One of the key elements of your Social Media Strategy should be creating a consistent brand image across all platforms. This is often a daunting task due to the various limitations of each platform but in this article I’m going to show you how a consistent image can be obtained easily.
I’ll lead with Facebook as this is the least customisable platform.
You have very little to work with except the profile picture. You can add custom boxes to the left sidebar, but that is another topic entirely!
The profile picture can be up to 200px wide and 600px high, giving you plenty of screen real estate to work with. You should aim to fit your company logo into a 175px x 175px space, as this is the maximum section of your image which will fit into the thumbnail shown next to your posts.
Twitter gives us more customisation options, but is limited by an 800k file size on the left aligned background image.
Twitter allows us to change the colours of the sidebar, text and links as well as the dividing line between the main content and the sidebar itself. You can set these up to match your company colours, but beware of the contrast ratio if using a dark sidebar and light text as this may make your centre content less readable.
When creating your background image you need to be aware that the image will be left aligned, while the main content is centre aligned. This means that depending on the screen resolution the content could sit anywhere across your background giving you have very little room to place content.
On a 1024×768 display you have about 120px to work with either side of the main content, while on 1280×1024 you have around twice that. You can see the difference below
You will notice that the text on the right hand side of the main content is larger on the second image, to create this effect we actually place two pieces of text on the page, with the smaller of the two being covered by the centre column on larger displays.
To make sure everything lines up correctly, set up a new document 1280px wide and 1024px high. Mark three vertical lines, one at 125px, one at 885px and one at 1050px. Now mark a horizontal line at 60px from the top. This gives us our three margins and ensures that the smaller text will be hidden beneath the top of the centre column.
Twitter pages can become quite long, to extend your page downwards with a block colour to avoid the background repeating.
Like Twitter, YouTube allows us to change the colour scheme and add our own custom background. With YouTube however, the background image is centred and the file size is limited to 256k.
Because the background is centred and so is the content we can make our image any size and have everything stay in the same place. A 1900px square should ensure that there is no overlap on larger screens.
Create your image with vertical lines at 195px, 345px, 1305px and 1455px. The two thin columns created are where your content should sit to be visible either side of the centre column. Again, style the colour scheme to match your site, but be careful of making text unreadable by choosing poor contrast.