One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of social media are images/photos, but specifically, the ones used in profile and headers. Because profiles are the first impression on social media, businesses need to have thoughtful and creative images.
Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information in photos. In fact, when images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page. (source)
Engaging, high quality and relevant photos are essential for any business with a social media presence. Small and medium-sized businesses often overlook the importance of every photo.
There's no formula for the perfect profile or header photo and they both need to be well thought out for each business.
There are, however, some best practices that every business can integrate into their strategy when creating profiles.
1. The company logo is the best use of a profile picture for businesses.
A logo should be high quality and distinct. Using bright colors along with a custom design that defines your business is a great way to stand out.
As you can see below, Pepsi, McDonald's and YouTube all use their high quality and bright logo designs as profile images. This helps them to stand out and have consistent brand recognition.
2. Effectively use the header and cover space to promote or draw attention to an important part of your business.
A header or cover image is the large area that typically defines the top portion of your profile on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Eyes are naturally drawn to the cover image because of the size and placement. To create an effective cover, use a high-quality image that either represents your brand or shows people what to expect from your business.
Another great way for brands to use this real estate is to promote or highlight a new offering. Netflix is a great example of how they use their cover to promote new or popular shows. @Netflix
both are also amazing at using videos on their Facebook cover to highlight products and features.
3. Use overlays to promote or inspire actions with a call to action.
Header images are an incredibly valuable place that shouldn't be overlooked. Using word overlays, businesses can promote current marketing campaigns such as a sale, highlight an offer, or provide valuable information to potential consumers.
There are so many great tools that anyone can use to overlay words onto their photos. My personal favorite is Canva
, a free app and web page that allows you to easily play with photos and customize them. Canva also has designs that anyone can use to easily make the perfect image.
I love this header image from @optinmonster
on Twitter. It's tough to convert their business into a photo so they've used a combination of the logo, bright colors, icon animation and a specific call to action.
4. This last tip is a simple reminder that each social media site uses different image dimensions for their profile and cover photos.
Be sure to check and customize your images based on each specific sites dimensions.
Here are the current image requirements for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
*As an added bonus, we are extending a free offer to our community. If you need or would like to have your cover and profile images updated and cropped we will be happy to help out. We'll drop by to take any photos or create an image that best represents your business. Call, text, or message us if you'd like to discuss.
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