When I first launched my blog, I didn’t really have a game plan in mind when it came to branding. I knew that I wanted to focus on teaching social media and content marketing to small businesses and blogs, so I went ahead, launched the blog and just started writing. I did not concentrate on my site’s overall look – images, fonts, colors and everything in between.
Every time I wrote a blog post, I would scour the internet for a free stock photo to use as the post’s featured image.
And that was not all!
I would then spend a whole bunch of (precious) time on deciding how to design the image – what fonts to use, how to make the title of the post look appealing within the image, what colors to use etc.
Obviously, it was very time consuming and the process had to start all over again when I was ready with another blog post. And obviously, when I would then share my posts via social media, every single image would be different – zero consistency!
Not very helpful or even close to being ideal when you are trying to build your online reputation via social media. Now, don’t get me wrong. It is not like you will have a bad reputation if the images across your blog and social media aren’t consistent. Yes, content absolutely matters (and will always remain “The King”). Great branding + bad content will still not work!
But if you are looking to build a cohesive brand and represent the same via your social media channels, then having a reputable branding plan is a must – to allow your readers to identify you from the clutter. (Something, I am glad I figured out along the way and found my branding zen).
In short, moral of the story is – your blog, your blog’s images and your social media channels should be identifiable to your audience and the only way to achieve this is to focus on building a comprehensive branding plan.
To that extent we are going to assume that your blog and its images already reflect your brand (if not, then you need to get to fixing them right away).
P. S. If you are looking for a detailed guide on the process, it would require me to write a whole new blog post, but you get the general idea, right? Make sure all your images have a cohesive design – fonts, colors etc. in sync with your site’s aesthetic appearance.
And, we are going to learn how you can take it a notch further and make sure your social media channels are speaking the same language. Today, we going to concentrate solely on Facebook.
By the way, I suggest you grab this handy “Facebook Branding Checklist” before you move ahead. It will help you cross things off your list as you read along. Click on the link above or on the image below to download it right away.
Branding your Facebook page
So, what parts of your Facebook page can be tweaked to reflect you and your brand? Let’s take a look at them one by one.
– Profile photo: [dimensions 180 x 180 px]
Displays 160 x 160 px on a desktop. If you need more info on all the available dimensions, check out this super detailed post by Sprout Social.
The profile picture you upload should be at least 180 x 180 pixels and should display a photo of you or your logo.
Now in most cases, even when it comes to your business page, I’d recommend you to use your own image rather than a logo, simply because it feels more personal (and this blog post caters towards small businesses mostly run by solopreneurs, I am not really talking about corporate brands such as Starbucks or Nike where a logo seems more suitable). When people landing on your Facebook page see a human face rather than a logo it becomes easier for them to personally connect with you and your brand.
Plus make sure to use the same photo as your blog’s main photo of you. Because this will make it easy for your followers to identify you in a jiffy.
Say someone lands on your Facebook page or your blog for the very first time. When he/she navigates to your blog via Facebook or vice versa, it becomes easier for him/her to identify you by looking at the same photo. No second thoughts there.
On the other hand, if you used a different photo on your Facebook page than your blog, a new reader could easily get confused. He/she might eventually figure it out but why make the process difficult, right?
This point pretty much remains the same for all the social channels we are going to cover in this series because your profile photo is the very first thing most people lay their eyes on when they land on your social media pages.
– Cover photo: [dimensions 851 x 315 px]
The very next thing which can be used to wonderfully reflect your brand is the Facebook cover photo.
The easiest way to create your cover photo is by using Canva or Easil’s readymade image template! You don’t have to worry about the dimensions. See the screenshots below for Canva and Easil’s readymade templates respectively.
You can also use PicMonkey. If you know how to use Photoshop, I’d recommend creating a template with the above dimensions for repeated use.
Golden rule – never EVER leave your cover photo blank! Having said that, there are actually many ways to reflect your brand using your Facebook cover photo.
I am going to talk about a few ways here by taking some examples to give you an idea about how it can be done. Here we go.
Example 1: My own cover photo
I like to keep things simple and straightforward. Reasons – I am not a pro-designer and I am still learning Photoshop. I think that a simpler design will not confuse my followers while getting my message across. But of course, those are my own thoughts. You can get as creative as you like with your Facebook cover photo.
I recently updated my cover photo because I wanted to share my brand’s ultimate goal – which is to simplify social media for businesses and blogs – with my Facebook followers. That is exactly what my cover photo says – “social made simple” and includes the #socialmadesimple hashtag. The background color is in sync with my logo and is one of the primary colors I use to represent my brand. You will notice that many of my blog’s featured images use the same color.
Yes, I have used a different color for this post’s featured image. But it belongs to my brand’s color palette. Ideally, it is recommended to fix a color palette for your brand so that you can use only those colors for representation – logo, images, social media, newsletters, etc.
Example 2: Cover photos with logos as the main focus
Now, you can either include only your logo or get plenty creative about how you include your logo along with various other components within your cover photo.
