How to Drive Traffic with a Clickable Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

The Facebook Timeline Cover Photo opens up a world of creativity for marketers – if you use it in clever ways.  

In this post, I will show you one quick way to take advantage of your Facebook Timeline Cover Photos – something that you might not have thought of. In fact, very few people are using this strategy, so it's time you took advantage of it!

First, some information about the Timeline Cover Photo. It's an awesome piece of real estate on your Facebook Page:

  • It's the first thing people see when they come to your page. 
  • When you change your Facebook Timeline Cover Photo, Facebook “announces” it on the newsfeed, and it will often get good airplay with your fans (you know the story – not all of your posts get “seen” so anything that Facebook favours has to be a good thing, right?).
  • Facebook values “images” highly and every revamp that they do features images on the timeline more prominently
  • Facebook have released the restrictions on the Cover Photo and now you have a little more leave-way to play with it.  No longer are you prohibited from including calls to action – you can CTA to your heart's content.  Which means the click here, do this, download this, subscribe to this, watch my webinar, come to my event shout-outs are allowed.  That's very cool.  The only thing you need to be aware of is that you can't have any more than 20% text on your Cover photo.

“50% of News Feed content today is photos and visual content” – Mark Zuckerberg

And every Facebook update brings more and more emphasis on Photos. Images. Visual Content.  Need I say more?

So here is the thing.  Many marketers and brands have embraced the new Timeline Cover Photo rules.  There are many examples of brands now adding Calls to Action to their images, but very few examples of adding really obvious “click here” calls to action – and taking advantage of the “clickability” of the Timeline Cover Image.  Here are some examples that I did find:

HubSpot Facebook Timeline Cover Photo
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HubSpot have included a Call to Action to Click and download their EBook

Mari Smith Timeline Cover Photo
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Mari Smith also ask you to Click to Register for her latest program…

So, how can a Timeline Cover Photo be “Clickable”?

It's simple.

When you Click on the Timeline Cover Photo, the photo will “open up” allowing the person to see the extra description you enter.  When you first upload the cover photo you have the opportunity to add a “description” and enter additional information.

This is where you add your:

  • “clickable” hotlink or hyperlink (URL) to your: 
    • website
    • product
    • program
    • webinar
    • event……….  are you with me?

Take a look at my recent cover photo – there is a strong call to action to click on the “button” in order to access my e-book.

Socially Sorted Timeline Cover Photo
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All arrows lead to clicking the button….

And this is how the description shows up when you click:

Socially-Sorted-Cover-Photo-Description
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The description allows you to add a clickable link and more information about where you are sending them and why!

So I decided to take one step further and create some curiosity:

Socially Sorted new Timeline Cover Photo - Ninja
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Click on the Big CLICK HERE and you arrive at the description and URL below….

Socially Sorted Clickable Cover Photo for Facebook - Ninja Image
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…where you are directed right back to THIS blog post.

 If you click on the somewhat cheeky CLICK HERE then you are directed to the description above and the URL for THIS blog post. In fact, that might be exactly how you arrived here.

Like? Well, actually you can use “Like” as a call to action too…but that's for another blogpost.

Remember:  it is a two step process. The main cover image is not “clickable” in terms of being an instant URL, but once you click ON it you arrive at the second description box with a clickable URL. As a result you can be very clever iwth your use of “click here” buttons on your cover photo.

Have some fun with it.  I created the last timeline cover photo using PicMonkey – my favourite visual social media tool at the moment. And if you want to find out some GREAT tips for using PicMonkey and other tools to do awesome things with visual social media, then be sure to subscribe to my updates (at the end of this post or on my home page) as I will be announcing a fabulous new program very soon!

Leave a comment below – have you seen any great Timeline Cover Photos that caught your attention or made you click? We would love to hear about them. Leave me a URL to the Facebook page so we can check it out!  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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66 Comments

  1. Kathy Hadley

    This is very exciting! I’m so glad this is allowed now. I will have to implement this immediately!
    Kathy
    kathyhadleylifecoach.com

    Reply
  2. Lori

    Great tip – I had no idea you could do that!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Great, then I am glad I shared it! Have fun with it!

      Reply
  3. Kerry McNally

    Wow that is a really great tip, I must go & play lol.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Have fun with it Kerry and be sure to send me a link so I can see what you have created!

      Reply
  4. Deb Dutilh

    This is a great tip! Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Ronda Del Boccio

    Fabulous point – and remember to OPTIMIZE the photo properties as well before you upload to B!

    On a PC, open your photos,
    Find the cover
    Right click
    choose properties
    Click Summary
    Fill in the fields.

    Follow your bliss!

    Ronda

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Ronda – yes definitely a “must do” to fill in the description and alt-text fields – I posted about that just recently. Thanks for the reminder for everyone.

      Reply
      • Ronda Del Boccio

        I made my cover for the Awakened Author Adventure page right after reading this post, so YES I’m ana action-taker! 😀 Feels good to have that cover done! Thanks so much!

        Reply
        • Donna Moritz

          That’s great to hear Ronda – good on you for taking action!

          Reply
  6. Donna Moritz

    Hi Kathy – this comment got “caught” (not sure why!) so sorry for the delay…great to know that you found it useful – let me know what you create!

    Reply
  7. Penney Fox

    Now,THAT was an awesome tip! I just went in and changed out my FB cover page, added a call to action and put the link into the description area. Thanks for sharing that one 🙂

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      AWESSOME Penney – what is the link to your page – I would love to take a look as I am collecting examples of what people do with this! Good on you for taking action!

      Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      I found it – and I LOVE it! Good one!

      Reply
      • Penney Fox

        I was out all day yesterday and just now got a chance to respond. Glad you found my first attempt and think it’s a good start. I pulled together a couple of pins I made and just did a quick Picmonkey FB collage image. I’m working on a product launch in Sept and now I’m adding a new FB cover to my list of graphics to produce for the launch. Hopefully, that one can be added to your list of examples.

        Reply
  8. Janis N. Senungetuk

    Wow, great tip, thanks! I’ll let you know how I make use of it.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      That’s great Janis – I will look forward to it!

      Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hey Rohan – It’s great – well done. I couldn’t resist clicking to see what was behind the cover photo. I really like how you are driving traffic to your website – always the best place to take them! Great example! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  9. Susie

    Great tip, thank you so much! I’ve changed my cover photo now after much faffing. Had to optimise for web & devices in Photoshop, as text was blurred uploading as a simple jpeg. Check out my Facebook page/cover photo. It’s hard doing a CTA & interesting kid friendly photo!
    https://www.facebook.com/TreacleMums

    Reply
  10. Dale Lotter

    Great post! I know I’m late to this discussion. I just found your wonderful website. I have a question, concerning clickable images. How do I make a photo in my timeline Clickable? Obviously want to drive traffic to my website. If the image is not clickable some folks get confused and don’t click on the link. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi Dale – thanks for your feedback. Just as the cover photo is “clickable” in the sense that an action happens when someone clicks on it….the same goes for an image on your page timeline. If someone clicks on it they will see a link….but then again they should be able to see the link before clicking on it. For the most part people do understand that they can click on a link in the second stage. You may lose the odd confused person, but this is Facebook, it is free, and you will never get everyone take action. The other thing you can do is add a “Click on the link” phrase – sometimes making it obvious is all that people need to hear. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Dale Lotter

        Thanks very much Donna! In my ignorance I was hoping there was a way. Images that are posted in a timeline, that are pulled from a website are clickable. What makes them clickable? Is there not a way to link the page you want your readers to visit on your website by “sharing” it on your timeline? Facebook however will not pull images from my site, hence this line of questioning. Is there a sort of Facebook optimization that needs to be done to allow this? Sorry if this is really confusing/mundane stuff. I’m just starting out and would love to improve my traffic from FB. Thanks!

