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5 Tips to Bring New Life to Your Social Profiles

5 Tips to Bring New Life to Your Social Profiles


Social media how to:

When was the last time you updated your social media profiles?

Are they starting to feel drab or dated?

Your social profiles may be in dire need of a refresh!

And are you sharing the types of updates tailored to the latest platform designs and suited for today’s social media marketing?


With recent changes to major platforms, you may be missing out on using some of the cool new options.

To freshen up your social media profiles and take advantage of the latest updates, implement any of the following five ideas.

#1: Optimize Your Google+ Profile for the Platform’s New Design

Google+ social profiles were recently redesigned. This represents a great opportunity to freshen up your Google+ profile and review your Google+ content strategy!

new google plus design
The new Google+ design features 1, 2 or 3 columns of content, depending on the device being used.

Here are a few tweaks you can make to spice up your new Google+ profile.

Add a new high-resolution cover image. The current Google+ design standards require an image that’s at least 480×270 pixels. However, since these images can be blown up for much larger display sizes in some browsers, this is a great opportunity to update your profile with a new high-resolution photo.

Add larger media to the items you post. Some picture and video “cards” (Google-speak for the individual items that appear in the stream) display across multiple columns, giving users greater exposure to them. While visitors can’t control which items appear wider than others, you can increase your odds of having your content featured by changing the size of the images and videos you share to be at least 480×270 pixels.

Here’s an example from HubSpot:

full width google plus
This image demonstrates what a full-width card looks like in the new Google+.
Add images to every post. The new Google+ design is all about visual content, so give Google what it wants by adding pictures or video files to every update you post. Visuals are a great way to make your profile appear more lively and engaging.

You’ll be taking advantage of the new features available with the new Google+ design and your profile will stand out above the others.


#2: Add Media to Your LinkedIn Profile

In December of last year, LinkedIn started rolling out the ability to add photos, videos and other types of rich media to profiles. But few eligible users are currently taking advantage of this opportunity!

If you’re serious about adding punch to both your personal and professional social profiles, adding media to your LinkedIn profile is an easy way to do it.

To see if you have access to these features, log into your profile and click the pencil icon found in the Edit Profile area of your Summary, Expertise and Experience sections. If you see a small icon labeled “Add Media,” you’ll be able to add rich media to create a freshened up professional profile on LinkedIn.

linkedin feature
Note – LinkedIn is still rolling out this feature. If you don’t have access yet, be patient!
You’ll want to add some relevant rich media elements to your LinkedIn profile to look good and stand out.


#3: Add a Header Graphic to Your Twitter Feed

Twitter profile headers have been available for quite a while, though the large number of plain grey rectangles still evident on user profiles indicates that this feature hasn’t yet been widely adopted.

To give your Twitter profile a quick graphic boost, create a custom header that communicates your personality or your brand’s messaging. Here’s an example of a fun header graphic.

coca cola twitter header
Coca Cola’s Twitter header combines images and popular brand iconography.
If you’d like to create your own Twitter header to freshen up your profile, check out the free Twitter Header Creator tool.

Make sure you’re Twitter profile page looks good and add an engaging header image.


#4: Upgrade to the “New Look” on Pinterest

Social media users have noted that Google+’s latest redesign makes it look more like Pinterest. And Pinterest has moved forward with its own redesign. Its new design features simplified navigation, larger “pins” and enhanced social sharing tools – elements that are bound to please users.

What’s interesting, though, is that instead of rolling out the new look to all users, it’s currently offered on an opt-in basis. To gain access to these features, you’ll need to click the Get it Now button that appears at the top of your profile upon login.

pinterest get it now button
To view Pinterest’s new look, click the red Get it Now button that appears upon login.
Because updating only changes the way your profile looks to you, why bother taking this step, and how does it allow you to freshen up your own profile?

What’s special about the site’s redesign is how easy it makes the discovery of new Pinterest boards and pinners. By upgrading to the new look, you’ll be able to form new connections and source even more interesting pins, making your own profile a more interesting resource for your followers.

You’ll want to update your Pinterest experience by adopting the new design.


#5: Use Twitter Vines to Bring New Life to Your Account

One final way to freshen up your social profiles is to introduce Vine videos to your Twitter feed.

Vine videos are quick, looping videos that consist of six seconds maximum of video and audio content. As an example, take the popular “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal” Vine – a recent viral success:

vine video of ryan gosling
This popular Vine shows how effective six seconds of film can be in connecting with your audience.
Making Vine videos doesn’t require much time or money, as six seconds isn’t nearly enough time to develop a complex storyline or plot.

Create your own Vine video as a fast and easy way to freshen up your Twitter feed and engage your audience with visual content.

Your Turn

Use these five creative ways to make your social profiles more appealing today. Social interaction will continue to evolve around your social profiles, so remember to keep an eye open for the next design changes and new ways to share engaging content.

