Social Media Branding, Color in Website Design and Images #FridayFinds

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This week in my #FridayFinds series, I share links to an article that talks about “The Great Social Media Waste”, a post with great examples of branding your social networking profiles (on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook), the role of color in website design and tips on using images in your website/blog.

Is Social Media a Waste of Time?

There’s no question that spending time on social media can be a huge time waster. After all, if our efforts are not producing the results that we desire (conversions, new customers, etc.), why do we continue to spend our time on social networking sites?

To take a closer look at why companies continue to spend time and resources engaging with their fans and followers, check out The Great Social Media Waste by Allison Howen on WebsiteMagazine.com. In her article, Allison references a recent Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly report that states “email and search still drive far more conversions and referrals than social media”.

So, why still participate on social networking sites? Here are some of the highlights from Allison’s post:

  • Marketplace Insights (garnered by analyzing online conversations)
  • Brand Awareness (social posts may not result in direct conversions but it does build top-of-mind awareness)
  • Customer Service (social media provides a 2-way communication channel)

To see how 3 big companies (Papa Gino’s, Petco and Virgin America) have branded themselves on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, be sure to read Allison’s post Brand Examples: Social Profile Designs on the Big 3 Networks. (Allison includes screenshots and links to their social media profiles.)

What Role Does Color Play in Website Design?

There are many studies that have proven that color influences our buying decisions. How important is color to your website design? Jackie De Burca takes a close look at the effect of color in her guest post How to Use Colors to Increase Your Website’s Conversions on WeBlogBetter.com. Jackie uses examples of websites to illustrate the successful use of color (like red, yellow and orange) and she also includes an infographic on the “Psychology of Color”.

Do You Need Help With Images for Your Website?

Last week I was visiting Adam Connell’s blog, BloggingWizard.com, and I came across a guest post by Ashley Faulkes where he shares his tips to Make Your Blog Images Awesome – Even If You Aren’t Picasso.  This is one of the most inclusive articles I’ve come across on using images in your blog posts.  Ashley offers tips on where you can find images and some photography basics (cropping, contrast & brightness, resizing, saving & compressing). He also includes a how-to tutorial using Pixlr Express (a free and easy to use tool).

Bonus Tutorial for New Bloggers:

Most new bloggers know how to insert images in their blog posts but do you know how to insert an image in a WordPress widget? If not, you may want to check out my post How to Add Follow Buttons to WordPress without a Plugin. The example I use in that article is to add social media follow buttons in a text widget (in the sidebar of you blog ) but you can follow the same steps to insert a still image or a video!

Over to You:

What are your thoughts about social media? Do you feel Allison has built a supporting case for using social media as part of your overall business strategy in spite of the fact that “email and search still drive far more conversions and referrals than social media”? Were you inspired by her brand examples of social media profiles? Did you enjoy Jackie’s article on the use of color or Ashley’s post on images? Feel free to let me know if you find this series helpful. (I’m still reconsidering whether or not to continue #FridayFinds.)

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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  1. For me it depends on the nature of work and the business, color depends. If you owned a huge business, it\’s advisable to hire a graphic or web designer to maintain the business credibility. But sometimes your own creative thinking will be enough to make it professional.

  2. I really doubt about the impact of color on conversion rate. Any simple website, with ease of navigation and correct ordering of content will have a huge impact compared to color. May be using color can make people notice about the product you want to sell. But users are too smart to go on and click something based on the color code used.

    1. Susan,

      There have been numerous studies conducted that support the impact of color on conversion rate. If the colors used on a website are off-putting, it can easily cause a visitor to bail and never even see the offer. It certainly would be easy enough to test this by using different landing pages.

  3. Visible Intelligence seems like a good idea to me. Bookmarked it and may use it at some stage.

    When it comes to colours I have found that clear colours normally have a positive impact while muddy colours can have a negative impact on people/customers. Mind you it can be easier said than done to make sure colours don’t look muddy. Unless you want to use neon colours. Have picked clear colours that came back from the printers looking muddy.

    Am also very pleased I found PicMonkey that I bookmarked and will use when I need it.

    1. I’m glad that you found Allison’s article helpful Catarina. I always find her posts interesting and Website Magazine is a favorite resource of mine. (So much so that I subscribe to the print edition too.)

      Thanks for letting me know that you found PicMonkey too!

  4. Colors indeed play an important part in influencing our buying decisions and the same applies to the people who visit our site. And the article on weblogbetter was just amazing. Expained thoroughly and detailed in every aspect.Thanks and keep sharing the wonderful ideas.

  5. Good articles Sherryl. I have read other articles about colour and the one thing they say which seems to work on my site is to have the call to action button a different colour to your main colours. Also I use Photo Pin and found some very interesting and different images to use.