        Reply
        • Donna Moritz

          Hi Dave, sorry I thought you were meaning images that you upload (ie not a direct link through to a post) in the first comment. Yes, if you put a link on the post, it will automatically upload a thumbnail image and short intro with a link through to the article. It shows up as a small image, and these types of posts do not tend to get a lot of reach on the timeline – Facebook tends to push images that you upload or text posts out more readily (ie they tend to get less engagement because less people tend to see them on their newsfeed). What is also good to do is to upload an image and then put the link to your site/article/post in the body of text – the image stands out (ie is bigger) on the timeline and the person can still click on the link. They are just two ways of doing it. The first way is great if you are pushed for time, the second is where you are looking to perhaps get noticed more, get more shares or get more engagement – as people tend to interact more with full size images. Hope that makes sense. If you are looking to just share a page on your website, for sure, go with the first option at least .

          Reply
          • Dale Lotter

            Thanks very much for your time and help. You certainly practice what you preach!

          • Donna Moritz

            No problem – and sorry if I confused you in the first message! Have a great day!

  11. Jaelex

    Great idea! I’m going to use this one! Thanks again, Donna, for another fantastic tip! 🙂

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      You are very welcome – be sure to send me a heads up if you have any examples that work for you – I love showcasing examples from my readers!

      Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Love Love Love Love Love It! How perfectly timed – I am just putting slides together for my program, and I will be using this as an example of a great “clickable” timeline cover photo. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
      • MarissaBeautifullyOrganised

        Oh thank you! xx

        Reply
  12. MysteryGuest

    Too late to the party! I gave this tip a try, only to find that Facebook seems to have disabled it. (You might want to update your story and save the next reader time and disappointment.) I am however, glad to have discovered your site!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hey there – thanks for your kind words about my blog – that is so strange though as it is still working for mine and a couple of others I just checked. ie you click on the cover photo and it opens up a light box/second image and you can then click on the hyperlink …where is it breaking down for you just so I check the problem? I have not heard anything about Facebook disabling links on image descriptions….so just want to check why you are not seeing it work at your end. Thanks!

      Reply
      • MysteryGuest

        No, Donna, you’re right and I misread the original story. I thought this technique would give me a straight link through to another site. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

        I’ve already started figuring out how to use it. Thanks for getting back to me.

        Reply
        • Donna Moritz

          No problem – yes I wish they were really one click but you can still use psychology to get people to “click” using buttons etc and then they are somewhat committed so the link should be an easy second step. Have fun with it and let me know what you create!

          Reply
          • MysteryGuest

            Thanks again!

  13. Lara

    Can I create something like this in PicMonkey with just the free service?

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi Lara -I believe you can via their collage feature! Hope that helps.

      Reply
  14. Howie

    Is this feature still working, I went to your facebook page and the header link didn’t take me anywhere? I also didn’t see where I can edit the actual info about the new header? I uploaded my new facebook header, thoughts?
    Howard

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi Howard – yes it does still “work” but, just bear in mind that the word “clickable” is a play on words in that you click on the image and it opens up a light box/second image and you can then click on the hyperlink …ie the idea is to get the person to see the hyperlink after they click the image and then click on that – it’s a two step process. I wish that it was a true “clickable” image in that people click on the timeline cover photo and they are automatically taken to the website etc, but unfortunately it is a two step process. Still, you can be clever with the idea of “click here” buttons on your cover photo. I hope that helps…

      Reply
      • Howie

        Thanks for the reply Donna!

        Have you heard of fb infiltrator?

        Does it work, is it a scam or a short term thing that will work until Facebook kills it?

        Reply
  15. Cassye

    I actually knew this, but had forgotten how to do it. So simple and effective. Thank you so much for the reminder!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Oh cool! Great to hear Cassye – it’s a good one for sure – simple to add….

      Reply
  16. nathan Graybill

    Thanks for putting this post together.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      No problems Nathan – glad you found it useful!

      Reply
  17. Sarah Jensen

    So helpful thanks Donna. I’ve just updated my cover pic and made it clickable through to my opt-in – thank you for your help. 🙂

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      You are very welcome – it’s such a simple thing to do, hey! Hope it gets you some more traffic to your opt in!