What do you think? Can you think of any other ways to freshen up a boring, out-of-date social profile? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments below!


Original article by Eric Siu

5 Ways to Assess the Success of Your Logo Design

For most businesses, acquiring or changing a logo feels like a momentous step. A logo, after all, is the face of your brand. McDonald’s is inextricable from its arches. Nike’s simple checkmark possesses almost supernatural communicative qualities.

But how do you measure the success of a logo? Short of a large-scale populist backlash on the order of the University of California’s recent re-design fiasco, success or failure is hard to quantify. There are, however, a number of questions you can and should ask as you consider a new logo. Here are the top five.

1. What was wrong with your old logo?

If your answer is “we didn’t have one” or “my kid drew it on Microsoft Paint,” then you can bet that your new logo is going to be a relative win. In most cases, however, the concerns are more nuanced. Typically, there are two reasons to redo a logo: either the current one no longer reflects your company’s character or target market (you’ve changed but your logo hasn’t), or it just looks dusty and dated (the world has changed but your logo hasn’t). The second reason is obviously quite subjective, so do analysis and tread carefully. A refresh can be a boon for business, but superfluous changes also pose a risk – at the very least, of losing what you paid for an unnecessary design service. It could be that there was nothing really wrong with your old logo at all.


attjack in the box


2. What do you want from your logo?

Amid the excitement of getting a new logo, it’s easy to lose sight of how the item actually functions. Ultimately, the point of such a mark is to identify your business, but even this basic definition couches a question: do you want your logo to simply identify you as providing a certain service or belonging to a certain industry, or do you want it to distinguish you from competitors within that industry? If you own a dentistry practice, you may just want your logo to identify you as a dentist without the possibility of confusion. This is why so many dentists around the world use virtually identical logos (smiles, teeth, brushes, etc.) In most cases there is nothing to gain from setting oneself apart within the field– only a risk of alienating potential clientele. On the other hand, if you are looking to distinguish your brand from similar ones, it is worthwhile to choose a unique, non-obvious logo. The link between a peacock and a television broadcasting network is tenuous, but NBC’s design nevertheless served the company well, quickly taking on iconic status.


nbcfamily dental care


3. Does it work across media? Integrate into a broader branding scheme?

A good designer’s first order of business is to correct the layman’s tendency to think of a logo in the abstract. In fact, logos are generally material things: they exist on business cards, websites, store windows and billboards. That means they have to be legible at the scale of a penny and a hula-hoop alike, and as distinctive in black and white as in full color. An overly complex or awkwardly shaped logo may fail this test, even if it looks decent on a blank page. A great designer, however, will further propose a logo that supersedes itself as a stand-alone mark, instead forming a part of a cohesive, overarching branding scheme. Choose a color palette that you’ll be able to extend across a website and perhaps physical space. Select a typeface that pairs well with what you might use on your business cards or future ads. If you find that your logo constrains your various future design projects more than it opens up promising possibilities, then it was not successful.




4. What is the critical response to your logo and does it matter?

It’s reasonable to test the critical waters by polling your friends, family and colleagues about a new logo. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, not everyone’s opinion is created equal. Your designer is an expert (hopefully), while your friends are not. Their emotional responses certainly carry some validity, but remember that they might not have considered all the nuances of branding potential noted above. Second, not everyone is a critic – in fact, most people aren’t. Asking people to actively evaluate a logo sets up atypical conditions; most of your potential customers, unless they are graphic design enthusiasts, will not subject your logo to an exacting inspection. They’ll simply use it as a tool for identifying your business – that is, as intended. Once the logo is set and printed across your assets, you’ll have to weigh the occasional negative remark against the cost of re-design, re-printing, etc. Short of a full on scandal like the ones precipitated by The University of California, The Gap or Tropicana redesigning beloved emblems, it is almost never worth giving in. Human psychology promises knee-jerk negative reactions to change, but people eventually come around.




5. Is your design cookie-cutter generic?

As noted earlier, not every industry puts the same premium on an original-looking logo, and sometimes going into left field is even disadvantageous. A dentistry logo probably ought to look like a dentistry logo. Still, there are certain overused, cookie-cutter designs – an abstract, v-shaped man leaping for joy, a ring of crescents – that are fundamentally empty, failing even to identify a business with any meaningful concept. Something like this may work in a pinch or on a very temporary basis, but pay no more than whatever you think zero thought and a couple of minutes with Adobe Illustrator are worth.


If you’re able to answer these questions truthfully, you should be in a position to broadly assess the success of your logo. That’s probably the best you can hope for; more quantifiable rates of return tend to prove elusive with logo design. What really matters though, lies less in the product than in the creative person or team that created it. A designer who is skilled, trustworthy and responsive, who understands your business mission but isn’t afraid to challenge your design ideas, who thinks long-term and will be there down the road to carry out the innumerable little tasks that may arise, is invaluable.


