Let’s be honest. When it comes to creating a content strategy for B2Bs, we agency folk frequently encounter roadblocks in the form of extremely technical content that most people find decidedly “unsexy,” private information, corporate red tape, and a whole slew of other obstacles. It’s up to us to find every way possible to make the content we have live as long (and thriving) of a life as possible.
Aside from the provoking thought-leadership and industry content, content distribution and amplification, social, search, offline promotion, and everything else that falls into a comprehensive content strategy, we need to provide ways to set our clients apart from their competitors. When it comes to using social media to promote and amplify content in a B2B community, some brands, however, miss one important aspect: the social profile cover image, and its ability to act as a free advertisement!
Take a look in Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Search for a B2B brand that most people would classify as overwhelmingly blah, not fun, or downright boring. What do you find? An exciting timeline image? A really awesome Twitter header photo? We’re guessing… probably not. That, my friends, is a missed opportunity! Read on for powerful opportunities to create specific profile images that promote brand priorities.
When a brand exhibits at a tradeshow or conference, oftentimes, they are counting on finding new business from show attendees or other exhibitors. Perhaps they are just trying to raise awareness for a new solution they offer. This is a golden opportunity to create a Facebook timeline image that showcases products or services being featured at the show. Is the brand displaying their fuel systems in the expo hall? Create an image of the fuel system in action! Provide the show dates on the image or a slogan that describes the action in the image, but remember to limit the text to 20%. Make it eye-catching. If you saw that Brand XYZ changed its profile image in your News Feed ticker, would YOU want to click on it to see a larger version?
SMX Advanced in Seattle may have just ended, but this killer Facebook cover image tells you what you need to know before you even begin to read our updates. We attended the show! What’s that? Oh, and we mentioned where you could find us, too. Keep people in the know by showcasing what your brand is currently focusing on (or attending) right where they can’t miss it.
Is your wholesale paper producer client currently running a special where customers receive 500 bundles of paper at 25% off if they order 1000 bundles? Do they REALLY want to get the word out about it? Are you catching my drift here? The cover image is the prime location to showcase a time-specific event or promotion.
These days, a lot of companies are dedicated to a diverse range of causes. Whether it’s fundraising for a cause like juvenile arthritis, sponsorship or participation in a charity event, product or facility awards, internal or external contests, openings of new locations, or even a focus on the company history, these are all instances where a cover image can give the event a little oomph.
Take, for example, the Cummins Facebook page. What do you automatically know before even scrolling down the page? Cummins is introducing a photo contest! Love it! In case you didn’t know, Cummins makes services engines and similar technologies. Keeping customers engaged (and excited) through Facebook is what social is all about.
What better way to promote a brand new product than with a beautiful image across your social channels? Tied into a content strategy including a press release (IF it’s newsworthy enough, of course), search, social, etc., the cover image will be the first thing users see when they land on your page. People don’t typically scroll down through a company page to see the latest updates unless they’re looking for something, so if you had posted about the new product and they hadn’t seen it in their feed or on your page, chances are they don’t even know about it. The cover image takes care of that in one swift glance.
Applications and Uses
For those instances where a product shot in action is just not very stimulating, consider a cover image of an application in which the product is used. Make sure it is specific to a project the brand is a part of. For example, say Brand ABC makes the bearings used in construction cranes. Hunt down an image of a crane featuring Brand ABC’s bearings working on a construction site and include some informative, inspiring, creative text to describe it. Voila! Your image of a boring old bearing is now that much cooler.
Cover images are an excellent way to spread the word about campaigns. Whether you need to raise awareness about a campaign to get the vote out for a possible award opportunity or if you want to inform the brand’s community about a health awareness initiative, the profile image conveys your message in an appealing format that people will be more inclined to see and, more importantly, remember.
Want customers to download a white paper? Maybe you want them to sign up for an event? Make your cover image make them want to download that white paper or sign up for that event. Know your audience, and know how to give them what they want without having to look.
Don’t be afraid to update your social profile cover images regularly. Just because you have one fantastic image, don’t just let it sit pretty for months on end. Not only will you and your followers get bored with it, you’re missing out on an opportunity to really seize the moment and give your content a little extra something.