As designers, we understand the importance of brand consistency across our clients’ online and offline marketing collateral.
A company’s business cards and signage for example should reflect the same identity as their website.
But what about your social platforms? Most of us now recognise social media as a great marketing opportunity but what kind of content are you sharing and is it on brand?
Here at Bounce Design, we’re producing more social media collateral these days for our clients so we thought it was high time to call in an expert article.
We asked local social media consultant Alana Dagwell to share some tips on how to best brand your social media platforms.
“The latest statistics from the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report indicates that we Aussies access Facebook 25 times per week!
That’s a lot of eyeballs on just one popular social platform and then there’s Snapchat and Instagram, which are growing quickly and Twitter is still hanging in there too.
It’s likely that people are visiting your social platforms more frequently than your actual website so making sure your social graphics are professionally designed is very important.
So what graphics are we talking about? There are three I’ll touch upon in this blog:
Profile picture: typically for businesses this would be your company logo. If you’re a consultant, you’d most likely use a professional headshot. Make sure your designer gives you a good quality, square version of your logo and ask for it in a PNG format as it will display better; headshots are fine in jpeg. On Facebook, once you’ve loaded your new logo or headshot as your profile picture be sure to write a caption for it. A simple, ‘Thanks for visiting our Facebook page, you can find out more about us on our website at ’ should suffice. Lastly don’t forget to delete your old profile pictures from your Facebook account.
Cover photo: I don’t think businesses are making enough of their cover photos. They’re available on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but not Instagram or Snapchat. It’s prime ‘social real estate’ as I see it and it may be called a ‘cover photo’ but it can also be a graphic. The cover photo gives you a fantastic opportunity to share more about what your business does. Like the profile picture, the cover photo on Facebook also allows you the chance to write a caption too. Your cover photo could feature:
- an upcoming event. It doesn’t have to be your own event, it could be one you’re attending or even a conference at which you’re speaking
- a certain product or service. As most of us spend more time on social platforms, how many of your followers actually make it over to your website? Why not feature a different product or service on your cover photo each month?
- a call to action (CTA). Ask people to do something for you. It may be that you want them to visit a new page on your website or book a consultation with you. A great CTA I’ve seen in a cover photo included a ‘sign-up to my e-newsletter’ message plus an arrow pointing to the active button below the cover photo that said ‘Sign Up’
- a seasonal or holiday message that might wish your customers an enjoyable break or notify them of your holiday closure dates
Social graphic: when I say ‘social graphic’ it could mean a host of different things but I’m sure you’ve seen plenty inspirational quotes on visuals designed for social media. That’s what I’m talking about but we don’t need to just create inspirational quotes (I think the world has enough of those). I’ve worked with Bounce to design social graphic templates for clients that I then turn into: a Tuesday Tip, a Fun Fact Friday, a Did You Know? and even a client testimonial. Visual content is “more than 40 times more likely to get shared than other types of content” according to Hubspot so it’s worthwhile investing in a social media graphic template.
Lastly, we all need images for our social media platforms but please ensure you have permission to use the ones you select.
Picking and choosing from Google Images could land you in hot water. Consider a subscription to a stock photo library. There are some reasonably-priced libraries out there today where you can purchase images for a few dollars. My favourite is Deposit Photos.
Some say re-posting images on Instagram is against their terms of service, however it is commonplace but just be sure to credit and tag the original source.
Good luck with your social media endeavours.”
Alana Dagwell is a Newcastle-based publicity and social media consultant who’s a stickler for good grammar and can’t quite cope with hashtags that are missing punctuation.