Setting up social media accounts for your brand can be an exciting experience as you begin to share your content with the world. Amongst the excitement it’s easy to miss simple design elements which can make or break a profile. Here are 5 basic social media design tips to help you on your way…
Your account’s profile picture is your ‘badge’ across the entirety of each individual social platform. It needs to be instantly recognisable within an 8mm wide graphic (sometimes less!).
Using an image of yourself or an overly complicated version of your logo won’t necessarily provide this. Instead, if you have a motif as part of your logo then just use that. Remember your account name will appear close to your profile image to provide all the information required.
Another vital detail to remember is that not all profile images are square! Facebook and Instagram utilise circular boundaries for their account identifiers. Make sure your logo or motif works in both, and is sized to provide a good amount of space around them.
Instagram utilises a circular profile image, make sure your logo sits comfortably within its constraints. As a platform, Instagram is the most coherent between its desktop and mobile versions.
Often a minefield for creating a consistent appearance, your cover images come in a vast variety of proportions not only between platforms but across the mediums they are displayed on.
With the responsive nature of mobile devices and an ever-increasing range of screen sizes, using a plain image free from text is your safest option. If you have used an image of yourself for your profile image in the past (see tip 1) then this is your opportunity to show your personal side!
If you do want to include text or your full logo then make sure it is presented centrally both horizontally and vertically. To avoid any information being cut off allow plenty of space to all edges.
LinkedIn works with a very shallow cover image making artwork choice tricky, also bear in mind that half of your profile image overlays the cover itself.
Research has shown that social media posts which include visual media can generate up to 2.3 times more engagement than text alone. For this reason it’s important to make your posts stand out and really reflect your brand with images.
With the advances in mobile phone cameras you have the power in your pocket to take high quality, social-worthy images, which are 100% original to you. Content could include your fantastic products or the results of the first class service you provide. To further add to your brand’s personality include behind the scenes insights and your members of staff.
If you prefer to use stock images, you can still add your brand’s own flair. Perhaps a splash of colour with a border or a subtle version of your logo in a specific corner.
Facebook’s grids work differently between platforms, with the desktop site allowing a more structured sequence of posting images, whilst the mobile layout features different sized artworks.
Only specific really to Facebook and Instagram, the aesthetic of your ‘grid’ (the collection of all your images) as a whole can really elevate a visitor’s experience. Using consistent colours and styles is a great starting point and can bring harmony to your page!
Taking this a step further, you can plan out your posts to produce a whole range of patterns to your grid. This can range from posting alternating types of images such as photographs and text driven graphics to form a checkerboard effect, to fragmenting a larger image across a range of posts, leaving the visitor inquisitive until the big reveal! These require forward planning; however, the end results can be quite striking!
It’s important not to forget your other social accounts if you are using a very specific grid pattern. Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter do not feature grids, so you still need to think about how you are going to share the same information in a more linear way.
The quality and execution of all four of the above points can be the difference between a visitor exploring your profile in its entirety or moving swiftly on to the next. Make sure that not only are the images and graphics that you use of high quality but also are sized correctly.
Check that your profile image logo isn’t pixelated and has a good amount of breathing space around it. Make sure your cover image displays correctly on all platforms from a 27” desktop computer to a smart phone. Forward plan your posts and imagine how the next artwork will fit within your account’s overall grid view.
Put yourself in the visitors’ shoes. Would your account be somewhere you would be enticed to visit?
These are just a handful of tips that can make a big difference to your brand’s social media through visually engaging elements. The key to building a successful online presence is to enjoy the process. Have pride in your brand and what it stands for. If you have any questions regarding social media visuals and setting up an account for your brand then please either comment below or use the main contact form and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible.