When Facebook earlier this year unveiled its Timeline design for pages, the most visual change was the addition of the cover picture. The large photo space quickly became an opportunity for a brand to make a visual first impression.
It was an opportunity not lost on higher education.
Colleges and universities have done a great job offering audiences beautiful campus shots, but I’d like to think schools could put a little more strategic thinking behind the images they provide. A few already do.
Sure, there are rules to follow — cover photos cannot contain contact information, calls to action or references to other Facebook features — but the cover photo is still a prime piece of real estate.
Here’s five great examples of how colleges and universities are getting more from the 268,065 pixels Facebook makes available at the top of every page:
Celebrate Student Achievement
Susquehanna University: Gaining acceptance and achieving a degree are two of the biggest points of pride in the life of any college student. Why not celebrate on Facebook? Susquehanna University provides Timeline photo pics for students on both end of the spectrum.
Capitalize on Current Trends
Harvard University: The Timeline cover photos Harvard University offers demonstrate just how far Linsanity has come. Kudos to the Ivy League institution for finding levity in social media and capitalizing on the popularity of NBA player Jeremy Lin.
Promote an Institutional Mission
Christendom College: The Roman Catholic college in Virginia certainly does not shy away from its mission, but instead places it front and center on Christendom College Facebook Timelive cover photos. Use of the tagline “Restoring All Things in Christ” and quotes from Pope John Paul II make clear the values of this institution.
Commemorate Important Events
NC State University: To celebrate NC State University’s 125th anniversary and advance the anniversary theme of Tradition and Transformation, the institution provided an incredible array of branded collateral, including Facebook Timeline cover photos.
Build a Brand
Loyola University Maryland: Facebook Timeline cover photos from Loyola University in Maryland are well designed and cover an array of areas: Brand messaging, student success and athletic pride. It’s an excellent example of how much can be conveyed in a small amount of space.