Your Page’s or Profile’s cover photo is some of the most valuable marketing real estate you have on Facebook – how are you using that space to promote your writing or brand?
A cover photo is the large photo at the top of Pages and Profiles. This is a big piece of FREE prime real estate that many authors ignore or fail to take advantage of.
Why It’s Important
When you change your cover photo, Facebook posts that in the News Feed of your fans, and when they engage (Like, Comment), that post appears to their friends and gives them a chance to Like your Page. (Appearing in the News Feed of friends of fans is how you grow an audience organically.) Works the same way with a Profile cover photo.
It’s a really great way to let people know visually what you write, what you’re about — your brand.
** You are your brand. A brand is a promise to your readers and that promise is what keeps them coming back. Readers get emotionally attached to our stories, to our voice—especially to those writing fiction.**
A good cover photo will visually convey what you’re about, what you write, and your brand. Many authors use this space to promote their latest or upcoming release. Book covers are a great idea. What I see way too often are authors and writers posting pics of a bird they saw in their backyard, a sunset, or some such thing that might be fun for fans to see but won’t help new people get to know you or what you write. Those sorts of pictures belong in the News Feed, not your cover photo space.
There have been a lot of rules surrounding cover photos, but they’ve come and gone. *Insert Admin happy dance* What you can’t do is buy/sell cover photo space. Asking people to upload a cover photo promoting your next book is a bad idea even if no money is exchanged.
You don’t need to be the all-author-all-the-time channel, but this is such a great space why not let it do double duty! You should be changing up your cover photo every month or two simply because it gets such great exposure in News Feeds.
Tips For Using Cover Photos To Help Convey Brand and Promote Writing:
- Eye-tracking studies have found people notice faces before text. Avoid the temptation to use a lot of text (just to make sure people get it). Stick to ONE-1-uno call-to-action if you use one.
- The space on the far right is seen before the space in the middle or above the profile pic space.
- Where the eyes of the model in the photo are looking, users will follow that sight line — take advantage of this.
- Properly sized cover photos look more professional. Take the time to resize your cover photo to 851x315pixels in Paint, Picmonkey — whatever application you like. Some websites like Picmonkey, Quotescover.com and Canva provide properly sized templates for you to use.
- You can’t turn the cover photo into a link, but you can edit the photo after you post it and add a link or other text in the description. Where the cover photo goes, the description (and links) will go with it.
- Think beyond your book – what about your or your brand can you convey visually? I like to make people think with my writing so I’m trying to capture that in the cover photos above. If you write humor incorporate humor into the cover photo. If you’re a mommy blogger incorporate family life into the cover photo in some way (you don’t have to show your kids’ faces to do this).
- Instead of trying to promote ALL your books at once, pick one at a time — or the most recent release.
- Visit the Pages and Profiles of other authors writing in your genre. How are they using their cover photo space? Do they convey brand, genre, newest book visually? Don’t copy, but take the best of what you see from several sources and use that as a launching point in creating something unique to you.
- You don’t have a book out yet? Begin as you mean to continue – this means you can practice portraying you and your brand visually with fewer consequences. Experiment – see what people react to (go for positive reactions). Visit the profiles of prominent journalists and see what they’re doing – many of them don’t have a book but they are promoting their writing (especially columnists).
- Book covers are not the only way to convey visually what kind of writing you do — think outside the box. Stop whining – writers are creative people. You can do this!
Been told you should learn Deep Point Of View? Had an editor or critique partner tell you to “go deeper” with the emotions in your fiction? Looking for a community of writers seeking to create emotional connections with readers? Check out the Free Resource Hub and then join the Going Deeper With Emotions In Fiction Facebook group.