Social Media Cover Photos

What’s the first thing you noticed when you opened this page?
Chances are, it was the eye-catching image at the top. Your social media profiles work the same way; it’s highly likely that the first thing they will notice is the giant banner image across the top of your page – and if you aren’t taking advantage of this space, you’re missing out on the most prime real estate on your pages.
After all, with something that large and eye-catching, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? There are plenty of ways to create a cover photo that is attractive, informative, and representative of your practice.
Here are our top 14 dos and don’ts for creating effective Facebook cover photos:

Don’t…

…use a stock photo. They may seem like an easy answer; they’re typically high-quality, with good lighting and animals that aren’t blurry because they moved right when you took the photo.
All of that is true, but stock photos are also impersonal. It’s often clear to your followers that they’re looking at a stock image, especially if the photo has an all-white background. Additionally, if your veterinary clinic is using a stock image (especially a free one), it’s highly likely that another clinic is using that photo as well. If you want a cover photo that’s one-of-a-kind, stock photos are not the way to go.

Do…

…use a photo of your patients. These images are a great way to bring personality to your practice, and they give your followers the hope that someday their pet will get its 15 minutes of fame as your cover photo. As a business in the veterinary industry, you’re lucky enough to have some of the best subject matter around, so take advantage! With permission from pet owners, use either one large photo of a patient:

Or a collage of patients you’ve compiled (you can create one using one of these free online design tools):


Don’t…

…use a photo of your sign. We see this cover photo fairly often, and while it’s an easy choice, it might not be the best one. The problem with a giant image of your practice sign is that it’s not particularly interesting. You’re also not communicating anything particularly important or valuable about your practice. And if you’re already using your logo in your profile picture, you’re essentially repeating yourself.

Do…

…use a photo of your staff instead. If you want to show off an aspect of your practice, what could be better than the welcoming faces that greet clients as they come through the door? If you want to double down, you could always use a picture of your staff around your sign!


Don’t…

…use a photo of your building. Just like the image of your sign, it’s not very interesting.

Do…

…use an image of the inside of your lobby with some bright staff smiles. The idea is to make your practice look warm and welcoming.


Don’t…

…use a graphic of your logo or contact information. Cover photos are supposed to be very visual, and while it might be tempting to use that large, eye-catching space to share your practice logo and contact information, resist the urge. Putting that information in place of a cover photo can actually make your practice look unprofessional or at the very least, confused about how social media works.

Do…

…save the contact information for your About section (and make sure you’re filling out all the details in that section). Your followers are savvy enough to know where to look for it if they want it. Plus, you can use the Contact Us button to help them out. If you really can’t resist the urge to include that information, make sure you’re placing it strategically on top of an attractive graphic:


Don’t…

…use an image that’s too small. If your image resolution is too low, your cover photo will appear pixelated, which is never a good look.

Do…

…try, if possible, to take photos for your practice with a digital camera, or at the very least, a tablet or smartphone, to get a high-resolution image. If you don’t have access to one of those, consider creating a graphic and placing the image(s) you want to use inside the graphic, along with other images or words.


Don’t…

…use an image that’s the wrong size. This can lead to awkward cropping issues, such as staff members’ heads being cut off in the image, or the dog’s legs being the only visible part.

Do…

…use an image that’s the right size. If the image is the wrong size or will be cropped oddly on your page, you can set it to the right dimensions using a tool like Photoshop, Paint, or Canva.


Don’t…

…use a cover image that’s all words and no pictures. Like we said, your cover photo is very visual, and a prime location for a big eye-catching photo. When you use just words, you’re missing a valuable opportunity.

Do…

…use an image, and if you want to add some words or a call-to-action, add that to your image using a tool like Canva. It’s the best of both worlds – you get your message out, while keeping your cover photo looking attractive and engaging.


Don’t…

…use a poorly lit photo. The cover photo is such a large and integral part of your social media account page that it can be off-putting when the image you use is dark or shadowy. It could even be perceived as unprofessional!

Do…

…use an image with quality lighting. With a well-lit image, you give the appearance of professionalism and make it easier on the eyes!


Don’t…

…ignore major holidays or engagement opportunities. The holidays are the perfect time to give your cover photo an update. Show that your practice is staying on top of your social presence by changing your cover photo around the holidays and sending out a season’s greetings or a happy howl-o-ween to all your followers.
Additionally, don’t forget about using your cover photo as a way to encourage client engagement. Your cover photo is a great way to host or promote a contest on your social media accounts – or even to reward winners!

Do…

…use your cover photo to celebrate holidays and host contests, whether that’s by promoting your contest on your cover photo or featuring the winner.


Don’t…

…be afraid to use as much space as possible. With one of its recent aesthetic changes, Facebook moved the profile picture section for pages away from the cover photo, giving you even more unhindered real estate for your cover photo.

Do…

…make the most of your cover photo’s real estate. Choose a photo that centers its subject matter well and takes up as much space as possible!


Don’t…

…be afraid to get creative! One of the reasons we don’t love the idea of using a sign/picture of your practice as a cover photo is that it’s been done plenty of times before. Try to branch out and get creative with your cover photo. It will help you stand out from the crowd, bring a smile to people’s faces, and get pet owners curious to learn more about your practice.

Do…

…have fun with your cover photo – get creative, and have a sense of humor! You don’t have to keep your cover photo perfectly serious to be professional. Remember that social media is all about having fun and connecting on a more personal level with your clients.


Don’t…

…use graphic imagery. You’re in the veterinary industry, and let’s face it, you see some pretty gross things on a regular basis. Even if you think that certain procedures and surgeries are pretty cool, your clients might not feel the same way – and they might not want to see, in full detail, a swollen tick or exactly what neutering entails.

Do…

…keep your cover photo images light, happy, and pet owner–friendly. Show pet owners how happy and healthy pets are after they visit your practice, rather than the medical procedures you use to keep them that way.


Don’t…

…omit your cover photo altogether. If your practice doesn’t have a cover photo at all, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to create a strong first impression.

Do…

…use a cover photo that showcases your practice’s personality and/or sense of humor.


Don’t…

…forget a caption! Like all photos, cover photos offer the opportunity to include a caption on the photo.

Do…

…add a caption to add some context to your cover photo, whether that’s the patient’s name, a greeting from your staff, or even a witty comment.


These may seem like a lot of dos and don’ts, but it actually isn’t very complicated to create a cover photo that is attractive and engaging. Just ask yourself what your followers would want to see, and remember that the goal of using social media is to connect with pet owners on a friendly and personal level. If your cover photo fits with that goal, you’re golden!


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