how-and-why-to-use-social-header-images

How and why to use social header images

Posted by benjamin in Digital, Marketing, Social Media.

The header image is the first thing that a user sees when visiting your social media profile. Think of it as your shop front, just like a shop, first impressions count. So how do you make the best impression?

Each platform is different. Not just the size of the image, but how best to use the space in order to advertise your company and what it is that you do. In this blog I will dissect each of the main platforms and how you can use the header/ cover/ hero image to maximise its effectiveness and impress those who come across your profile.

Facebook

Size: At least 851 x 315 pixels

How to use it:

When someone lands on your Facebook profile, the cover photo is the first thing they see. If statistics are true people make a judgement within seconds of meeting you – the same goes for viewing your profile.

So, what do you want people to think? If you make cakes then you want people to think ‘Oh, wow. I need that cake right now’. If you’re an interior designer, you want to inspire people, so make them think ‘I wish my home looked like that’. It’s all in the cover photo. Do it right and they’ll be putty in your hands. Well, they might like your page anyway.

Ideally your image needs to be around 851×315 pixels. Any smaller and Facebook will stretch it to fit and it will look blurry, any larger and you’ll have to choose a section of the image with the cropping tool. You will have to take into account any text that might cover the image and of course, your profile photo.

Keep it minimal. Too much text is off putting and could mean it ends up looking like a busy sales flyer. Make it clean, attractive and remember; first impressions count!

Twitter

Size: 1500 x 500 pixels

How to use it:

Much like with Facebook, when people visit your Twitter profile (which to be honest isn’t often as once they follow you most will be happy just seeing your posts in their timeline) the header image is the first thing they see.

It needs to look good. However, you need to be careful how the image appears on multiple devices as the majority of Twitter uses won’t be seeing this on a desktop computer. This means you need to use an image that won’t be affected by this.

It’s pretty pointless putting messages on this image as when viewed on a mobile it will appear significantly smaller. So concentrate on making an image that looks nice, catches the attention, impresses if possible or simply evokes a feeling of need in the viewer. If this is difficult to achieve with your particular offering, then make sure it’s brand consistent and clean, crisp and professional.

LinkedIn

Size: 1400 x 425 pixels

How to use it:

Have you noticed the new header images at the top of LinkedIn profiles? You may have seen them before on other profiles but haven’t been able to set one yourself. That’s because at first it was solely for the so called ‘premium users’, but has since been rolled out across the platform.

So, how do you use this space? The aptly named ‘hero images’ can be used for a number of purposes, whether it be to highlight certain information such as a website URL, grab attention or simply share a nice image of yourself or something that represents you well.

Remember, when you create your header image make sure it has a very high resolution and is less than 4 MB. Otherwise it will look blurry, but if it’s too big then LinkedIn will reject it and you’ll have to make it smaller.

There are stock images to choose from, 25 of them in fact, but if you want to stand out from the crowd then creating your own will definitely go a long way in doing so.

So think about what it is you want to come across, make it aesthetically impressive and serve a purpose. Use it as extra space to sell yourself or your business.  If you have a recognisable brand, then make it consistent with the brand and use the same images and fonts.

For more tips on using social media keep an eye on our blog.

Why not join in the conversation yourself? Tell us why you use social media. Follow us on Twitter @yourengineroom or at LinkedIn.com/yourengineroom.


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