Yes, we know: it’s important to make sure our social media profiles (whether business or personal) are as fully filled out as possible.
But too many people still haven’t taken advantage of every possible opportunity to truly brand their profiles!
Below is a semi-exhaustive list of branding opportunities on your profiles for all the major social media platforms. Go through and make sure you’re doing all of them—and don’t be afraid to let me know in the comments if I’ve missed something, or if you’re using a feature differently than is recommended here.
Make sure it’s as clear as possible. If it’s a business page, it should be the business name; if it’s a personal brand, it should be your name, and (optionally) what you do.
Don’t try to be cute here—match your page name if it’s available. It’s all about findability. It’s also a lot easier to tell people your custom URL vs. making them have to search.
This shouldn’t change a lot. Use your current headshot if you’re a personal brand, and your logo if you’re not.
BONUS: Most people just slap up their image without taking advantage of the caption area! Use it to let people know more about your business. You can even put in a link! And if your business has a physical location, tag it.
This can change as often as you like (including not at all). It can tell people more about your business, showcase something you’re currently promoting…or simply serve as visual branding.
For some reason, the algorithm loves notifying people in the feed when you’ve changed it, so be aware.
BONUS: Again, don’t forget to use the caption—that’s valuable real estate, and, again, the picture goes into people’s feeds when you change it, so you might as well have additional info accompanying that post!
A great opportunity to encourage people to take a bigger action than simply following your page! Common options include Send Message (with options of Messenger or WhatsApp), Call Now, Send Email, Learn More, Watch Now, Visit Group, Sign Up (great for newsletters), Book Now (which will connect to a scheduling tool), Start Order (for restaurants), View Shop (if you’ve got Facebook Shopping set up), and Buy Tickets.
Different people will have different options depending on business type, features, and if they’re on Classic Pages vs. Facebook’s “New Page Experience.”
The options you have when filling out your page’s About section will vary depending on if you’re in Classic Pages or the New Pages Experience (the New Pages Experience has a lot more personal information—and even if you’ve filled it out before, double-check that everything made it over when Facebook switched you over, since sometimes things fall off).
Either way, I highly recommend taking advantage of every option possible. Not only does this give people more information about you—Facebook’s algorithm also prefers more complete pages. In particular, don’t neglect to add links to your profiles on other platforms where people can go find out even more about you.
This should ideally be your business’s name (or yours, if you’re a personal brand). This is different from your display name, and can’t be changed that often; when you do change it, all existing tags for the old handle go dead. Consider searchability.
Most people essentially repeat their handle here, but you CAN use it to give greater clarity on what you do (within 30 characters). This is highly searchable, so if there are words you really want to be known for, including them in your display name is an option—just make sure they don’t impair clarity.
Note that special characters (𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞) do not read as text, and thus don’t provide any search value whatsoever; they’re also not accessible to screen readers for the visually impaired.
Same as your FB page: headshot for a personal brand, logo if not. Be sure your logo is legible on a tiny phone screen.
150 characters. Searchable. Let people know what to expect. See above note on special characters; avoid them. Relevant emoji are fine in moderation; many people use them as bullet points, but it’s more accessible if you put them at the end (if at all).
Some people use the end of their bio as a CTA for their link, since it’s right underneath.
You can also create a landing page on your own website specifically for Instagram traffic.
You can put a relevant hashtag or two in your bio if you want, but it doesn’t help with searchability. This is mostly useful for one hyper-niche hashtag that belongs to only you, so people who click on it will just see your stuff.
Business profiles have the options of Call, Text, Directions, and Email buttons. Additional buttons available to some accounts include Book Now (connects with a scheduling tool), Reserve (connects to third party restaurant reservation services), or Order Food (for food delivery or takeout). Use whichever options are relevant to you.
This is a great place to showcase some of the key categories your posts tend to fall into, and give people greater insight into what matters to your brand and what they can expect to see if they follow you. You can create branded cover images for your stories in a program like Photoshop, Canva, or Easil and upload them so your highlights are beautifully branded.
These highlight labels can be up to 16 characters long, but not all 16 characters will show up on all views, so keep those names as short as possible.
The content on your profile grid should indicate what people who follow you can expect to see. Focus less on cute patterns (they’re hard to maintain!) and more on relevance. Can someone see your brand at a glance?
There are rumors that Instagram may soon allow you to drag and drop grid posts to reorder them, but that feature hasn’t rolled out yet.
Don’t forget to choose or upload enticing cover images for videos and reels as well—they, too, can give people a sense of your brand at a glance.
Not enough people utilize the Guides feature on Instagram, which makes it a great way to stand out! Make a guide for something you’d like to be seen as an authority on. Simply Social Media in Santa Fe, NM does a great job with this.
Much like Facebook, this gives people a sense of what you’re about, and can also be used to promote things.
Like Facebook & Instagram: headshot if personal, logo if not.
Some Twitter Blue subscribers are using NFTs as their profile pics since it’s a new feature, but this doesn’t really do anything for your brand (unless NFTs are a really active part of what you do).
See Instagram section for guidance (except your Twitter bio has 160 characters).
Twitter may prompt you to create a Professional Account, which will allow you to choose a category for your business, as well as unlocking Profile Spotlights (including location/map, hours of operation, and contact info), Twitter Shopping (currently in beta), Twitter Ads, and Quick Promote features.