    1. Thanks for the reminder Susan! You had told me before that changing the color of your call to action button had made a difference on your site. I’ve really been neglecting my site design. I’ll definitely keep this in mind for the future. (Hopefully, near future.)

  6. Hi Sherryl !
    The tutorial on Pixlr express was simply awesome . I never thought that pixlr express can be this powerful . Thanks for sharing these links with us .

    -Pramod

  7. Hi Sherryl,

    Please do not stop this series. It might not bring so many comments but you definitely help people with a lot of interesting and useful information.

    About social media
    I think too much emphasis and attention was given to social media without taking into account that these tools were designed to fulfill some specific functions. It was the same exaggeration as with mobiles. You cannot use mobile for everything. You cannot use social media to run you whole business. Always people generate problems not tools.

    I also think that conventional wisdom promoted by too many blogs and gurus, distorted the way people perceived social media. Many saw it as a kind of financial savior. When this didn’t happen (and businesses weren’t saved by social media) articles about the death of social media started to appear.
    I think the future will bring more harmony and equilibrium. All the tools (searches, blogs, emails, social networks, mobiles) will have their place on the internet and will share a piece of the pie. This is normality.

    Have a wonderful day

    1. Hi Silviu,
      Thanks for the positive feedback on this series. I struggle a little with my strategy for this series because it’s a limited roundup and I don’t focus on any one topic. I guess I get a little bit hung up on not being able to optimize it well for the search engines. Hopefully, #FridayFinds will grow legs of it’s own and get a following. That way, I won’t need to worry about SEO for it so much.

      I agree with you completely that social media is a tool (as are blogs, email, social, mobile etc.). Some people expect social media to be the end-all and be-all and it’s not. It needs to be used to implement your marketing strategy. If a blogger doesn’t have a business plan (formal or not) and strategies to achieve their goals, they can’t expect to turn their blog into a business.

      Thanks so much for weighing in on this. Your insight is always a valuable contribution to the conversation!

  8. Pink! I use pink as an accent in all my sites. I love it, but I wonder what it “says”. I know it’s a lot like red, but more subdued, and very feminine.
    Oh social media. It is SUCH a time suck, but I feel like its useful, somehow. Maybe I just enjoy it? Is that enough? Don’t know.
    Personaly I love your Friday posts! It’s nice to get a little round up once a week.

  9. Sherryl, I agree. One of the worst I have seen is yellow and/or white text on a black background. I have to leave the site after just a few seconds because it is too hard to read.

  10. Sherryl- Color plays an important in not only your website but everything you do. When we had our logo redesigned I didn’t want to use too much red. So the G in Garrett Specialties is a red brush stroke. Red is power color but the brush stroke toned it down. We used mainly blue for the rest of the site for the accent color. I knew blue instills trust and confidence. There is a an old book that I read when I sold real estate. “Dress for Success”. It was about colors and how they effected people. When I wanted someone to buy a house I would wear fushia. Fushia is an annoying color so it would make them make a decision in a hurry. When I took a listing I would wear Blue as it would elude trust. When I went to the closing I would wear beige which is non threatening color. Color has played a big role in our psyche whether we realize it or not. Enjoyed this post.

    1. Arleen,
      Thanks so much for sharing your insight on the influence of color when you sold real estate. I wouldn’t have thought that wearing fuchsia would help someone make a decision. I’ll have to try this the next time I take my mother shopping. 🙂

  11. Hey Sherryl, another great round up here. My first college degree was in psychology, so I can certainly attest to the fact that color can play a huge role in conversion rate. Not only that but also bounce rate as well as other metrics. Too often that part of the web design experience is overlooked or altogether dismissed. Have a great weekend!

    1. Tom,
      Thanks for dropping by again. I did not know that you had a degree in psychology. That’s interesting! When I went to college, so many people I knew were switching their majors to that.

      When it comes to color and websites, the combinations that baffle me the most involve text/background combinations like red text on a black background. There are some people who just love to do that, often at the expense of legibility.

  12. Pingback: Friday Finds: Social Media Branding, Color in W...
  13. The information on color was interesting sheryl, I understand the power color has over psyche. The main thing is to use it affectively. Not everyone knows how. I do try but sometimes it important to get a third party perspective because we (meaning me) are to close to it.

    The tutorial is cool. I plan on sharing it with some newbies. 🙂

    1. Thanks for letting me know that you liked it Susan. I’ve read quite a few blog posts on color and websites before but I really enjoyed this one. I really enjoyed the screenshots that Jackie included.

      It’s amazing how many bloggers don’t know the basics about images and the web. I’m sure Ashley and Adam will appreciate any shares.