How to Effectively Use CTAs on Your Brands Facebook Page Cover Photo

call-to-actionFacebook’s recent cover photo policy change has opened the door for brands to further capitalize on their existing social media presence.

Until March 20th, Facebook’s previous guidelines kept pages from using the banner image to promote contact information, calls to action, price/purchase information, and encouragement to like or share the page. Furthermore, brands had to keep all text on cover photos limited to just 20 percent of the cover image.

Now, however, brands can essentially post any content they want on their cover image as long as it’s honest and pertains to their business. The only real rule still left for banners is the 20 percent text-to-photo ratio.

With more freedom to brand and design their Facebook pages than ever before, page owners can take advantage of this to promote more aggressive CTA’s in their design.

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How to Write a Compelling Call To Action

We previously covered some of the creative uses for Facebook cover photos in one of our recent articles. These uses include posting contact information, purchase or sale information, and QR codes for smartphones.

You can even use your cover photo as the image that appears in your promoted updates for the News Feed! This improves your branding across Facebook and gives you a unified image.

On top of all of these benefits and marketing opportunities, perhaps the greatest advantage of Facebook’s policy change is the opportunity to make aggressive calls to action. Whether you’re encouraging people to visit your site or to like a certain link on your Facebook page, the opportunities are endless!

Love Without Boundaries Foundation

To Craft a Compelling Call to Action, Remember to:

1. Front Load Them With Subjects and Verbs

With only 20 percent content allowed in your cover photo, your CTA will be approximately the length of a tweet. Keep in mind that research has overwhelmingly shown that verbs have generated the most shares and responses on Twitter. The same is true for Facebook!

Volvo Live Launch

2. Be Clear

Don’t make two or three CTAs in your banner cover. Instead, focus on one clear objective. If you want to increase the CTAs using the banner space, then rotate through cover photos, but make each one unique. Clear focus increases impact.

Levi's

3. Be Consistent

Are you promoting a free eBook on your website this week? Then be sure to use the cover banner to encourage Facebook users to download it. By syncing your Facebook profile with the live status of your website, you’re signaling to users that your brand is cohesive and up-to-date on all platforms.

4. Include Numbers

Whether you’re promoting a sale or bragging about a statistic, using numbers shows that your brand is specific. Since the Internet is filled with guesswork and vague statements, consumers value specificity. Keep in mind that, according to The Science of PR, including numbers in any statement can increase total views by up to 10 or 15 percent.

5. Use 90 to 150 Characters

Don’t be too short or you won’t be effective. On the other hand, being too wordy diminishes the effect of your CTA. The sweet spot rests in 90 to 150 character CTA’s for your Facebook banner. Think of this as an actionable tweet that becomes static content on your page!

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6. Use Compelling Words

Verbiage such as insights, questions, review, why, top, best, and analysis are the most effective words in online content. These practical words have an advantage over more technical terms. Avoid being technical and keep words like investment and derivatives off your banner cover.

CTA Case Study on Facebook

Even though it’s been less than a month since Facebook updated its TOS, brands are already jumping at this new opportunity to call their visitors to action.

Take a look at some of the Facebook banners that are using this powerful new feature.

MTV

MTV Facebook

We’ve all heard about the power of cause-related marketing. Here, MTV harnesses the power of social media to promote both a cause and their own television program. The mixture of the image and text is particularly powerful. Since this banner image is promoting a single program, we can expect that MTV will continue to update their banner image regularly.

Skype

Skype Facebook

Skype’s promotion of their global contest is a reminder of how effective blocking your text can be. In their banner image, their text is broken up into 3 distinct sections. By doing this, you automatically see the brand, sponsor, and CTA. Our eyes are naturally drawn to the middle text while our peripheral vision subconsciously absorbs the brand.

Dove

Dove Truth Files

Dove is particularly clever with their Facebook cover. Notice how the image of the file with tabs makes you want to click on it. Here’s what it brings up if you do:

Dove Truth Files

When you click on the banner image, it brings up the actual picture upload. Notice how Dove nicely included a link in the description of the image. If you click on the link, this appears:

Dove Truth Files

The link leads to a Facebook application that looks exactly like their banner image! Best of all, this app is fully interactive. You can click, open, and investigate the tabs. By making it intuitive for the user to want to click on the banner image and guide them towards their app, Dove is to be commended for one of the most creative uses of a banner yet!

Smoothie King

Smoothie King Facebook

Instead of promoting themselves, Smoothie King showcased good branding habits by thanking their fans and celebrating their 40th anniversary. Notice how nicely positioned the text is. It isn’t “balanced,” as most of the text is on the right side, but it still feels natural because of how well the banner is designed. Visually grouping the text makes it easy to absorb.

Conversion Effects on Facebook

By following these tips, you’ll see conversion effects on your banner picture CTA’s skyrocket as this new avenue for content marketing is developed. Remember to focus your CTA’s on practicality for the masses, and keep them as short as a tweet. The clearer and shorter your CTA, the more effective it will be.

By keeping these tips in mind and focusing on clarity and strong content, your banner image could rejuvenate the way your brand uses Facebook!

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