We covered it well in our post last week on Brand Consistency, but the amount of people that skip easy branding opportunities really blow me away – and one of the most commonly overlooked online is Social Media Profiles. Social Media is so prevalent now a days too, I find more and more often I think of contacting someone by sending them a tweet or messaging them on facebook. We’re all online and really aware, whether we realize it or not, of how people look online. The whole old adage about “you only get one chance to make a first impression” or the fact that it takes mere seconds for someone to develop an impression about you is really something important to think about.
As business owners it’s easy to think about making sure we have a good business card and more often now people are making sure they have great websites too, but people often miss their Social Media profiles. Their either don’t know that they can brand them or they don’t know how. Well I wanted to share that all of the “big 4″ – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube – can be branded, to different degrees and I want to do a quick overview outlining what ways each can be branded.
Let’s start with Facebook. Pages and Profiles have the same ways that you can adjust them. You have your profile image and your cover photo. For personal profiles it really depends on how much you use your profile for business how professional you need to make sure it is. If you find you use it more for personal you can be a bit looser with it (but be careful – you may want to un-tag those crazy party shots if you know your business associates may find you!), but if you use it primarily for business then you will likely want to stick to professionally done images. So for the profile photo you generally want to use a professionally done headshot and on pages you can use a logo as well if you wish (if you use a logo on a personal profile you run the risk of your profile being shut down). Keep in mind, this is the image that everyone will see in their timeline when you post. Your cover photo is the one that runs across the top of your timeline view, so people only see it when they’re on your timeline. We recommend a photograph of a local landmark, product shots or a professionally made image for your business.
Twitter has three different places you can play with – the profile image, header image and background. Treat the profile image the same way you would your Facebook profile image, professional headshot or logo, again, this is seen by everyone in their feeds. The header image is what people see when they look at your page specifically, behind your profile photo and short description. A basic image is best here with any design elements in the top corners, other parts are covered in text. The background has a couple ways you can do it. You can either make one very large image or a smaller image that is repeated over the background. If you choose to repeat it make sure it’s not too busy!
LinkedIn, on your personal profiles you only get to choose your profile image, and same rules apply as other accounts. If you have a business page though you are able to customize your header image. We’ve used one similar to our Facebook cover image and it’s about the same dimensions, slightly smaller, so works well.
YouTube, you get two ways, your profile image and the background. Depending on how you’ve designed your Twitter background you may be able to use it here as well, but you likely want it slightly different. For our Twitter we’ve designed it so it looks like “sidebars”, and YouTube that doesn’t work. I find it’s best to use a very basic image that’s not too busy where if you cover up a bunch it still looks nice.
So there you go – all the ways that you can play around with the look of the “big 4″ of Social Media. Of course they all like to keep us on our toes so they do change relatively frequently. We do our best to keep our readers informed of upcoming changes and how to do it, so feel free to check back! And if you think it’s all just too much for you we’d love to talk to you about our Social Media Branding packages we offer, just contact us for details!