Branding Your Company's Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

by Matt Marschinke

In Facebook’s latest push to evolve the future of digital marketing, they have released a powerful new tool to brands and marketers that will forever change the soul (and destiny) of Facebook marketing.

Facebook calls it Timeline. And although this format has been available to personal Facebook (profiles) for months, the new design layout provides brands with social marketing power like never before.

Of the most notable design changes implemented by Timeline, Facebook’s profile layout now encourages brand pages to add a cover photo. Imagine this cover photo like a billboard sitting atop your brand page. Other than page content, it is the most powerful branding tool that Facebook has created throughout the brand page evolution. It will be the first image your online community sees and is your first opportunity to communicate with them. What will you say?

Before you start licking your chops and brainstorming your new visual real estate, you need to understand a few guidelines of this branding power. Like any power, if used correctly, it can ignite passion in your community; but when used poorly, has the potential to impede and suffocate all that you (and your team) have worked for. But always be sure to obey Facebook’s rules ;).

Facebook Timeline Cover Photo Guidelines

Build a cover photo for sustainable shelf life.

Designing your Facebook cover photo for sustainable shelf life means discovering an all-encompassing, visually communicative design that represents your company’s “claim-to-fame.” Think of it as a classic, emotionally charged illustration that will communicate your brand’s values at all times.

This style of cover photo is essential to your company’s branding efforts and will be primarily used when your social program is not running a unique, promotional campaign. Think of this cover style as a timeless, classic, visual expression of your company’s service to your consumers.

Remember, your company’s social profile is an opportunity to present the personal and altruistic side that most consumers don’t see (or search very hard to find). Don’t hide or misconstrue it… own it. And be proud.

Show your product or service in action.

What better way to show the online community what you’re all about? Use your cover photo to illustrate the way your company or product helps your customers. Use this style to set a precedent; show the community what to expect (or what they could expect, if they “Like” you).

For example: If your company builds mobile applications, your cover may be a snapshot of a hand holding an iPhone. On the iPhone is a screenshot of your app in use or receiving its notification. Demonstrate your product or service, but keep a helpful and personable style. And if you must, use caution and be subtle with promotional “calls to action.” After all, you need to remain social, not promotional.

In the end, remain consistent.

Your marketing team works hard creating a unified campaign with various tactics for communicating through all marketing channels. It is the responsibility of your social program to maintain that message consistency with your branded cover and use of creativity. Social media campaigns see higher rates of success when used as an amplifier of traditional marketing initiatives.

Keep your social media marketing efforts just like your traditional efforts: organized, unified and branded. As a brand communications agency, Jacob Tyler prides itself on the promotion and education of industry topics, such as this. To learn more about specific topics or Jacob Tyler services, visit our website at

Stay tuned for the next addition to our Timeline 2012 mini series. In the mean time check out last weeks articles:

Staying Up With The Times: Designing Your Facebook Timeline” by Nicky Lavelle

Facebook is completely changing the way we do things!?” by Jake Brenner