It’s great that we can utilize timeline cover photos for pages, but the Facebook rules on what you can’t do are incredibly limiting to what one can do. They are quite strict on what you cannot show in your cover photo:
- Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
- Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
- References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
- Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”…
I’m mainly concerned with these bullet points! It completely goes against the previous way pages worked and the way designers were able to get creative with them! Remember when everybody had huge arrows pointing to the like button! We’re not allowed to do that anymore!
The reason for all this is that Facebook wants page admins to use ads which is great if you are a big business, but if you are a charity or other non-profit this becomes more difficult.
On my own Facebook page I desperately wanted to direct traffic to my main site but I can’t put my site’s URL into the cover photo. Seeing as I had already created an app which would contain my site as an iframed tab app, I thought it would be brilliant to direct my fans/likers to that tab. However I would have to do this without having a specific call to action or by using arrows.
On scouring other pages I came across a few pages that already do this in a clever way:
One of them is the Livestrong Page. They have been very clever and used some of the existing design elements within their cover photo which helps to promote very specific areas of their facebook page but without breaking the rules.
I had to have a go with my own page and I was careful to make sure I didn’t use arrows but stuck to a strong line that frames a fairly ambiguous statement but still gets my audience going where I want them. See the result below:
I’m left with a few questions.
- How creative can we get with this?
- I’m wondering how Facebook will respond to this interpretation of their rules?
- I’m also wondering if this is bending the rules too much?
What do you think?