Social networks, more and more, are becoming a visual as a medium. With so much competition for eyeballs, it is important for brands to ensure that their images are as eye-catching and recognisable as possible in order to get noticed. High quality images are one thing, but having fans instantly recognise when an image has been posted by you as they scroll through their visually-saturated news feeds, is also crucial.
One of the best ways to help make this happen is to brand your images before uploading them, so that your fans become familiar with your identity and style, and will hopefully pay attention and engage with the content. Here are six easy ways to do brand your images for social media:
1. Image border - Sainsbury's
The branding of Sainsbury's, a major supermarket in the UK, is synonymous with the colour orange. The method it uses to stamp its mark on is Facebook images is very subtle - just a thin orange line that sits underneath the photo. This method makes sure nothing detracts from the image itself, and espite the branding's subtlety, Sainsbury's still benefits because the quality of the photos it uses is high, and the brand is already very well known. Of course, this tactic could be extended to using a thin border around the whole image.
2. Logo - Pepsi
Pepsi makes sure that there is no mistaking who created its images; you might want to as well, with a large, clear logo. In some respects, Pepsi is such a big name that it can get away with this kind of overt marketing, but a large proportion of companies would benefit from branding that isn't so in-your-face (much smaller logo, more subtle), and posts that fit more naturally into the News Feeds of Facebook users.
3. Fonts - Microsoft
Microsoft is well-known for consistently using the above font in its advertising, and this also extends to its social media content. Identifying a font that reflects your brand image and using it consistently in your social media images will train fans to recognise it, and they're more likely to quickly spot your updates in their News Feeds as a result.
4. Color themes - Gap
The Gap clothing brand is synonymous with the colour combination of navy blue and white, and these hues are often reflected in its social media content,. While implementing a consistent colour palette might be tricky to do in the majority of everyday images, it is a lot easier to do in that which you create from scratch, such as something like the motivational quote above.
5. Filters - Tiger Lily
Using a consistent set of photo filters in your images can help to convey your brand's personality and culture - are you cool and fresh, suave and sophisticated, fun and playful, etc.. Of course, the filters you choose must fit well with your company's existing palette of colours in order for this strategy to pay off.
6. Post template - Oreo
Designing a template to be used for image posts is a good way of maintaining the consistency of branding over a series of posts, and your audience will pick up on the repeating pattern as well. In the example above, Oreo uses the same image/caption layout to mark significant dates in history.
Predictions point to the fact that visual content use on social media will continue to rise - 70% of marketers plan on increasing their use of just infographics and memes alone over the course of the next year, according to a poll by Social Media Examiner. If you do not already have a concrete brand image on social media, now if the time to do it, and the ideas above should help to get you on the right track.
Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.