What’s your bold, distinctive, inspiring message for your Facebook cover image?

by Carol Buckheit

In my view, Mark Zuckerberg has handed nonprofit organizations, businesses and other “brands” a Pinterest-like marketing opportunity with the introduction of the cover image for Facebook’s new Timeline.

If nothing else, the meteoric rise of Pinterest in the social networking world demonstrates the appeal of distinctive images that invite curiosity, astonish, surprise, or inspire.  Folks are just pooped out reading so much text. And, now, with the ability to upload a unique image to one’s Facebook page on the most trafficked social networking site on the planet, nonprofits can market themselves with renewed dynamism.

The question:  What’s your unique, defining message? How to convey that in a single image?

With my cover image, I wanted to celebrate the quiet dedication of the staff and volunteers of cultural, social service, philanthropic and advocacy organizations in Connecticut, beginning with the over-the-top impressive international outreach work of buildOn, based in Stamford.  Here it is:

Nonprofit MediaWorks Facebook

Come March 30th, Facebook will convert all brand pages to the new Timeline format, so orgs better get crackin’ on this.  Here are cover images from organizations who’ve already stepped up their marketing with the new Facebook look:

Connecticut Concert Ballet
Hartford Stage (featuring an upcoming performance)
Nathan Hale School House
Music Haven
Mystic Arts Center
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation
New England Air Museum
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
Greater Hartford Arts Council

You’ll likely need a graphic artist to create the cover image for you, since Facebook stipulates a 851 x 315 pixel image. Sizes of Facebook tabs and custom images for the tabs have also changed. Here’s a cheat sheet from Nate Devore on all new image specifications.

Importantly, Facebook is telling us that certain things cannot appear on the cover image, such as URLs, calls for action, or contact information. See the cover image guidelines here.

Need a video walk-through?  Here’s John Haydon on How to Convert your Facebook Page Cover to the New Timeline Layout:

Open the door and embrace this new marketing opportunity.  And remember that a picture says a thousand words.

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