It’s easier than you may think. Here are some guidelines:
1. Use your own pictures – always. No “borrowing” from Flickr or Google or wherever else. If you’re going to put your brand’s name on an image, you best own it.
2. Create a consistent look. You want your images to scream YOU (or your brand) every time they pop on the screen. Accomplish that by using one of more of the following in every image:
3. Size matters. Each social network has its own specs for image size (both in megabytes and dimensions), and SproutSocial keeps track of them so you don’t have to. Might not seem like a big deal, but even platforms that share Instagram’s square shape use different sizes, and Google+ crops those into a circle – which could cost you your logo (or hairline) if you’re not paying attention). Create templates for the social networks you’re on, and use them.
4. Simplify the process. If you’re adept at Photoshop, great. You can certainly use it to make branded images for your social accounts, but if not there are plenty of easy options to keep you in the game. Try free programs like Canva or PicMonkey – or whatever works for you.
5. Dress up text. If photography isn’t your thing, or your business doesn’t lend itself to images well – or just to shake things up – remember that text can also be graphically appealing. A good quote (properly attributed), a “top three tips,” or anything catchy you can think of works when you have appealing colors and borders (see item #2), like this image from Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert:
You can do this in the image editor of your choice, or if you’re short on time (or know-how) use InstaQuote (available for iPhone and Android) for easy posting to Instagram. Just resize your “square” to post elsewhere.
6. Add brand URLs and hashtags. Last, but certainly not least, you want to be sure your brand’s website, social URLs, or campaign hashtags are on every image you create. You particularly want to be sure that your website appears on any images of merchandise so social users can easily shop when they fall in love with the image.
You won’t use branded imagery for EVERY image you post, of course – you want to share fan/customer images, and funny or inspiring memes that are on point – but you want to be sure that branded images are part of your toolbox so that followers of your social accounts see your brand’s name pop up in their feeds every now and again, attached to the images that catch their eye.
That way they’ll remember who’s responsible for making them think or laugh or run for their wallets. You.
Got a branded images tip not mentioned above? Share in the comments, or tweet me!
IMAGE CREDIT: DEREK GAVEY
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