Article appeared on

How to Use Images Successfully – Web Design Usability Guide


When developing your new website it is important that both you and your designer/developer think about and work on the images of the website. We need to think about there size, relevance, their effectiveness within the site. We also need to think about their quality and their relevance to the whole site or the particular page they are on.


Full size images in website design

Full size images in website design


We just love images. A website without any images is boring and even with a nice design, most of us would probably prefer one with a lot of images. Why is that? There are many reasons that explain why we think images are attractive. For example, visual information is very convenient. Instead of reading a lot of text, which takes time and effort, we rather quickly scan an image or a graph. Then, images can trigger all sorts of emotions and memories, which makes them very engaging. Also, a lot of people can better memorize visual information and often it’s easier to share than written content. At last, images can cross language barriers a lot better than text can.


The importance of images within website design and development
37% of the population are visual learners - Website design

37% of the population are visual learners – Website design


Images are an easy way to improve the user experience of your website. 90 percent of all information that we perceive and that gets transmitted to our brains is visual.. Images can help you to attract attention and to guide your visitor’s line of sight. They can be of great value when it comes to presenting important information. Also are images a great emotion trigger that you can use to draw your visitors in and get them engaged in your content.


Anibas Design – Using images within website design


When using images, it is important that you know why. Don’t just use them to get rid of too much white space or because you have heard that people like them. For every image on your site, you should be able to answer two questions. (1) Why did you chose that image and not a different one? (2) Why did you place the image where you placed it, and not somewhere else? If you don’t know the answer to either one of these two questions, you should take a minute to think about it. Keep in mind that you should only use images that somehow support your content. Be it because they show some relevant information, because they proof a point you make elsewhere, or because they convey a feeling that supports your message.

For more information here is an in-depth article :


The importance of images within website design and development



New Year 2013 – A moment to feel inspired

Anibas Design - Happy New Year 2013

Well here we are…New Year 2013. How does it make you feel?

I always feel inspired, a fresh start, a time to make changes…to hope. And I feel the same this year. I love the New Year it’s like a blank canvas, a new exercise book to write in, opening a new pot of homemade jam. New Year 2013 gives me the opportunity to ask myself questions but I never ask them in a negative sense. I never dwell on the ‘what ifs’ or things that didn’t go perfectly. I’m a ‘cup half full’ person and like to ask…what can I improve upon this year, what can I plan to achieve. Now I don’t mean that I’m going to set myself huge unachievable targets, no, more in line with, what small changes can I make that will make a long term difference: such as how can I manage my time more efficiently, what tasks should I try to reduce, what should I be doing more of.

For those of you with small businesses like mine a lot of time is spent on administration, non-productive and therefore non-earning. How can this be streamlined? It depends on your type of business obviously but I think an important thing to do is NOT to check emails constantly. Turn off the little notification sound or envelope on your computer. There is nothing more distracting when you’re in the middle of something than seeing a little icon or hearing ‘that’ sound and feeling obliged to check. You then end up analyzing whether to continue with your work or to respond. Then your not concentrating on either.

I’m obviously not suggesting email should be ignored if your type of business requires it but if, like me, you’re are a small business trying to make the most of the hours in the week then I would recommending scheduling when you check and reply to your emails. You could check first thing, before lunch and 4pm for example, that way in between there are large chunks of time that you can set aside for your work projects, appointments etc. This small change improved my working week greatly.


Tips on how to help your small business in France


Are you easily distracted by social media?

Well, retrain yourself if you need to. The tools are there to help yourself. If you have a busy week and need to avoid distractions but have things that you’d like to promote then schedule your posts. Both facebook business pages and twitter have their own functions to program the date and time you would like the post to appear. That way you can ‘blitz’ your posts by doing it all in one hit, I often do this one evening a week when the pressure of work is off. There are also helpful tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck that can help you post to several social media accounts at once and that can be a real time saver.

Failing that, if your only using social media for fun then if your have a separate computer for work and home just go to the trouble of blocking your own access to these websites from your work computer.


What can you do for your business this year?

The obvious things to do, if you have the budget are to invest in your business, to take time to think about whether it is time to improve your business’s branding. Especially for a small business trying to make there mark a good logo that can be used across printed literature, vehicle and building signage is always a worthwhile investment as we all make near instantaneous judgements about businesses based on their ‘look’.

The other main area is to look at your website, to ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it look good?
  • Does it do all the things that you want it to?
  • Can you edit the content (If that;s what you’d like)?
  • Can my potential clients find it? (i.e is it appearing in Google’s listings where you’d like it to?)
  • Is it easy to navigate around the site (i.e does it have a structure that is easy for your clients to experience?)
  • Is there information that is out of date that needs removing?
  • Are people getting in touch having been on the site?
If some of these answers aren’t what your hoping for then perhaps it’s time to think about making improvements or redesigning your website.

