Facebook Cover Image Contest

In my role as Community Manager for the Humber Students’ Federation, my main focus is to encourage interaction among our students using digital media.  (it is more than just playing on Facebook all day – honest!)

My intention with this post is to help other student organizations learn from some of our successes and failures to strengthen their own social media presence.  Please feel free to use any and all of these ideas, and let me know how things turned out for you.

While finishing my MBA at Ryerson, I came across a slide deck from Jen Evans about Social Media Frameworks that I still refer back to.  She organized her thoughts based on: Goals, Audience, Content, Media, Promotion, Policies, Measurement, Resources, Refinement, and Iteration.  Using these groupings, here is a miniature case study of a successful campaign we ran during HSF Frosh Week in September of 2012.

Contest Recap:

Start date:
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

End date:
Friday, August 31, 2012

How to submit:
Step 1: Like the HumberLife page on Facebook
Step 2: Download the HSF Super Frosh World Facebook cover image
Step 3: Use the HSF Super Frosh World image as your Facebook cover and keep it up until Frosh Week
Step 4: Once you have changed your cover image, “Like” or “Comment” on this Facebook post.

How the winner will be chosen:
5 winning students will be drawn at random and notified via Facebook.

One of five VIP frosh passes!



The primary goal of this campaign was to spread awareness about Frosh Week events.  Our secondary goal was to interact with first year students before they even stepped foot on campus in order to introduce ourselves for the first time.  A third goal was to increase our audience on facebook.com/humberlife.


The primary audience was first year students who were entering Humber for the first time.  Our wider audience was all full time Humber students, since the events were open to all.


Content was critical in this campaign.  The content itself was exciting (Frosh Week concerts and activities) but there was also a secondary level of content – the actual Facebook Frosh Week cover image that we were encouraging students to post.

The concept of this contest was to encourage students to change their Facebook cover image (the large image at the top of your profile) to a listing of HSF Frosh Week.  After downloading the image from our website, students would use it as their cover image, then “like” a specific post on the HSF Facebook page (mainly for us to keep track of entrants).  The prize for the five randomly selected winners were free tickets to every event that week.  For a deeper look at the contest page – visit humberlife.com/contests.


Match your media outlet with the needs and wants of your audience.  In this case, Facebook worked well – a high number of first year students were comfortable with Facebook (surprise, surprise)


The contest was a self promoting concept – as more people entered (added the cover photo) more people became aware of the contest.  To get things started, we added the cover image to the official HSF Facebook page, promoted the contest on our website, tweeted about it, and included Frosh info in our bi-weekly email campaign.


Even though this contest was fairly straight forward, being explicit about contest rules was (and always is) necessary.  In this case, we identified exactly who is eligible to win, how to enter, and how the winners will be chosen on the contest page.


Looking back to the three major goals that we identified, the next step was to figure out what we wanted to measure.

Goal #1 – increase awareness about Frosh Week: use Google Analytics to measure the number of views to Frosh pages
Goal #2 – interact with incoming students: use the number of contest entries as a measurement
Goal #3 – increase the overal Facebook interaction – measure the increase in number of “likes” during the contest


To make this a successful contest, we identified a need for the following resources:

  • artwork (graphic design of the actual image students would be downloading)
  • prizes / incentives (5 VIP tickets to randomly selected winners)
  • time (my time to manage and monitor the contest)


After analysis of this contest, we felt that it was very successful – here is why:

Measurement #1 – more than 32,000 views of Frosh Week pages on humberlife.com

Measurement #2 – more than 70 participants (this means that for two weeks, anyone who viewed their Facebook profile would see a massive advertisement for HSF Frosh Week)

Measurement #3 – an increase of 492 likes to facebook.com/humberlife during this two week contest

Please feel free to use this concept and make it your own!  Let me know if it was helpful in the comments below…

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