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Are You Due For A Social Media “Makeover”?

The phrase “new year, new me” doesn’t just apply to you — it can also reflect how executives approach their social media presence. Since we’re just a few weeks into the new year, now’s the time to freshen up any executive social media profiles.

With many CEOs and executives choosing LinkedIn as their primary social media platform of choice, here are three easy ways digital marketers can give their profile a makeover.


Update Your LinkedIn Profile Images

LinkedIn profiles have two main areas where users can update images: a circular profile picture and a rectangular profile banner. Here is an effective example from General Motors CEO, Mary Barra (a few years ago, we featured her in our Executive Spotlight article).

screenshot of Mary Barra's linkedin profile

What makes her profile images effective?

Her profile headshot is well-cropped and clear. Because the circular profile image size is much smaller than the banner, it’s important for executives to choose a high-quality headshot so that it’s centered and framed. This photo should focus on the face, rather than a full body shot.

LinkedIn profile banners are where executives can get more creative. Above, Mary Barra focuses on highlighting the team at GM. There are photos that indicate the company branding; but for the most part, the focus is on the people. Other effective examples include Richard Branson’s banner, which features logos that give it a more branded look, while Jean Marc Leclerc’s banner features a photo of the Honda building.

Executives can use the same banner as the one on their company’s LinkedIn page. For example, some companies have pre-made LinkedIn header banners that they instruct all employees to use in order to maintain consistent branding. Otherwise, if an executive has free reign, consider getting a custom-made graphic. We always recommend differentiating executive and company content wherever possible in order to build stronger authenticity and credibility.

Here are some of our expert tips: 

  • Ensure your profile images are the correct size. If you upload an image that doesn’t fit LinkedIn’s recommended dimensions or resolution, the platform will try to correct this by autocropping the photo. This means you may end up with a blurry, stretched image on your profile, which isn’t a good first impression! Check out this LinkedIn help page featuring the recommended sizes.
  • If you want to include text on your LinkedIn banner image, keep it short and sweet. For example, instead of writing a paragraph about what your company does, consider just putting your company’s tagline, motto, or short mission statement on the banner.


Experiment With Text Formatting in Your LinkedIn Posts

While this may not be as obvious as changing your profile photos, proper text formatting in your post can help make it more visually engaging. If you’ve spent time browsing through LinkedIn, you’ll see some posts written in a single, long paragraph. Many users will often skim or skip these types of posts altogether. On the other hand, posts with better formatting and spacing can grab a reader’s attention and make your post more readable and appealing.

When it comes to social media posts, correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation are obvious must-haves, but executives shouldn’t feel as if they need to stick to the traditional 3-4 sentence paragraph structure common in other types of writing. Here’s an example that mixes up sentence lengths to create an interesting and compelling narrative structure:

screenshot of a linkedin post from shay rowbottom

Post text that is separated out like this has a higher chance of catching a social media user’s attention. They might be scrolling and see one particular sentence that resonates with them, which causes them to go back and read through the entire post.

Here are some of our expert tips: 

  • Avoid overusing emojis, especially if your previous content features little to no emojis in the first place. Emojis can drastically change your tone, so use emojis in moderation. One emoji that is easy to use is this arrow: ➡️. This is especially useful if you’re sharing content with a bulleted list.
  • Sometimes your social media “makeover” is as simple as rearranging the way you share your content. For example, consider starting off your post with an interesting stat. Then, include a line break and share your comments about the stat.


Leverage Custom Images and Videos

Lastly, one of the best ways to give your LinkedIn social media feed a makeover this year is to leverage custom graphics (images and videos) in your feed that help distinguish your content from other executives — and even differentiate your feed from your company’s content.

Some examples include custom holiday greeting graphics, custom quote graphics, a custom infographic, or a short video featuring the executive.

At times, resharing graphics that were also used on the company page is acceptable. However, one of the biggest mistakes executives make on social media is using all of the same graphics from their company’s page. Visually, this makes both feeds look too similar and the executive may come across as less authentic, and more of a company mouthpiece.

Here are some of our expert tips: 

  • Quote graphics are often one of the easiest ways to add custom visual content to an executive’s feed. Many executives enjoy sharing leadership-related content, so sharing inspirational quotes on a custom graphic can be an effective way to create a more visually appealing feed.
  • A step up from custom images is custom videos. Videos often take more time to produce and edit, but our findings show that videos are more engaging for social media users. Read our guide to learn how to create video content with a camera-shy executive.


Create an Eyecatching — and Engaging — Social Media Feed!

For marketers looking to enhance their executive’s social media presence, updating their feed and profile visuals can go a long way to making their content more engaging and authentic. If your company’s CEO or other executives aren’t using social media strategically to position themselves online, keep these tips in mind as you start! Read more guides below to learn how to launch your own strategic executive social media program.