If someone visiting your profile only takes the time to look at one post, what do you want that one post to be? People often use this for especially insightful threads, whatever they’re currently promoting, a tweet that happened to go viral, an upcoming scheduled Space, or just an introduction to who they are and what they’re all about. You can change this as often as you like.
If you have a newsletter with Revue, you can integrate it with your Twitter account and have a Subscribe button that appears between your bio and your pinned post.
Don’t use special “𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞” characters (they’re not searchable!), and limit the emojis and other extraneous info—LinkedIn wants real names here. Save the rest for your headline.
Your URL will often default to your name, but if it doesn’t (or if it adds a bunch of numbers to it), go customize this so it’s easier to tell people where to find you.
As with other platforms, this is a great opportunity to brand, and to tell people who you are and why they should care. The best LinkedIn cover images often feature some level of social proof: do you speak on stages, write for big publications, or have big clients you’re at liberty to disclose? Use a graphics program like Photoshop, Canva, or Easil to show those off here.
Be aware that the cover image displays differently on desktop and mobile, so ensure yours works on both (including being aware of what parts get cut off by your profile picture).
Headshot—NOT logo. Save that for your company page. On LinkedIn, you should be networking as a human.
A video clip between 3 and 30 seconds long (uploaded via the mobile app only) that gives people an introduction to who you are and what you’re all about. This will briefly preview in your profile picture space when someone visits your profile, before being replaced by your still picture. People can click on your profile pic to view it (like Instagram Stories).
This 10-second audio feature is intended for name pronunciation only—but some people put more info in there, such as the one-sentence intro to who they are and what they do. Whatever you choose to say, keep it short.
This is what appears under your name, and is highly searchable. It defaults to your current title and employer but you have 220 characters and should use them. Think about telling WHAT you do, not just your title. And don’t be afraid to put a little personality in there—but only after the relevant stuff, since people may only see the beginning (such as in search results).
Not everyone has this feature, but if you do, use it! You can add up to 10 from LinkedIn’s pre-populated list of options.
Turning this option on does not impair visibility in any way (it doesn’t make you a “page”) but it DOES unlock special features such as live streaming, audio events, newsletters, and content analytics. It also lets you select topics you wish to be found for, improving your relevant visibility, and LinkedIn will suggest you to people as a Featured Creator on those topics.
Definitely leverage this opportunity to give people the highlight reel of what you’re all about! Some people use this for social proof, such as client testimonials; some highlight their media appearances; some, their original content. You could even put links in here to key sections of your website, such as About, Testimonials, and Contact. However you choose to use it—DO.
Use as much of this space as possible to tell your story—you never know what piece of your journey will catch someone’s eye (or come up in a search)!
People have different ways of setting this up; a pattern I like to use is:
- What you do now;
- What you did before (especially if the skills/background are relevant, but even if they’re not);
- Special skills you have that set you apart, and/or services people might be searching for;
- Something personal.
There are a few skill-related sections on your profile. While anyone can “endorse” you for a skill (rendering those testimonials semi-useless), you do get to choose which skills are highlighted, and you can also take Skill Assessments in certain areas to prove some of the skills you claim to possess, which is definitely worth it to underscore the legitimacy of your experience and improve searchability for those skills.
YouTube has a great guide to most of these branding options here:
Brand this! Let people know right up front what channel they’re on and why.
YouTube TV made the dimensions for this very tricky, but the vast majority of people will be accessing your channel via desktop or mobile, so ensure the skinniest crop of your larger graphic works well without any important information getting cut off; see dimensions guidance here.
You can add buttons to your profile banner that will send people to your profile on other social media platforms or to your website.
You can choose a video that will play as soon as someone reaches your channel. In fact, you can choose two: one that will play if it’s someone who hasn’t been to your channel before, and one that will play if they’re a returning visitor. Some people create a “channel trailer” for this; others simply put up their most recent video, or one that’s been especially popular. At any rate, it’s a great opportunity that you should absolutely take advantage of.
You can upload your logo as a watermark that will appear on the bottom right corner of all videos played on your channel, further branding all your content.
Much like Instagram story highlights, this is an opportunity to give people a taste of the overall buckets your content will fall into. It also encourages binge viewing, which YouTube’s algorithm loves!
Once you have over 100 followers, you unlock the ability to customize your profile URL. Do. It’s so much easier to tell people where to go, and it helps in search.
See Instagram guide: they don’t have to match, handle should be consistent, display name can give more info if desired.
80 characters; see suggestions for Instagram.
To unlock this feature, you need to be either a business account or a creator account with at least 1000 followers. You can use this as you would your Instagram or Twitter bio, including leading people to a landing page with more links.
As with Instagram and Twitter, use sparingly—and ideally at the end, if at all.
As with Instagram Stories, these are super-short and last only 24 hours. Only your followers get your stories served up to them on their feeds, but anyone can see them if they visit your profile while you’ve got an active Story up.
You can pin up to 3 videos at the top of your profile. TikTok expert @wavewyld recommends using these spots for your lead magnet, an intro video telling people what you and your channel are all about, and/or social proof, such as a client testimonial video.
These can help brand you, especially if you have a custom hashtag, but don’t help in search.
In your profile you can also include your pronouns, links to your Instagram and YouTube channels, and even a link to a charity you support if you’d like! As usual, I feel like why NOT leverage these options to give people a little bit more information on who you are?
Christine Gritmon @christine
I think you’re a rockstar.
Let me know what lights you up—I want to hear YOUR stories (and to have you write for Social Media Pulse!)