I am not a social media consultant, so this post will not be on how to manage your social media channels.
I am however a graphic and web designer that focuses on branding, and this post is going to largely center around how to do just that – visually brand yourself on your social media.
I remember last year Jan of 2015 when I decided to really dig into Twitter. I would spend two to three hours walking up and down trying to put my baby boy to sleep. Cradling him in my arms and scrolling through Twitter at the same time. I spent many nights like this and as I engaged more, my following grew. It grew even more when I added a professional headshot and branded header image. Every follower made me feel like a huge success, like I was a baller! It became an obsession to grow my following. I started with 200. My goal was to reach 1000 by the end of the year. I made it! But somewhere along the way I realized, I barely got any leads from Twitter. It became more of a competition for me. This is where it dawned on me, how many of us start out on social media, wobbly legs and all, not knowing how to use it, not knowing it’s full potential. How many of us spend time on it, but don’t set it up properly?
People spend loads of time and money on their logo and website etc., but fail to carry through when it comes to social media. Social media is a powerful tool that isn’t given a lot of credit. Maybe because it’s a free resource – I’ve found things that come free aren’t valued enough. It might be the best invention since chips. Maybe because it takes time and effort to build a following? Whatever the reason, you need to spend some time on it because it will get you results. How much results? That depends on how much time you put into it.
Here are a few points that might come in handy.
I recall early last year, thinking I needed to get some professional looking headshots of myself, that I could use as profile pictures across all online platforms (right around the time of my Twitter sheninagins). My reason for this step was to make my online presence as real as…well me in real life. I wanted to build trust with my brand and be transparent. For that, people need to see what I look like. I got my images done through Chad Milbrandt Photography and even did a post on it. Since I made this change, my workload didn’t only increase, but the kind of clients I started getting, changed. Sweet, right? So the importance of getting a decent headshot is so so sooo important. Once you get one, please ensure you use the same image across all profile pictures representing yourself. Consistency is key and build brand recognition is critical. The other option is to have your logo as your profile image.
If you’ve already had a photoshoot, I’m sure your photographer gave you more than one beautiful image of yourself. Use one that shows a more relaxed version of you as part of the hero/header image. That’s what I did, anyways. For those introverts, you might not want another image of yourself repeated, and that’s fine. Instead use an image or images that represent your brand and logo colours. Or the other option, your logo as profile image and an image that represents your brand/business as the hero image. I like to add my website address and tagline on them as well – this does not seem to be a trend, just mine.
Social Media Posts
It is always nice to have a graphic image with each post you make. It engages the viewer more. The quality of that graphic or image represents your brand. So it’s best to invest in a good camera or…photographer. That’s a topic and post for another day. If you really want to do an amazing job, ensure the images reflect your brand colours or colours that gel well with your branding. Make it so, that if someone looks your page as a whole, they are met with a pleasant and pretty picture of who your brand is. Not sure what I mean? See these examples above and below. Beautiful to look at, right? Who wouldn’t want to follow that? Different social media platforms have different sizing requirements for their post. For example, the best pins on Pinterest are the ones that are tall in length and visually stunning. So if you are pinning blog posts, perhaps the main image should be designed with Pinterest in mind.I’ve set up a board on Pinterest that can give you all this information. Consider following it for tips and tricks on how to be social on social media and get results.
If you ask me, I think blog posts are important. It Is the one place that truly belongs to you with your name in the domain and your terms and rules. Daily blog images are just as much a part of your brand identity as your logo and website. They function as a marketing tool for your brand on social media platforms, especially Pinterest. Blog post graphics should have a cohesive and professional aesthetic that captures your ideal reader.
Youtube is all the raging trend and quite effective. So obviously, it is important your Youtube channel have the right imagery for profile and header. In addition to this, Youtube offers an option to upload a custom thumbnail image for every video you upload. It presents nicely when you put the title on the thumbnails with similar brand aesthetics. I suggest having a template set and ready. So when you have an upload to make, type in the new title and add an image from the video and you’re good to go! My personal tip, I like having a mini intro animation to open the video. It adds so much more to the presentation. Here’s mine that I designed in Adobe After Effects. You can purchase personalized intro for fairly cheap on various sites like Video Hive.
What’s the point of all this?
To boost your brand image and portray the standard of work/services provided by your brand. While you’re at it, if you get followers – that’s amazing! Just make sure the followers also convert to business. The time spent putting out good content should equal quality leads. So if you find certain media channels aren’t generating much – drop it (like it’s hot)! Focus on one that gives you results. No need to have an account on every social media site. We have a buffet of different social media sites/apps ripe for the picking. Pick the ones that work best for you. The best way to find which ones work for you – test them with your best content (put your best foot forward).
That’s it. This is my free advice. What are your main social media outlets? What are your challenges using social media?
Free Social Media Templates
Yessur’am also offering a free Social Media Post Template package. I hope it will have some value to you, even though it’s a free resource. Note, basic knowledge of Photoshop is required.
Instagram Post 1600 x 1600, Pinterest Post 1600 x 3600, Basic Post 1600 x 2000
Free Social Media Post Templates[smartslider3 slider=4] download here
UPDATE: Here’s a video I did showing how you can change the template to reflect your images, colours and text. It’s super quick and breezy.