Profile photos receive the most attention when consumers first visit a company’s Facebook page, so making a good first impression is a must. Here are ten ways businesses can make a positive and lasting first impression with the right photo:
1. Be professional. Make sure to choose a high-quality cover image. Whether you choose an image library selling stock photography or hire a professional photographer, the quality should be exquisite. Don’t ask the employee who just happened to ‘have a camera.’ Lighting, composition and the model will set the tone for the rest of your page. The first impression counts, so choose the best.
2. Follow guidelines. Facebook, Google+ and Twitter all have display upload size requirements. Try to go as close as possible, or even exceed their minimum values. Be sure to choose an image that makes sense when cropped as few people will click to view it at original size.
3. Be creative. This is where aesthetics count. You will have plenty of posts where you can showcase your product range, your latest offers etc., so make sure the cover photo sends a different message. Choose a subject that relates to your business but still appeals to the audience. For example, if you are a car dealer, then show viewers something they will enjoy such as a winding road at sunset or a scenic destination.
4. Stay simple. Don’t go for details. Nobody will look deep into the cover photo (unless it has something “hidden” feature that is funny and will make it go viral). Usually people will take one second to look at the photo so it should be clear, with no distracting elements. Chromatics should either blend into Facebook’s layout or make a contrast, but you should keep in mind their colour scheme. Don’t forget the avatar or profile picture. It will be displayed over the cover photo and should relate to it. The more creative this relationship is, the higher the impact.
5. Know your audience. You should know what your fans like. Check their walls and see what they post about and what kind of people they are. See here how many of your friends can view your new timeline.
6. Update often. If you want your visitors to stay in touch with you, you need to give them reasons to come back. Update the cover photo often so you have one more reason to reach their news feeds. But don’t overdo it or it will be perceived as spam.
7. Give them something to talk about. If your creativity exults, people will share your images. Go for subjects they enjoy and you will see how the images will be shared. You’ll not only reach your audience, but their audiences as well.
8. Play safe. Using a photo you ‘found’ on the Internet is neither fair nor safe. You’re potentially committing copyright infringement. Your audience consists of intelligent people and a violation of ethics could penalize you. Be sure to hire a photographer or license the file from a proper library.
9. Stay safe. Your images may get shared, so be sure to mark them with a watermark. Placing a graphic or a small notice will make people understand that hey cannot use that image and will help others to find you. Include your Facebook address to allow them to reach you.
10. Be in touch. Make sure to answer your fans should they comment on an image. Act as their friend, not as a company. Be a part of your community.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Serban Enache is the CEO of Dreamstime, a leading online stock photo database he founded in 2004.