Pretty much the first stop in any company’s social media push is going to be their Facebook cover design. Determining a strategy for how to make a page memorable is what they’re going to strive for. And there are a lot of ways to do it.
As a designer you’ve got to understand how these social media outlets function as a key part in a company’s branding strategy. Even in just determining the cover photo and profile picture for a Facebook page, you have to think about imagery, test, font, sizing, placement, whitespace. And don’t forget Facebook’s own requirements, neatly spelled out here.
When you first consider tackling branding, consider the goal of the company and the page. Primarily it’s probably to get more Facebook “likes,” but there’s always more to it than that. Is this a place where they’re looking to build a user community? Do they want to respond to support issues? Is it more about advertising new products or creating brand loyalty to the old ones?
Once you’ve discussed all of this with your client, you can take their FB goals and make them a reality. Get started by testing out these eight techniques:
1. Pump up the branding
If the company’s brand has a specific vibe, show it off! One of your goals in helping a company to design a Facebook page is to make it stand out from other companies, so show off it’s unique personality.
Grubhub is all about making ordering food fun and easy, and they know how to use lighthearted imagery to get a user hungry.
Google has a very specific look, combining a carefully thought out color palette and illustration style. They embrace it with their page, cleverly incorporating the symbols for various products into a very Google-esque infographic.
Virgin America‘s Branding is infamously quirky, like it’s founder. They don’t shy away from that branding strategy on their FB page, using colorful and seemingly random imagery.
2. Display the company’s core product or service
An easy go-to solution is to show off what a company does, or their most popular product. This is particularly useful for companies that may have names that don’t quite explain what they do.
Evernote uses contextual imagery to make users aware that they produce software meant for edgy and organized workplaces.
Herschel bags uses the same technique with a very different style, placing their product in context and targeting a very specific aesthetic market in doing so.
Behance just says it straight out with bold text — what they do, and a link to the website so you can head straight there and join up, yourself.
3. Create conversations
Hashtags are all over the place these days. A huge part of having a Facebook account is creating conversation between users — brands want people to be e-chatting about their product, spreading the viral word. One way to do that is to just tell your users up front what you want them to be talking about.
Levi’s uses imagery combined with a pretty dominant hashtag to prompt users into submitting the kind of social input they’re hoping to see — how this product is a part of their lives.
Hootsuite does the opposite, letting the hashtag be the entire message. It’s a bit mysterious, leading users to want to investigate further.
Adidas accomplishes this in yet a third way, tucking the hashtag into the background so the bold artwork they’ve selected is dominant, while providing a talking point for it as well.
4. Announce big news
Facebook is the perfect place to promote anything new and exciting going on with your brand, whether it’s a promotion, event, or some sort of award you’ve received.
Home Sweet Flowers announces a new partnership that’s going to add a ton of value to their brand.
The World Wildlife Fund promotes a huge upcoming event that they’re putting on, with cool imagery and a text-based message.
Musician Beck shows off his big recent award on his Facebook page.
5. Highlight the brand’s community
If a brand is looking to build out their community using social media, what better way than to put the focus right on the customers? Show off the submissions of your community, whether it’s an integral part of the product or a fun social media push.
Skillshare is a project-based learning model, which means that all of their creative classes are structured around students creating works. What better way to show those off than right at the top of a Facebook page?
Converse took a basic and classic product and customized it for all kinds of shoe wearers — and here they’re showing off individual’s take on their most famous export.
Etsy is all about individuals selling their wares, and they use their FB page to promote those awesome creatives, including linking to the seller’s Etsy page in the description.
6. Promote a new product
If you do your advertising right on Facebook, people are going to know that they can go straight to it for info on any new products coming out of the brand.
VSCO announces their new service via text and naturally, gorgeous imagery.
Famous for their vacuums, Dyson pushes some of their other products on their Facebook page.
Bonnaroo uses Facebook to promote their annual concert festival by promoting the best acts right where everyone can see them.
7. Play with a tried-and-true creative concept
There’s always a playbook full of tricks you can use, because they work. Brands have spent years experimenting with this stuff. You can take some of their techniques and put your own spin on them.
Coke plays on one of the most common and often cleverest tricks of continuing imagery between the cover photo and the profile photo.
HBO relies on users really knowing their product, using images without titles to show off their nightly lineup.
A Facebook Page shouldn’t be static — it should change with your company to keep user coming back for new information. Amazon uses the holiday to change up their look.
8. Make a connection with people
Literally, images of people. What better way to show off your brand’s connection to real people than to feature photos of them?
These may not be actual customers, but the viewer gets the gist — different people meeting and becoming friends. Airbnb focuses on that personal connection in their Facebook branding.
The other way to go is showing off your employees, showing that despite the size of the company, it’s accessible, like In-N-Out.
When in doubt, show of the kind of customer that you’re looking to attract, like SoundCloud.