Setting the Stage on Facebook: Why You Need a Compelling Cover Photo

By Megan Ramaley on April 26, 2012

So I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the guidelines surrounding the cover photo for the new Facebook business pages. There is a laundry list of rules out there but no clear direction as to what should be on a cover photo or how to properly use it to brand your page.  

When in doubt, emulate those that have been successful. There are some great examples out there of brands that are doing it well; Starbucks and Coca Cola, two brands famous for their conventional marketing as well as their social media presence. Both companies have great photos that really showcase the brand. So, what makes these cover photos so great, and how can you choose a stellar cover photo for your dealership?

1.       Chose something that is visually compelling but simple. If you look at Coca Cola’s cover photo, you will notice; the photo doesn’t distract, or confuse you. It uses a few different images to catch your eye and keeps the coca cola name in each of the smaller images for branding purposes. Take a few hints from Coke and throw together a few related images to create a new one. Have some photos of how the dealership has progressed and changed over the last 20 years? Create a time lapse photo. You could even do the same thing with an iconic vehicle within your brand. Have a few great shots of cars on the lot? Put a few together making sure your brand is clearly represented. The key take-away here is keep it simple and visually compelling.

2.       Showcase your personality. Have a mascot or an icon that people in the community will recognize? Work that into your cover photo. Love your staff and want people to see what goes on behind the scenes at the dealership? Take a great staff photo or an action shot in your service bay, use that as your cover photo. Showing your fans and followers that you aren’t just the same old car dealership can make you stand out and seem more approachable. Go on, have fun with it!  Remember, the one thing your dealership has that no other in the world has is YOUR PEOPLE and YOUR customers.

3.       Showcase your product. The Ford Mustang page does a great job of showing off their product. Is your dealership known for a specific product like performance vehicles, fleet vehicles or trucks? Showcase it on the cover photo. Have a great shot of someone driving one of your vehicles? It’s a great way to place your product.  Are you proud that one of your brands vehicles won an award? Show it off, it’s OK to gloat.

4.       Be unique. This doesn’t mean since every other dealership is using an image of the front of their building that you can’t, but pay attention to what others around you are doing.  Think about what sets you apart from your competition (vehicle selection, CSI scores, a large service bay that can accommodate more vehicles etc.) and channel that into your cover photo. Are you in a geographically unique area? A photo of your surroundings or a snapshot of a map could be a great idea.

Whatever photo or combination of photos you choose, always remember the basics; the photo needs to be 855 x 315 pixels and it must be clear, sharp and aligned correctly. I would even recommend changing your photo often, as it will show in the news feed every time a photo is updated (extra branding points for you). Finally and most importantly, always abide by all of Facebook’s rules. What do you want your cover photo to say about YOU?

Megan is currently a social media marketing specialist at Cobalt, assisting dealers with social media strategy as well as implementation and monitoring of their social platforms. She graduated from Western Washington University where she majored in Political Science. Previously, Megan was an Account Advocate at Cobalt, where she consulted with dealers on their online marketing strategies.

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