by Lily Bradic
Creating images for social media campaigns takes time and energy. Whether you have designed an infographic, an image macro, or simply taken an interesting photo on your iPhone, you’ll want to make sure you’re rewarded for your efforts.
By branding your images, you can simultaneously ensure that you’re always credited for your work and that your images retain their promotional value once your campaign is over — wherever they end up on the Internet.
When branding images for social media, you want to include 2-3 items from this list:
If you only have MS Paint on your computer, don’t worry — there are plenty of online image editors that don’t cost anything to use. An online tool might even be more efficient than Photoshop if you’re looking to save time (and RAM, if your computer’s getting old.)
Social Barrel suggests using Pixlr Photo Editor to create a branding bar that you can use across all of your social media images. This method of branding is particularly effective if the images you share are usually the same size, as you can save the branding bar instead of creating a new one for each image.
You may want to create a separate branding bar for Twitter and Facebook, as the optimum dimensions for shared images are different on each platform (and you can then create separate branding bars with the relevant social media address on them, saving space and preventing your image to become cluttered with your brand’s details.)
SproutSocial’s guide to social media image sizes is always up-to-date, so if you are looking to take the "branding bar" path, you may want to refresh your memory on the ideal dimensions for in-stream images on Twitter and shared images on Facebook.
Alternatively, you can create a small branding overlay (or watermark) that can be added to the corner of any image you upload. If you are worried about over-branding — which IS a concern, and can deter people from sharing your images — you can just use your logo to brand day-to-day posts, and save the branding bar for the "important" items that are most likely to get shared. For example, charity WWF tends only to use its logo and hashtag on its images. This is small enough not to overwhelm the image, and as most people recognise the logo, this information alone is enough to identify the brand.
Readers: do you have any branding tips to share? Let us know in the comments!