Facebook Cover Photos: How Often Do You Update?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

As soon as Facebook unveiled cover photos, brands began creating apps to capitalize on this new real estate and spread their message to fans. Companies like Mountain Dew made it easy to be the first of your friends to have a cool cover photo design, provided you didn’t mind a little of their branding in there. Think of it like wearing a logo sweatshirt: everyone knows you’ve got the latest design from brand X, because it’s written all over your shirt.

Now, more and more brands are creating apps to help with profile design, particularly the cover photo. But is this a good way to go? Given that Facebook estimates over 90% of fans never return to a brand’s page after their first visit, interacting only within the Newsfeed, can we really expect the numbers to be that different for personal profiles? It seems to me that these apps are really for the single, end-user only and brands aren’t getting nearly as much reach as they might hope.

Yes, you can take advantage of the Newsfeed announcement, but I doubt it generates enough buzz to make these apps profitable. Remember the app tab from Facebook way back when? Once it became overrun with useless applications, Facebook scrapped the whole thing. My fear is that he MySpace-ification of the cover photo could backfire on us.

I’ve not seen any research on how often to change a Facebook cover photo. For me personally, I prefer to stick with one image for a long time. People get used to seeing that profile photo, and finding a good cover photo can be tough. I’ve only switched mine once, and I’m still not convinced it’s a keeper; my profile picture has been the same since I got married over 2 years ago.

For brands, I recommend updating the Facebook cover photo seasonally; anything else seems like overkill to me. But what do you think? How often do you update your cover photo, either on a personal profile or a page you manage?

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