comes to making the most out of a Free Tool, so go figure… :/
Official Facebook Cover Photo – Albergaria Dias – 1st Place in the TOP 25 Ranking
Official Facebook Cover Photo – Quinta Jardins do Lago – 2nd Place in the TOP 25 Ranking
First impressions do count and BIG TIME, especially when you’re talking about a strong visual medium, and can make the difference between a potential like and effective engagement moving forward or not. With an area this BIG, taking up almost a quarter of a screen on most desktop and laptop computers, you really want to cause a BIG IMPACT.
At the end of the day, selecting or creating the right cover photo sounds sounds like a pretty straightforward task right? WRONG. Brands should take proper time finding the right cover for both their company as well as their target audience/s.
There are plenty of variables that come into play, and hopefully we’ll cover as many as possible in the following paragraphs.
Quality is the name of the game when it comes to Content Marketing.
With that in mind, there’s just no place for low quality photos that may appear pixelated, blurred, cut off or distorted when resized to fit the cover photo space. Same goes for the need of it looking professional and being taken by a professional; amateurish or mobile device captions just won’t cut it, and that should not even cross your mind.
In the highly competitive and global business landscape in which companies operate nowadays, “Package” does have a strong saying in the way you’ll be perceived by others, so making a positive impact and showing that you do care about your business is definitely the best practice.
Each Social Media has its specifics, but since layout redesign is quite frequent, make sure to be on top of it.
Facebook Desktop Help is a pretty easy solution to keep track of the latest changes as well as Facebook’s For Business Official Page where you can always find the latest news, tips and best practices to help meet your business goals.
According to Facebook Best Practices Guidelines
– Displays at 828 pixels wide x 315 pixels tall on computers.
– Displays at 640 pixels wide x 360 pixels tall on smartphones.
– Does not display on feature phones.
– Must be at least 399 pixels wide x 150 pixels tall.
– Loads faster as an sRGB JPG file and less than 100 kb [if there’s no text included].
– In case of use of text complimentary to image, .png format will provide the best crispiness.
It’s all about Brand Coherence across all Official Channels and Mediums.
Naturally there will be the need to make some adaptations due to the size constraints of each channel, but having the same visual concept across the board will help visitors remember your Brand.
Still, brands should use cover photos as ways of connecting and bonding with their audiences, and not exactly pitching them products or services with a blatantly commercial message. You’ll need to be subtle, otherwise they may be turned off and not exactly keen on liking or browsing through your timeline.
Still not completely convinced? We’re merely talking about your own personal billboard, so why not try to make the most of it as a marketing and promotional tool, by having something that may grab the attention of millions of potential customers? No brainer, right?
Plus, if people are unaware of your brand and suddenly become aware of it, where’s the first place you think they will look? And what will be the first thing they’re gonna see? This may be the only time in which they actually visit the page, because from then onwards they’ll receive their future updates directly in their news feed, so this is THE BIG CHANCE to WOW them.
There’s not a consensual opinion about the theme, mind the redundancy, and it may vary from Hotel to Hotel, but the following suggestions are all valid possibilities, because at the end of the day, a stagnant page cover will be perceived as non-dynamic and that will resonate in a negative way towards the brand, product, service or brand.
– The Hotel
– Guest Rooms
– Restaurant | Meal Areas
– Unique Features [USP] – Recreational Areas
– Institutional Campaigns
– Themed Campaigns
– Facebook Milestones
– Upcoming Events
– New Products
– Emotion: making people actually feel something is half the job of leading them to action.
– Relevance: including something that fits with your audience interest work quite effectively.
– Colors: there’s a lot that goes into color theory, so picking the right ones is fundamental.
– Typography: choosing the right font that will make the message pass as clear as possible is also key.
– Hashtags and Text: finding the right wording that will optimize the potential interaction with your audiences.
Cover photos are a great way to express yourself, your singularity, but also a great way TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD.
We leave a couple of original ways in which you can do it:
– Tying your profile photo with your cover photo.
– Changing it according to special occasions, events, holidays, etc.
– Use it to redirect users to your website or a special offer currently in place.
– Ask potential fans to “Like” your page and/or share it.
– Include Easter Eggs that may lead fans to a special giveaway or event.
This one seems crystal clear to all, but under no circumstance should you ever use stock or library imagery.
What Visitors See Needs to be Exactly What They Get.
If you somehow present an unrealistic version of your “product”, negative feedback, reviews and word-of-mouth is a given, and can be extremely damaging. There’s naturally an acceptable limit of exaggeration, but good sense must prevail, because it’s exactly the same thing as presenting bogus information on a package in a supermarket.
Less is more… and in this particular case it’s no different.
A lot of marketers may feel tempted to include as much information as they can in a 851 x 315 pixels area, but this “jammed” approach may end up revealing itself to be counterproductive. Let the elements breathe and make sure that there’s no visual noise that will undermine all communication objectives.
– Don’t feel obliged to abide by the 20% text rule, but try to remain as visual as possible.
– Make sure that your profile picture is not covering an important part of your cover photo.
– Right align objects in your cover photo and integrate it with the rest of your page the best you can.
– Make sure you are using an original and unique image and that it relates immediately to your brand.
– Make use of “directional queues”, drawing attention to a specific item in an image and reinforcing it.
– Include an element that “pops” in you cover photo and that will act as bonding agent and main call-to-action.
– Make sure your cover photo is not at all deceptive, misleading, or in infringement of anyone else’s copyright.
– Use design tweaks to draw attention to the main call-to-action on the page, namely: Like; Follow and Message.
– Include shortened links in your cover photo description that completely align with your website call-to-action strategy.
– Pin a related post right bellow your cover photo whenever you are promoting some sort of change or replacing images.
Account Manager | HDS – Hotel Digital Strategy