Social Media Savvy: It’s Still All About the Brand

One of the more popular posts I wrote last year was about social media branding and its importance to your brand’s reputation, especially if you’re in the marketing, social media, technology or related fields. After reading Dustin W. Stout’s excellent post on the subject, I realized an update was in order. The major social networks were busy editing, tweaking and re-branding in 2013.

Why does it even matter?

  • Your reputation — If your social media branding is out of date, what else is?
  • Respect — You’ve carefully cultivated your brand and want people to use it as intended. Extend that courtesy to others, including social media networks.
  • Brand police — The networks may not notice that you’re using their out-of-date branding unless you’re Coca-Cola or Apple. But remember, you are renting space on their platforms so it’s not a good idea.
spotlight shining on the major social media network logos

Your brand conveys who you are and what you’re about. Make sure to always comply with other company’s brand guidelines.

Facebook rolled out a new like button this year, but the social media giant’s main logo has remained pretty consistent. The company uses a white ‘f’ in a blue square and does not allow use of the full Facebook logo.

Google may be a brand master, but it’s social network Google+ is still figuring out which way it wants to go in that department. This platform has changed its branding every year of its short existence, and has currently settled on a centered ‘g+’ on a red background.

Twitter‘s flying high from its splashy IPO earlier this year (which has since come back to Earth), so its fresh branding with its legendary bird angled up makes sense. Stay away from the old ‘t’ or full Twitter logos, or the dreaded Fail Whale may appear.

Instagram is a new addition to this year’s post as the visual social platform has exploded over the past two years. The company has added video to its repertoire, been purchased by Facebook and moved to the web — a major reason to grab a badge and promote your account.

                 Facebook logo     Google+ logo     Twitter logo     Instagram logo     Pinterest logo     LinkedIn logo     YouTube logo

The current branding for the major social platforms is shown above. (Keep in mind that some offer additional options, depending on use.) For your convenience, I’ve linked each logo to the current branding guidelines for that social network.

Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you about social media brand compliance.

Is using current social media branding on your website, blog and other marketing materials important to you?

Is it as important if you’re not in a related industry?

Is there another social media network or platform you’re interested in?

Need to update your social media branding? As a special treat, Dustin has shared a downloadable file at the end of his aforementioned insightful post.

Well blog readers, it’s  been an eventful year. Thank you for reading along, joining the discussions and sharing our content to your connections. We really appreciate it, and wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

Spotlight photo courtesy of Virgin Mobile’s Wallpaper Swag Gallery // Social media icons were added

Stay safe and enjoy ringing in the New Year!

Jaime

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What’s in a social media profile? Everything.

Social media is still all the rage, even as it has moved from a trend to a more mainstream marketing activity. (Of course, there’s still those who snub their nose, but they’ll come around.) But many people still overlook one of the most important aspects — the profile.

What’s in a social media profile? Everything.

 First of all, the profile picture. This is your first step to legitimacy. It’s hard to take an egg head (Twitter) or empty silhouette (LinkedIn) seriously. Not photogenic? Neither am I, but you need a good head shot. With today’s technology that’s easier to obtain than ever. Some will disagree, but I see nothing wrong with cropping a candid shot or using a personal picture if it projects the image you want to project. Yes, you can use your company’s logo, but it’s nice to put a face with a name and help humanize the cold, digital world.

@jaimeshine Twitter bio

Contact information. It amazes me how often people leave contact information blank. Aren’t we on social media to be social? That means people need to be able to contact you to continue conversations, discuss projects or  partner on an initiative. Plus, there’s other benefits. Fully completed contact information helps give your brand legitimacy (there’s that word again!) and addresses allow users to check in at (and promote) your business.

pinterest.com/jaimeshine

The profile. This is your chance to shine. Think of it as your elevator speech in 160 characters or less. OK, that rule applies to Twitter, but keep it in mind for all of your social networks. Our attention spans aren’t much these days, so you need to be able to capture someone’s attention (in a positive way) before they jump to another profile or task.

Who are you? What do you do? Show your personality. Unless you just invented something that no one else on Earth has, you have competition. Why should a user follow, become a fan or connect with you (or your business)?

This is where the magic happens. Show people who you are. Intrigue them enough to follow, like, connect, befriend. Spark an interest that makes them want to reach out and say hello. Your profile can be a great conversation starter if done right.

@jaimeshine on Instagram

Update: My Instagram handle is now @jaimeshine for consistency.

While I do strive for some consistency across platforms, I also recognize the unique traits of each platform. I want my personality to shine. As a small business owner, I want clients, prospects, fans and followers to know who’s behind the Clearly Conveyed Communications banner, so they can connect with a real person. That’s why I’ve made the decision to keep some accounts under my name and utilize them for work and play. I believe in transparency, and this is the best way for me to maximize my resources.

Yes, my personality’s a little offbeat. Hence, my not hesitating to use my current profile picture on Pinterest (and Google+) in a plaid fedora or my favorite one, which is on Instagram (yes, that’s me after a cold weather run).

Clearly Conveyed Communications on FacebookLast but not least, the cover photo. More social networks have followed Facebook’s lead and maximized the cover photo on your profile. This is a chance to powerfully convey your or your company’s brand visually. Ask impartial friends or family members to take a look at your photo. What does it portray to them? Make sure you utilize a photo that displays well in the frame provided and follows the platform’s policies. The last thing you want is to have your profile or page pulled down because you’re violating terms. (Remember, it may be your content, but you don’t own your Facebook page. Facebook does.)

Your turn…

What do you focus on in a profile?

Do your profiles accurately represent you or your company?

Do you use the same pictures and profiles across your social network or different ones?

The pictures above link to some of my profiles, and you can see the remaining ones below. I’d love your feedback! Let me know what you like and what you don’t. (No worries, I’m not easily offended.) Seriously, I would love to hear your input.

In exchange, I’d be happy to take a look at your profiles too. Leave them in the comments below or say hi on a social network.

Let’s get social!
Jaime

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