With social media playing an important role in marketing efforts, make sure your business creates a flashmark that helps boost brand recognition and credibility.
I've found the companies that perform best in social outlets have one thing in common – a simple, wordless mark (called a "flashmark") that defines the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. The Apple icon, Nike “swoosh,” and Business.com "b" icon are all well-known examples of flashmarks. These marks don’t need the full logo text to communicate the brand’s image. In the limited space social networks provide, that’s an important asset for a business to have.
Examples of flashmarks
Why would a brand purposely strip down its logo to the barest form - the symbol or icon alone - on social media platforms? The answer is simple. The small spaces social networks provide for profile pictures or avatars are a logo's worst nightmare. Each network has different sizing requirements for profile pictures, and it's difficult to individually customize a logo to properly fit each one.
We've all seen the disastrous results of logos that aren't optimized for social media - they're stretched, squeezed, cut off, or grainy and pixelated. With millions of potential customers browsing social networks each day, showcasing a logo poorly is one of the worst mistakes a burgeoning brand can make.
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Finding the solution is easy if you look to the social presence of mega-brands like Apple and Nike. They don't use text in their social media profile pictures. Instead, they rely on the simplest version of their logo - the flashmark. The bitten apple screams Apple, and the swoosh is almost intrinsically equated with Nike.
These brands know that including text in social profile pictures makes it more difficult to showcase the logo properly. They know that it's not necessary for a strong brand identity, and as Antoine de Saint-Exupery once stated, "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Avoid the amateur mistake of uploading your full logo as your brand's social media profile picture. Whether your business is just starting out or well on its way, cleaning up your social presence with a flashmark optimized for social networks is a simple step that can improve the way social users perceive you - and that's something every brand "likes."