Online Branding: What’s the Right Facebook Timeline Cover?

The new Facebook timeline has me thinking about branding strategies today.  The timeline is rolling out to everyone tomorrow, so like it or not, it’s time to think about how the changes are going to effect your online branding.

Your new Facebook timeline is important to your branding strategies because of the huge space your cover photo occupies.  The cover photo is the first thing people see when they visit your timeline.

Basically, its a person’s first impression of you.  So, if you use social media to grow your business, you really should make it a good one.

But what makes a good first impression?  Is it a picture from your family vacation?  After all, marketing is all about relationships these days.  And people relate to people, not business logos.

Or is it a professionally done graphic that incorporates your business brand?  People who are just on Facebook for “fun” will be showing their family pictures.  As a business professional, isn’t this a great way to show off your online branding?  An opportunity to convince people they should do business with you?

The answer is, “it depends.”  It depends on who your market is.  And it depends on what your branding strategies are.

If you are a social media manager, and people are looking at whether to hire you to manage their social media campaigns, the professional graphic is probably right for you.  My friend Kim Garst has one of the best looking professional covers I’ve seen.

And remember, your personal profile picture is inserted at the bottom left side of your cover, so your visitors can still see a picture of you even if you go with a professional graphic for your cover.

If you brand your business name or logo, rather than yourself and your own face, a professional cover consistent with your online branding seems obvious.

But what about the rest of us solo entrepreneurs?  When you’re looking for just the right combination of personal and professional, what are the right branding strategies for you?

Will a picture of your kids on your Facebook cover (a la my timeline) cause people not to take you seriously?  To think your business isn’t making enough money to have a “real” cover?

Will an impersonal graphic keep people from relating to you and feeling that they know, like and can trust you?

Again, this is where you have to look at your market and your own branding strategies.  It’s not as easy as, “this is what I want people to see.”  You need to ask “what does my market want to see?”

One way to figure this out is to look at what the leaders in your market are doing.  Look at your competitors’ timeline covers.  And experiment with it.  Changing your cover is simple.  Rotate various covers for a few weeks and see what kind of feedback you’re getting.

Here are a few good “do it yourself” sites that will allow you to experiment with trying different covers without spending a fortune for custom designs: — this one makes your cover using selected photos from your Facebook albums.

The other thing you’ll want to ask yourself when considering what type of cover to use is “who am I to my market?”  In other words, what are you telling your market on Facebook?

Do you share a lot about what you do in your personal life with your business contacts?  Does your market know how many kids you have and where you went on vacation this year?  If so, you may want to go more personal with your cover.

I’m thinking that a mix of personal and professional might best fit my online branding.  There’s so much room on your cover, a good designer could blend the two.

I like what Mari Smith has done with hers.  Obviously it will be changed soon, so I’ll tell you that right now it has a very cute holiday graphic as the main cover, and then a graphic showing off her new book that takes up a narrow strip on the right side of the cover.  A nice blend between personal and professional.

Whatever you decide, share your link in the comments.  I’d love to check it out and get some ideas from you!

JENNIFER HERNDON is a work at home mom with three fabulous kids, ages 3, 4 and 7. She has been enjoying the time freedom and financial benefits of working at home for over 13 years. Jennifer’s passion is empowering others to personal and business success through a positive mindset and consistent action.

Jennifer credits the turn-around in her online business to Jim Rohn’s One Year Success Plan, the perfect tool for planning a successful life. Here’s your chance to be inspired and guided daily by the world’s greatest business philosopher. Create your future with Jim Rohn’s One Year Success Plan and start improving your life and your business today!


  1. Great article…this was exactly what I’ve been thinking about. I’ve been playing with mine some but was on the fence as to whether I should include ‘branding’ or not. I’m sure I should–and now it’s just a question of how 🙂 Great info here!

  2. Of course, I had to add a new graphic to my Facebook page! Thanks for the insight and resources, Jennifer!

  3. Thanks for this wonderful post! I really need these tips!

  4. I can definitely use these tips Jennifer. For what Kim Garst had said in her article, all Facebook users are going to be converted to the new timeline on December 22. And I definitely need a great cover for my profile. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  5. GREAT article, Jennifer! You are so right…branding is a huge opportunity that the new profile presents. The new FB profile is a GREAT chance to share your business with your personal profile friends without being in their ‘face’ with a direct sales pitch.

  6. Love this Jennifer as I have had questions about what to “display” as my new cover image! I’m thinking I need to get a professional cover image done so that it can really stick out and be different! Thanks for the tips!

  7. I love your cover, Jennifer, and also enjoyed seeing Mari’s as I hadn’t checked it out yet. Right now mine is a winter photo, but I’ll probably change it to a family photo with lots of nature on display 🙂

    Thanks for this advice & happy holidays!

  8. Thanks Jennifer, I’ve been wanting to make a change and you’ve given me lots of ideas.! Woohoo! (-_-)

  9. Hmmm I really hadn’t thought about the new timeline and what it can do for my coaching business. Sounds like it is a fine line between how much personal information I should share. I’m trying to establish the separation between my personal Mark Gibbons page, and my Get Fit With Mark Gibbons facebook page. Thanks for this has truly given me something to think about starting off the new year!

  10. Can you believe that I hadn’t even thought about it! I have the timeline on my profile page but not my fan page.
    So that’s going to change too! Yikes! I guess I’ll go with something similar to my profile. A message or picture in the main frame and of course my picture in the small box. Don’t want it to be too formal.

  11. Thank you Jennifer. I’ve left mine blank because I’m not very good at graphics and the like and not really sure what I should put there. I guess I really need to get something good there though and maybe get my business branded.

  12. Great info. Thank you. I love Kim’s Timeline cover also.
    We have our graphic designers working on some free photoshop templates so that everyone can look super professional, with out any expense.
    I just hope the FB cops let us continue to market on our personal timelines…

  13. I love this article and thanks so much for sharing the different links to obtain a new timeline graphic. I’ve been contemplating the same…since I have a Fan Page..and do most of my business chatter there…still debating what to place on my timeline…you gave me lots to think about. Thanks:)

  14. There are Lot of Covers app and website who are strugling to set there Brand, but there are also few fb apps that allow user to create cover from your friend profile picture.Nice Post


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