How to use Your Facebook Page Cover Photo to Drive Extra Traffic

How to use Your Facebook Cover Photo to Drive Traffic

The Cover Photo is definitely the hottest piece of real estate on the Facebook Page. All eyes go directly to it. And yet, it doesn’t do anything.

Lets be honest, the storytelling aspect of it is cool, how it helps you visually communicate a message sounds awesome and obviously, you need to brand your page.

But what if you could have a more active for the Facebook Cover Photo? Maybe serve to showcase a current promotion in your business or even to drive traffic to an external page or a Tab in your page.

Well, lets see…

Facebook Cover Photo specs

By now you should know that Facebook changed the guidelines for this and got rid of all the text referring to percentage of allowed text and even using a call-to-action. This pretty much means you can do whatever you want with it, except of course being deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.

Facebook Page Cover Photo guidelines

Click-throughs

We also know that we can’t redirect traffic from clicking on the actual Cover Photo. This is consider a “photo” and when you click it, it takes you to a regular photo preview page like any other regular photo.

But you can still use the Facebook Cover Photo to redirect traffic

A few weeks ago I saw Mari Smith using the cover photo to promote her book with what I’m about to call a “2-Step Call-to-Action” approach.

Since then I’ve seen others use the same technique, so I decided to do a quick test to see if I could actually get myself a few extra clicks.

So lets see what Mari did first:

Step 1

She used the Cover Photo to showcase her book “The New Relationship Marketing“, where she uses a strong call-to-action that actually kinda looks like a button.

How to use Your Facebook Cover Photo to Drive Traffic

Step 2

As soon as you click on the cover photo, you will be redirected to the preview page of that photo.

Photo Cover preview page

But this is exactly where the magic happens. And also where a lot of people miss the opportunity. Mari adds a powerful description to the cover photo that includes:

Mari Smith's offer

Well, I wanted to see if this could really generate some extra traffic and I decided to do a quick test with a promotion I was doing for SocialMouths.

The result: 13 clicks were generated with this technique.

It is a tiny number but like I said, it ran only for 1 day and it depended 100% on Organic Reach (meaning that no money was invested in advertising).

Most of the Facebook traffic coming to this promo came from other places like the Tab and the Timeline post.

Measuring results in Google Analytics

In order to get an accurate sample I did 2 things:

1) I removed the image from the timeline page to make sure the clicks were not coming from there

2) I created a custom URL to be able to track the source in Google Analytics

Will I try this again?

Of course I will, but next time I will test with a bigger campaign to be able to gather more data. Hey, those are extra clicks after all.

Sending Traffic to Page Apps/Tabs

The second opportunity is to simply drive attention to an App thumbnail by pointing at it using a graphic element on the Cover Photo.

Here is what I did this week in order to test this:

Step 1

I created an App/Tab to promote  a service and also designed a new Cover Photo to make it a lot more prominent on the Page.

I positioned the App thumbnail to be aligned with the arrow pointing at it.

How to drive traffic from the Facebook Page Cover Photo to a Tab

Step 2

Of course I also added a description to the image in case people click on the Cover Photo instead, that way I still have the opportunity to bring the traffic back to the Tab.

Drive traffic from the Facebook Page Cover description

The result: The Tab went live on the Page by itself, without the support of the Cover, and it received 17 clicks on the first day. On the second day we added the new Cover and the Tab received 34 visits that day.

Are you missing an opportunity here?

In the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to review several Facebook Pages from our community members and, this technique was one of the items I had in mind. I guess I was alert to see who else was doing something creative with their cover photo.

To my surprise, about 96% of the Facebook Pages I reviewed didn’t even have a “description” present in the preview page.

It’s probably that we are not even used to adding a description when we upload the image.

How about you?

Have you tried this in your Facebook Page? What other techniques do you use to generate extra traffic from your Page? Share your own experience in the comments below.

About Francisco Rosales


Co-Founder and CMO at TabFoundry. Author of the kick-ass Social Media blog SocialMouths, lover of mountain biking and fan of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. You can also connect with me on Twitter.