What’s the status of your social media page design? Whether you’re looking at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any of your other accounts, remember that your profile picture, cover image and background images are opportunities to communicate your brand. Luckily, designers can help you put your best face forward. Before you launch a contest for some eye-catching visuals, here are nine tips for choosing the perfect social media page design.

1. Showcase your branding, services and community

99designs social media page design tips

First and foremost, your social media page designs should be consistent with your company’s branding, demonstrate your products or services and include a strong call to action (if the design is for a promotion or campaign).

It’s always good to consistently update the imagery to keep things fresh and interesting. For example, 99designs’ weekly cover image features a variety of designs from our talented community. We also recently featured our latest social media campaign, #WeAre99designs, as our cover image to encourage participation.

2. Use the right image size

Youtube social media page design tips

YouTube‘s channel page design guidelines

Your images will display at different sizes on different devices, but here’s a list offile dimensions that will provide the best image quality across multiple devices.

Facebook: 1702 x 630 cover photo, 180 x 180 profile picture

Google+: 2120 x 1192 cover photo, 800 X 800 profile picture

YouTube: 2560 X 1440 cover photo (template link here), 800 X 800 channel icon

Twitter: 1252 x 626 cover photo, 73 x 73 profile picture, 1600 × 1200 background image

Linkedin: 646 x 220 banner image, 100 x 60 company profile picture

Make sure your designer sends you either a PNG or a JPEG file of the finished design.

3. Keep your designs visually consistent

Be consistent with branding social media page design tips

Designs by charmiel

To establish a strong brand identity through social media, make sure that all your designs are visually cohesive across platforms — like designer charmiel did with the images above.

5. Devote more space to images than to text

more images thans text social media page design tips

Facebook cover design by VishalR

Image-based content is proven to generate more re-tweets, Facebook shares and other types of engagement than text alone. Facebook actually used to have a rule that cover photos could not have more than 20% text. Even though the rule is no longer enforced, it’s not a bad number to keep in mind when designing your cover/banner image. Keep the content image-based.

6. Pay attention to placement

profil picture palce ment and composition social media page design tips

Facebook cover design by The JA Designs

In terms of composition, don’t let a profile picture overlapping the cover image hide any valuable content that you want your audience to see. For easy viewing of a Facebook page, make the main content of your cover/banner image more oriented to the right side of the image than the left.

For a more creative approach, try making the profile picture and the cover image purposefully interact with each other. Above, The JA Designs has designed the profile picture and the cover image to display as if they were one continuous image instead of two, while placing the most important information closer to the right side of the cover image.

profile picture placement and composition social media page design tips

Google+ cover design by The JA Designs

Google+ crops profile pictures into a circle, so make sure that you leave enough white space so that nothing gets cut off.

7. Make sure your designs abide by the rules

social media platform terms and conditions social media page design tips

Facebook’s guidelines page

Most social media guidelines forbid the use of nudity, celebrities, obscene or threatening images, profanity, and copyrighted images in both the profile picture and cover image. Each site enforces these rules differently, but if your design violates them, you risk your account being suspended or terminated. To find out more, check out the Facebook page terms, Twitter terms of service, Google+ policies and principles, YouTube community guidelines and the Linkedin user agreement.

8. Keep promo designs simple

call to action social media page design tips

Facebook cover design by Design_arc

For a featured promotional campaign on your social media page, use compelling imagery, short copy and a simple call to action. Above, Design_arc‘s Facebook cover design clearly indicates the call to action with a straightforward and effective design.

9. Make it visually engaging

make it creative social media page design tips

Design by rbgraphics.nl

Here’s the bottom line: the purpose of a social media page is to engage with your audience and get them to share your content, which includes the cover/banner image. Social media pages that have appealing content and visuals are much more likely to be shared and increase engagement. So definitely feel free to choose more out-of the-box designs, just as long as the visuals are consistent with your company’s branding.

Update your social media page design today!