For maximum impact keep your brand image creative AND consistent across social media platforms. Every business has their own unique style. Some businesses are over-the-top extravagant with their design aesthetic while others stick to a more modern and streamlined look. No matter what the layout, the challenge for businesses becomes creating a cohesive style with the templates that you are forced to use on social media sites. It’s not always easy to convey your unique brand with these limitations. Luckily some social sites are adapting and allowing you more creative control. Check out my picks for the best social media platforms to customize.
It's no surprise that Facebook allows for the most customization. You are able to immediately express your business’s style and brand vision to each new visitor. What Facebook does to really rise above all of the other platforms is to allow custom tabs for whatever you like: contests, reservations, games -- the sky is the limit! They live on your Facebook page’s navigation, just like a page on your website. The tabs have a max-width of 810px with unlimited height. These essentially blank canvases allow you to build, stylize, color, and theme the tab any way you want. Facebook Cover Art ideal size is 851px X 315px Facebook Profile Picture ideal size is 180px X 180px (although it is displayed at 160px X 160px, which cuts down on the resolution of the photo)
So it seems that Twitter liked the layout of Facebook so much that they practically copied their design with the current design update. At first glance you might think it is just a replica of the Facebook layout. However, Twitter has other great features. Both the profile picture and cover art are considerably larger than Facebook as well as slightly screen-responsive. This allows a page to nicely fill the display window no matter what size you have it set at. Also the resolution for the home profile photo is far better than any of the other platforms. Twitter also allows you to customize the link color and background of your page (when viewed via desktop). Taking advantage of these options gives you full control over the color scheme and feel of the entire platform. Twitter Cover Art ideal size is 1500px X 500px Twitter Profile Picture ideal size is 400px X 400px
Google Plus has evolved to become potentially the coolest platform to customize for mobile devices. The entire thing is completely responsive and automatically adjusts the pictures and content according to the device. Google Plus also uniquely utilizes a round profile photo in lieu of a square one. The enormity of the cover image gives you plenty of space to make a unique statement. Google Plus Cover Art ideal size is 2120px X 1192px Google Plus Profile Picture ideal size is 250px X 250px (keep in mind it will be cropped round)
Other Social Media Platforms to Watch
Both YouTube and LinkedIn give you similar design layouts to Facebook and Twitter. YouTube has more of a responsive design to their cover art like Twitter, however it has a much thinner space to customize. LinkedIn has more of the boxy layout like Facebook. Neither YouTube or LinkedIn have great mobile displays yet but they aren't far behind. Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine don’t allow for extensive design creativity on their platforms just yet. Instagram does build its design via the pictures you take. It’s a really cool feature however you don’t have complete control over the exact look since the display will always be chronological. Will these platforms adapt to give the user more customization? At Thin Pig Media we watch, learn and share the latest social media developments -- so stay tuned!