Take a look at this example from The Nectar Collective. Melyssa’s cover photo includes only her logo and a very short snippet of what exactly people can expect from her blog/brand. Definitely enough for a follower to immediately identify with her brand.
And now, take a look at this example from Against All Grain’sFacebook page.
The cover photo includes the logo along with three other images (two book covers and an image displaying various recipes). However, the basic and most important thing – that is the logo is being displayed loud and clear via the photo.
Of course, there can be many more ways to use your logo within your cover photo but as I mentioned before – the creativity part is left to you. Just make sure it makes it easy for your followers to immediately notice your brand and your business’s ultimate goal.
Example 3: Cover photos with email sign-ups as the main focus
You can reflect your brand as well as encourage people to sign up to your email list using your cover photo. Take a look at these examples below.
Chaitra uses her cover photo to encourage people to sign up to her list. Her photo clearly mentions that you will receive a free stock photo pack for your blog + business if you subscribe to her email list.
Simple Green Smoothies encourages you to join a free 30-day green smoothie challenge if you subscribe to their email list. Plus the photo is absolutely relevant to what they talk about in their blog. Green smoothies, of course!
Example 4: Cover photos with an upcoming event as the main focus
Have an event, webinar, e-course, ebook, giveaway, so on and so forth to promote? Mix in the event with your cover photo keeping in mind your brand’s aesthetics and use it for your promotion plus branding.
Donna Moritz from Social Sorted uses her cover photo to promote her upcoming webinar. Notice the use of her brand colors + her own pic in her photo.
Julie from Hello, I’m Handmade uses her cover photo to talk about her new ebook. Once again, notice the use of her brand’s colors and fonts.
Example 5: Cover photos with your personality as the main focus
If YOU represent your brand (which is usually the case if you are a solopreneur), use your own image within your cover photo to display your personality and style along with your branding elements (such as your logo, colors, fonts, and vision). Take a look at these examples below.
Marie Forleo uses her personal photo on her cover image to represent her brand because she is, after all, the face of her brand.
Lauren Hooker from Elle & Company uses an image of her working at her desk along with a small statement of what exactly you can expect from her business – “blogging, business and design resources for creative entrepreneurs” – in her cover photo. Since she uses her business’s logo as her profile picture, using her own image (because she is the face of her brand) within her cover photo adds that personal touch we were talking about earlier.
– App photos: [dimensions 111 x 74 px]
Okay, so if you haven’t given these tiny helping hands on your Facebook page a second look, now is the time!
Your app photos can be customized as well to reflect your brand and maintain consistency throughout your page. Use a tool such as Canva or PicMonkey (or Photoshop if you know how to use it) to create specific app images keeping your brand’s design in mind.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, take a look at this screenshot from my Facebook page below.
Notice that I have placed links to my free ebook, Instagram and Pinterest profiles from within my Facebook page (and the colors are in sync with my blog’s logo and images). Now, if you click on any of these it will open up the corresponding page for you within your Facebook page.
So, basically apps provide the opportunity to let your followers know about your other social pages, blog posts, email newsletter, special offers, and promos, etc. when they land on your Facebook page.
All that being said, how do you add one to your page? Very simple actually.
Head over to FNMaker to add the apps that you want. Click on the app and hit install to add the app to your Facebook page.
Now, although you can add more than three apps to your page (as you can see above that only three are visible on my page) Facebook displays the top three by default. So, even though I have actually added my Twitter page, you will not be able to see it unless you click on the “More” tab towards the top of my page.
What I am trying to say is that keep your top three social pages, promos, offers etc. at the top for maximum exposure. We all know how lazy people are on social media right? The chances that someone will actually click on “More” to view more apps is rather slim!
After you install your apps you will notice that they display their default images (mostly the corresponding logos). In order to change the image follow the procedure below.
- Click on “Settings” (on the top right corner of your page) and then “Apps”. You will see that it displays all the apps that you have installed. Blank if you have none installed.
- To change the app image, click on “Edit Settings” and then upload your “Custom Tab Image”.
- Click “Ok” and that’s it! Your app will now display a custom image in sync with your brand.
– Facebook post photos
As per my experience and research, people on Facebook love inspirational quotes! Therefore, if your page is big on sharing quotes and sayings (inspirational or otherwise) make sure your visuals are in sync with your blog and brand.
For example, try to incorporate your brand’s colors in your images and obviously don’t forget to add in your logo/website name (in a subtle manner) within your image.
The best way to keep things in sync? Create templates for each image type you usually share (using Canva for Work or Photoshop) so that you can reuse them without having to build things from scratch every time you share a photo update.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Use the same profile pic across your blog and Facebook page(s).
- Create a unique cover photo that reflects your style and your business.
- Customize your app’s images so that they are in sync with your brand’s design.
- If you create and share visuals on Facebook, again make sure they are in sync with your brand’s overall design.