Branding Your Social Media Profile (BSMP) is a new 1-on-1 program that helps brands bring their social media profile and presence to the next level. This series of articles is an introduction to some of the techniques and experiments that have been proven to make this underutilized real estate work for you. Brands and others looking for customized analysis and guidance specific to their profile(s) can register for 1:1 coaching here.
When you push your sleeves up and start your work on your branded Instagram/Twitter/TikTok/LinkedIn/etc. profile, the best and most effective way is to use it effectively is to tell YOUR* story.
The goal is to tell your story/narrative, and to share your differentiation vs the other 4 billion social media accounts, by using everything you’ve got at your disposal. When it comes to your profile photo, think colors, facial expressions, coffee cups, smiling pets, the ocean, a yoga pose — whatever you need to make sure your story gets told.
Although real-estate on your profile/bio is limited, you can tell your story through various elements: a 3-5 word sentence, a hashtag, or even through a …URL (don’t believe me? Here is an example: “website.com/BLM”)! And of course, your profile photo should tell your story too, since it’s the one of the first things your visitors look at.
So…how can you tell your story through a small photo??? There are three things to nail down here:
1 – Tell the Same Story
The photo must tell the same story as your profile text, your extended name, your hashtags, and even your URL. If they aren’t all talking in same language, you might not be successfully telling your story. And so, if you say you believe in optimism, the photo has to show good world, if you say in your profile that you love suits, wear a suit, be in the swimming pool if your story is swimming, and if you fight for black families’ lives, you might show the people who inspire you, and so on. I think you’ve “got the picture” – you need a unified message.
See the below example- what a great representation of “#AColorStory”, right?
Same with Anthropologie (bringing joy and inspiration via vivid, unique colors):
2 – The Perfect Size, Perfect Background, Perfect Props, Perfect…
Take the tools and environment available on the social media platform you are using, and perfect your use of it.
Each social media platform has its own photo specs, so – for example – while an Instagram profile photo size is required to be 180 x 180 pixels, TikTok’s is 200 x 200, and Linkedin’s is 300 x 300. Therefore, edit your profile photo to the perfect size so it looks good on every platform. If you don’t, your photo will be cropped and cut-off, like this one:
Don’t be discouraged though – if you designone good photo (or a logo), and save it in a high pixel format, you’ll be able to use it anywhere.
Next – the photo background can make miracles, especially for head-shots:
Great for differentiation, right?
Next – Using prompts could be a great way to demonstrate what you do in a visual way. If you’re in the mask wearing camp, wear a mask, if you are a flower specialist, hold (or kiss or insert into your “hardware”) flowers. Are you talking about poodle dogs? Show yourself hugging a dog… Demonstrate your personality this way.
In this example, a swimmer shares a photo of herself swimming (although the photo is not super professional, it doesn’t matter, it’s still a real winner, it brings a great attachment to swimming and to that person!):
Thinking aloud: Who says that there has to be logo on your social media profile photo? How about featuring a product with your logo ON it, for example a white sport sock with your logo on it… Wouldn’t that stand out and achieve more in terms of story telling? #branding
3 – The Rest is Up to You*
All the rest is up to you – zooming, lights, hair style, facial expression, attitude, etc. You can even make it all blurry if that’s your story! Differentiate yourself. Be creative. Dare. Because if you just do what your neighbor from the same area-code did, people won’t “see the you* in you” and it won’t work.
Pro Tip: Test test test… It is our natural behavior to just grab a photo (or logo) we always liked from our past and force it into the platform profile software. The results could be great or… disastrous. And so – upload it, see how it looks on that platform – is it cut off? If yes, what’s the point. It’s OK to make a mistake, it’s OK to leave it open ended, see what works the best and nail it right there. Testing through mistakes is the only way to find out!
PS/as long as it’s YOU*
What Do We Mean by YOU*
*YOU= Since it’s your name, it has to be…you. What I mean is that – yes, you can add attitude, special characters, emojis, a unique photo, wording, whatever, as long as it comes from you, and as long as it reflects your brand, who you are, and where you want to be. You should revisit this constantly, persistently, and methodically. If you need 1:1 personalized consulting on how to do this and what makes sense for your brand, you can sign up now.
Enjoy the process, my heroes!
Branding Your #SocialMedia Profile (BSMP) Series: Your BSMP Bio Photo Your BSMP Extended Name Your BSMP One Sentence Wordings Your BSMP Hashtags Your BSMP Update Line Your BSMP URL How to optimize your “Branded Social Media Profile” area kick-ss CTAs for your branded social media profile Doing your profile the wrong way Coming soon: Your BSMP Emojis Your BSMP Location Your BSMP Social Media Influencer Private, personalized 1-on-1 consulting on YOUR social media profile strategy is available now.