Once you finally decide that your company needs social media, you have some work to do. The truth is that just having a couple social media profiles isn’t enough — they must be fully optimized.
What does it mean to optimize a social media profile? Essentially, it means to take every step possible to personalize your profile and load it with as much information about your company as possible.
Optimization will help your marketing efforts on multiple levels. First, by ensuring that your profile is loaded with information, your company will look legitimate and professional. Secondly, when done correctly, a fully optimized social media profile will improve searchability and visibility online. Finally, by taking the time to complete the following steps, your customers will be able to use your social media profiles as intended – as a resource. Certain platforms have algorithms and features that will only work if your page is optimized. An example of this would be if you have your hours posted on Facebook, users will be able to clearly see if you are open at that time with a bright green “Open Now” sign is lit, and will also inform your user if you are available for chat.
Remember when you first made your personal Facebook page and decided to skip entering where you went to high school or your birthday? Well, as a business owner, you do not have that luxury in the world of marketing. You want to stuff your profiles to the brim with content!
Check out the following tips that will help you as you begin optimizing a profile. For this first blog, we’re going to cover the two first visuals you will need – a profile image and a cover image.
Choosing An Appropriate Profile Image
The first step to optimizing your profile is to pick an appropriate profile picture. This is also one of the very first choices to make in your social media marketing in general because when you are creating your page initially you will be prompted to choose a profile image. While you will be sending out tons of visuals in your social media journey, this is perhaps one of the most important visuals of your marketing.
Typically, companies incorporate their current logo into their profile picture so there is no confusion as to whose page it is. Ensure that profile picture is clear and easy to decipher when it’s just a tiny avatar next to your content. People will see your profile picture on a regular basis when your content pops up on their feeds, so make sure it is unique and recognizable.
One of the most important rules to consider when choosing a profile image is to make sure the image is high resolution. Nothing makes your company look amateurish more than a blurry or pixilated picture. This is especially the case when you choose a logo as your profile pic.
What else makes your company look amateurish? A cut off profile picture. You ever take a picture and the tallest person’s head gets cut off or maybe something important is just out of frame? It looks bad, right? Well, it looks even worse if a business does this. This is when you are going to need to pay attention. Each social media platform have different dimensions. Some of them have a square frame while others have circles. Annoying, right? Well, to ensure your image looks just right, do a quick Google search or explore the platform’s FAQ section for the currently preferred dimensions. They change all the time and as such, it’s best to check out the most updated information.
If you are a smart marketer, you are creating a profile on all the top platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. all require your attention! Yet as you optimize all these profiles, make sure that all your information and assets are consistent all across the internet. In other words, use the same pic for all your profiles. But as I just said, every platform has different dimensions to adhere to, so you must a unique version for each site. If you have a graphic designer, they should be able to quickly tweak the original profile to accommodate these needs.
Finally, if you do not have a logo at all, go create one right now. It will be a major help in both online and traditional marketing. Keep in mind that bright colors and simplicity are best when it comes to customers recognizing your branding. Ask yourself these questions about your company’s message. What is its tone (Serious, fun-loving, etc.)? Which, if any, iconic elements of my industry and work translate into a logo successfully (for example, an auto repair shop could use tires, cars, tools, etc.)? Who is my target demographic?
Choose A Cover Image That Fits
Many of the rules for picking the right profile picture can apply to the creation of a cover image. Once again, each platform has different dimensions and as such, you will need to make individual image files for each of your platforms. A note to designers, do not just stretch or shrink these designs. Important elements will get lost or disproportioned in the process. Additionally, just like profile pictures, a cover image should be representative of your company the work you do, complete with bright colors and attractive imagery.
However, cover images have several additional rules that will help you take full advantage of this prime real estate. After all, this is the very first thing your audience will see when they visit your page. Consider it a banner, welcoming your users. You have to make sure it speaks volumes about your company in the most simplistic way possible.
A cover image and your profile picture should go hand-in-hand. If you are using your logo as your profile pic but still wish to incorporate it into the design of your cover image, make sure it’s subtly placed in the design.
It is important that a cover image has some form of information. You could have your tagline or slogan elegantly sprawled over a beautiful photo, or you could add a call to action with your phone number or web address. Regardless, you must choose how much info and copy you incorporate. Make a conscious effort to keep it simple and not busy.
Some companies will regularly update their cover image to showcase newly-released products such a new menu items, movies, services, and more. You can also change it up to incorporate holiday messages, support for charities, and more.
A word of warning when you are designing your cover images – test out your new design on several devices, especially smartphones. These images have a tendency to be clipped to format to a smaller screen. As a result, you should always have your most important information closer to the center.