Is it time for a new website for your business in 2013?


Well back to the subject of feeling inspired in the New Year…

I’m looking forward to this year…are you?

Despite these being somewhat challenging times for small businesses worldwide, on a smaller scale here in Normandy I feel that the English speaking businesses have a wonderful network for support and advice in Normandy Business Group. I will look forward to future Normandy Jelly Co-working days and to other ‘get togethers’, small business forums and other events.

Am I hopeful for my own business this year?

Well yes I am. I have made several (worthwhile) investments in terms of computer hardware, software and photographic equipment that I feel can help take my business to the ‘next level’. The feedback I received particularly about my wedding and newborn photography in the last year has been really encouraging. I’ve nearly finished my new stand alone photography business website and look forward to launching that as soon as I have finished a couple of other work projects. It doesn’t mean that I’m looking to do any less design work, on the contrary I love being busy and I love the diversity.

So how about you…what are your hopes for your business in 2013?

Website Design in Normandy – Getting your online image right – Part 1

Website Design in Normandy. How do I get my online image right?

Website Design in Normandy. How do I get my online image right?


So how do I get my on-line image right to help my business in Normandy?

Well this subject covers many areas and I’m hoping to be able to offer some guidance to both new businesses starting out who’ve never had a website before and to established businesses who are deciding it’s time to improve and perhaps redesign their businesses website. Also, for those of you who’ve managed to develop your own website, I hope to give you some ideas to improve and develop it yourself.

I will add the additional articles in this series here over the coming months, so keep coming back :

  • Graphics, Photography and Design
  • Added functionality : Contact forms, Newsletter signup, Google maps, social media insertion.
  • Keeping your website up-to-date : fresh content, blogs & videos
  • Social media marketing : How it can be effective for your business
  • SEO Search Engine optimisation : How to help your site rank well in the lists


So where do we start? Well from a visual point of view the first place to start is with your business’s branding.

It starts with a good logo design

Giving your businesses a stylish logo can, on its own, give your business an advantage. It really is worth investing in a well designed logo that can be used across all your advertising including printed literature and other articles such as pop-banners and road & building signs.

It all starts with good logo design

It all starts with good logo design


A good logo needs to be effective in both colour, black and white, large and small scale and your designer should take all this into consideration when helping you develop your branding.  Have a look at your competitor’s logos and see what you think of their business by judging their logo design.

And what if I already have a logo? Well, if you’re not sure, ask the advice of a good designer to see whether it might be time to give it a revamp as even the biggest companies do from time to time.


What if I already have a logo?

What if I already have a logo?


Of course you don’t want to alienate your present client base by changing everything but can you take the opportunity modernise it. You might be concerned that changing your logo will put off your present clients. Think of it another way…if your logo is looking dated because it was created in the 90′s for example, you risk losing both old clients and potential clients by looking old fashioned.

For example, changing the typeface can make a big difference and removing out of date styles. This can be done whilst retaining any colour scheme that you have.


Change your logo's typeface and modernise it

Change your logo’s typeface and modernise it


So that brings us on to the colours..
What is your website saying about your business simply by the colours it is designed in? When designing a website, we need to create a colour scheme which will evoke the right feelings in users.

As you know, colours have different meanings associated with them;

Warm colours will bring about sunny emotions and are widely used on sites that want to convey a feeling of happiness and joy. As a case in point, yellow became a popular colour in web design in 2009 when the global economy wasn’t doing very well and companies wanted their customers to feel sunny and comfortable on their site.

Cool colours are often used on professional and clean-cut sites to achieve a cool corporate look. Cool colours stir up emotions of authority, establishment, and trust.


Colour schemes for your website

Colour schemes for your website


So what else affects the look of your website?

Fonts: In recent years website designers have been able to expand the number of stylish fonts they use on websites thanks to web fonts. Before we were very restricted to a dozen or so system fonts some of which were very dated but now we can pull in stylish fonts knowing that they will display correctly on all computers and devices.


Fonts / Typefaces for your website

Fonts / Typefaces for your website

Good designers will help you develop your websites with text that is featured in columns much like newspapers. No line of text should read all the way from the left over to the right. The reason that newspapers and magazines are printed in columns is to make the lines short, so after you read one line, it’s easy to find the start of next one and this applies to website design too.

Another thing that designers can do is adjust the amount of space between the lines of text. This also makes the text easier to read and creates a more spacious, clean look to your website.

All these changes can make a big change to how your website is perceived by your potential and present clients.

> Next month’s article : Graphics, Photography and Design

For any advice on your website’s online image please contact Sabina Lorkin on or For more information visit  or follow Sabina and Anibas Design on Facebook