      Reply
  18. ttt

    great idea but it does not work anymore

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi – actually it does but if you read the article the word “clickable” is a play on words in that you click on the image and it opens up a light box/second image and you can then click on the hyperlink …ie the idea is to get the person to see the hyperlink after they click the image and then click on that – it’s a two step process. I wish that it was a true “clickable” image in that people click on the timeline cover photo and they are automatically taken to the website etc, but unfortunately it is a two step process. Still, you can be clever with the idea of “click here” buttons on your cover photo. I hope that helps…

      Reply
      • Isso miso

        plz i need a help i dont know why my created page on facebook isnt clickale i think i need to do all the steps from beginning

        Reply
  19. Ventura County Resident

    Facebook has stopped allowing users to create clickable images with links to other sites! What you are showing us is simply another way to view the face book post and then get people to click the link in the post. NOT the same as a true clickable image with link!!! Just another example of facebook trying to control everything we do!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks so much for your insightful comment – I guess you didn’t get to read the whole post. It’s a play on words. Of course there is no clickable link. As I stated here:

      Remember: it is a two step process. The main cover image is not “clickable” in terms of being an instant URL, but once you click ON it you arrive at the second description box with a clickable URL. As a result you can be very clever iwth your use of “click here” buttons on your cover photo.

      It’s about calls to action and getting people to click through. It’s been a very successful technique for many brands and marketers – super simple to set up and takes advantage of not just the image but the description that sits behind the image where you can enter a clickable link. I hope that clears things up for you.

      Reply
      • Nathalie Richard

        Ok, but please choose your post titles more carefully. Calling this article “How to Drive Traffic with a CLICKABLE Facebook Timeline Cover Photo” is very misleading! You say it’s a “play on words” – which is not good or useful when it comes to practical instructions. 🙁

        Reply
        • Donna Moritz

          So sorry I inconvenienced you with my free content on this very old post. This post, like hundreds on this blog are written to HELP people. With no expectation of anything in return. It’s the closest to clickable you’ll get with Facebook, they haven’t changed it to make it easier in 4 years and a lot of people find this workaround very useful. I did not lead you to a “buy my stuff” post, did I? I didn’t lead you to a post about something entirely different… It is still useful if you are wanting to add a website URL to your Facebook cover photo as many people don’t see that they can add a description and link, so it’s the best workaround there is. Fortunately for me 99.9% of my readers like that I have tried to help them and fortunately for you, being cranky at me probably made you feel better.

          Reply
  20. Sh Owais Ahmed

    Yes its working really helpful for my SMM.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Awesome Sh – sorry I missed this, it’s an old post but great to hear it helped you!

      Reply
  21. Debbie Takara Shelor

    I saw Mari Smith was doing this and when I googled to find out how, I delightfully landed on your page. What great info and I can’t wait to turn my cover image into a clickable call to action. Woohoo! So exciting

    Reply
  22. Ian Ramon

    Thank thank thank you !! great article ! i now understand how to make my cover link to landing page… i was not putting much value on the cover description… but that’s the key !! SUPER!!! THANKs much love

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Cheers Ian – glad you can see how it works. It’s actually not techy, just a way of helping people to click through and find you based on your cover photo catching their eye first.. then giving them a link!

      Reply
  23. Vikk Simmons

    Stumbled across this post tonight as I was creating a new FB page. I read through your article a couple of times and then went to Canva and created a new cover with the “clickable” idea front and center. Followed your directions, uploaded the cover, filled out the description area as you spelled out, and voila! It worked! This is great and I’m going to update several other FB pages to take advantage of this. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Glad it helped! It’s a bit of a workaround but definitely worth doing…

      Reply
  24. Deborah King

    I do use a description for my cover photo but I need to now update the photo with some click here detail. It’s so nice to stumble on your blog from Google and find it’s an Australian one.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Deborah – this is a very old post but it should all still work – the good thing is that now we can add videos to our timeline cover too. Thanks and glad it helped.

      Reply

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