The Facebook timeline cover is the most ignored piece of real estate offering free social media marketing to app developers. If you look at many app developers’ FB covers, what do you see? Pictures of them with their girlfriends. Images of their favorite video games or operating system logos. Drawings of their beloved anime characters. Photos of their adorable pets. Some of us even leave our timeline cover vacant (Figure 1)!
I mean, come on, don’t insult your Facebook cover on inconsequential images. And do not leave it empty. Not when you are an app developer who has created an app and who has put it up into app stores for sale. Not when you have plenty of app marketing to do on a shoestring budget. You want exposure for your app. And your Facebook page has hundreds, if not thousands, of friends or contacts whom you have painstakingly added or accepted over the years. Yet, what do these guys see when they visit your profile? Your cat looking up at them with the most delightful eyes. Goodness.
Start using your Facebook cover art as an online marketing tool to sell your latest app! Use it as a direct Call To Action (CTA). Although Facebook doesn’t allow you to embed a link into the cover image, you can still put the links (back to the various apps stores where your app is hosted) into the image description of the cover art. These clickable links will be displayed whenever somebody clicks on the cover image (Figure 2). And how do you urge people to click on your cover image? By having a compelling CTA on the cover art itself, of course (Figure 3).
What if you have a Facebook fan page dedicated to the app you developed? With a fan page, you can go one step further by placing CTA links on the fan page’s short description area (Figure 4).
To track the effectiveness of this free Facebook cover art advertising, i.e., the number of people clicking on the CTA links that bring them to your app in the app stores, use an online analytics such as bitly (bitly.com). Sign up with them, log in and follow these 3 simple steps (Figure 5):
Steps 1 & 2: Convert the link to the app in your app store into a shortlink. In this example, I want to generate a shortlink for an app called “Fish with Attitude” in the iTunes App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fish-with-attitude/id509854030). bitly will automatically generate a shortlink (http://bit.ly/11Sm39F) from this iTunes link, which I can then use in my Facebook cover art description. In fact, I can paste the shortlink anywhere we want it tracked.
Step 3: You will also be able to view the stats on the clicks on our shortlink (Figure 6) – total clicks for a date range, who the referrers were and the countries the clicks came from.
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 as many times as you need to generate new shortlinks to your app hosted in other app stores like Google Play or Windows Store.