What Is the Importance of Header Images on Social Websites?

There was a time in the world of social media when one image was key to a brand: the profile picture. This picture was the visual representation of your brand, and it was used everywhere your business appeared on social media platforms.

But times have changed, and now there is more to social media branding than just the obvious profile picture.  Enter the new contender: the header image.

Header images on social websites and profiles have become an integral part of a social media brand, and profiles can look disused or empty without a well-executed header image. Often this image is the most prime real estate a brand can use to help establish its style and reputation.

But what makes a good header image for a social website?  Read on to learn more about this important aspect of your social media brand, and how you can create an excellent header image for your profile.

Header Images on Social Websites Compliment Your Brand Overall

While this aspect may seem obvious, often this is the trickiest part to get just right. A header image needs to align properly with your overall brand aesthetic. It is important that your header image compliment your brand’s color scheme, font treatments, and other notable elements. This makes it easily recognizable and attributable to your overall brand.

In addition, the header image needs to work well with the profile image, since these two images will often be used directly in line with each other.

Having a header image that is markedly different than the style your profile image portrays can be a disruptive force for your overall brand recognition.

social media header images

Make an Impression with Your Social Media Header

It’s important that your header image (sometimes called a social media banner) is concise, to the point, and makes an impression that reflects your brand’s goals.

Often the header image is the most visible and largest imagery on your social profile. And, in most cases, it is the image a user first views and associates with your brand. It’s important to pick a header image that makes an impact in a relatively quick way.

Keep in mind that users will rarely spend much time inspecting a header image, so you don’t want a concept that takes too much effort and viewing to get the point across. A good header image will be short and sweet in its message, and it is very important to remember that user engagement is limited when it comes to a header image, so don’t try to convey too much information in your header image content.

Be Aware of Each Platform’s Header Image Size

Another often overlooked aspect of social media header images is that they are different sizes on different platforms.

A header image that works well for one platform may not work well on the dimensional restrictions of another. It is important to do your research and pick a header image and text that will work well at all the social media platform sizes you plan to employ.  Hootsuite offers an excellent cheat sheet that provides the different dimensions for the most popular social media platforms and banner design templates. It is a great tool for creating your image in the correct sizes.

social media header images

Testing Is Important

On many platforms, header images are displayed in slightly different ways, and slightly different formats, across different devices.

A good example of this is Facebook, which displays your profile image overlapping the header image in a left-aligned fashion on large screens, but on the mobile app, it is centered and larger over the bottom of the cover photo. These slight variations in how the different platforms employ your header images on different devices are important to keep in mind, so you don’t end up with an image that loses some of its impact because an important element of that image is covered by another element.

The best way to combat this is to test your chosen header images thoroughly and view them on as many devices as possible, to help ensure the best possible results across all possible views.

Branding Design at SharedTEAMS

Creating an effective header image for your brand, that fits all the different sizes of different social media platforms can be a challenge. If you need help, or just need a hand making your brand really stand out, let our team of designers take your header image to the next level. We’ll work with you to design the perfect header image for your social media profiles.

At SharedTEAMS, we offer social media design tailored to your needs. You can learn more about our branding design project here or contact us today with questions and requests!