Fear not, this is not another Facebook Timeline cover-photo tutorial
While the cover photo feature is certainly cool and companies are doing very clever things with it, it's important to remember the cover photo just sits on your page.
Most people will never return to your page once they "like" it. They most likely interact with your page from their news feeds, and may never even see your beautifully designed Facebook page.
What people do have the chance to see every day are the photos you post on your page. The more people like, share and comment on your photos, the better the chance your photos will appear in the news feed. This will drive more people to like, share and comment on them.
In other words, photos matter a lot on Facebook.
Start including more photos in your updates, and there's a good chance your engagement will soar. Below are 11 ideas for how pages can and should use photos on Facebook.
It turns out the marketing industry knows a thing or two about how to use photos to engage an audience, so I've included a few well-executed examples from some fellow marketing brands, as well as a few clever things we do at BlueGlass.
Don't fret if you're not in the marketing industry. Any business can use these ideas.
1. Post images from blog posts.
If you published a blog post full of compelling visuals, turn the post's images into an album. You can then link to the full post in the photo captions. These photos don't even need to be from recent posts. Comb through your archives and use evergreen content that is full of great photos.
Example: Search Engine Land got extended use from these fun, informative sketches from a blog post by turning them into a photo album. Not only do they make great content for Search Engine Land's page, they help drive its Facebook audience to its site to check out the full post.
2. Add images to announcements.
People may overlook a link to a big company announcement, no matter how exciting the news. To call attention to important announcements, include an image that will drive people to click on the link and help the announcement stand out in their minds.
Example: When Social Mouths redesigned its site, it posted a screen shot of the new site. It was way more effective than simply posting a link.
On our BlueGlass page, we added a simple picture when we announced our official conference hashtag.
3. Show off your office.
It is a no-brainer to showcase a hip work environment. But even if your office is a standard cubicle farm, there are probably some unique aspects within its confines that make your office photo-worthy.
Does one of your employees have a desk full of quirky knick knacks? Is your office fridge immaculately organized? What seems like a typical part of office life may actually be what makes your company unique.
Example: Raven Tools posted a lot of pictures after its recent move to a new office. When it shared this photo of its well-stocked pantry, I loved seeing what the team likes to snack on.
4. Highlight your team.
Who are the people behind your company? If you have a small or mid-size business, feature each employee's picture in an album with their titles and short bios (or a link to their bios on your site). You could also include links to their social profiles, which allows your audience to connect one-on-one with each of your team members.
Example: Outspoken Media showcases its team with on-site pictures, and includes short bios in the photo captions.
5. Show life outside of work.
People like to see other people having fun. There's no better way to show who your employees really are than by showing what they do for fun when they're not in the office.
Example: Some of our team members recently went to a baseball game, so we shared the pictures on our page to prove we (sometimes) leave our computers.
6. Create a meme.
It's no secret: The Internet loves memes. There's an abundance of memes out there, and probably at least one that relates to your industry. If not, you can create your own silly meme with one of the many meme generators out there.
Example: Hubspot shared this one that's extremely relevant to its business, but also pretty darn funny.
7. Post comics.
Since comics are colorful and easy to understand, they make great attention-grabbers in a news feed. Have fun with these. Like memes, comics are a chance to show your company's sense of humor.
Example: Lately, we posted some simple, but clever, comics on our page. Our audience engages with these far more than anything else we post. We could probably post a link containing winning lottery numbers and it wouldn't get anywhere near as much attention as these do.
8. Illustrate survey results.
Let's face it: It's an uphill battle to convince people to leave Facebook to go read a survey. Instead, post the results right on your page with pictures.
Example: Marketing Land made an entire album full of charts from a recent Google survey.
9. Illustrate statistics.
While you can't post an entire infographic on Facebook (you can, but it won't look very nice), you can still share small bits of data with mini infographics, charts and graphs.
Example: Social Fresh shared this chart from a recent blog post, along with a link to the full post.
10. Take screen shots.
It's much easier to tell people where to find or how to do something through a screen shot than written instructions. On Facebook, you can use screenshots to create tutorials with step-by-step instructions, highlight new features on your site, or call attention to a sudden change you noticed in a platform or software your audience uses.
Example: Social Media Examiner uses screen shots to alert its audience of new Facebook features. This is also a great way to encourage discussion: Ask if anyone else noticed the new features yet.
11. Post photos of animals.
You can always fall back on adorable animal pictures. If you have a pet-friendly office, show off your team's animal offspring.
Example: SEOMoz shared pictures during its "bring your dog to work" day.
Use the ideas above to better engage your audience and stand out in the news feed. Make sure the photos you post have a purpose and relate to your brand and/or industry. Aim to share photos that teach, entertain, inform or give an insider look at your company.
How do you use photos in your Facebook strategy?
Kerry Jones is social strategist at BlueGlass. A version of this article originally appeared on the BlueGlass blog.