Maybe you’ve noticed that all the major social platforms are adopting “banner” photos. But what makes a good banner photo?

I posed the following question in the MarketingProfs PRO LinkedIn group the other day:

What Kind of Photo Works Best for New LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter “banners”?

I’m looking for suggestions and advice on photos for these banners. A picture of “me” seems stupid (and, for Twitter, totally redundant), a logo is boring (and a turnoff), and a generic picture of Washington landmarks is corporate brochure misery. So what to do?

It’s easy to figure this out for my personal accounts (Facebook has a picture of me at the end of a race / though it could just as easily be something baseball-related) — but business is different. As a consultant, I don’t have a product to showcase. Can I use something abstract and colorful (my modern art taste coming through)? Help! I need your collective smarts.

 

Here are five options you might want to consider.

1. Promote an upcoming event. Tara Collazo pointed to her company’s LinkedIn page, which featured a promo for an upcoming event. (It now features a company accomplishment.)

2. Inspire your audience. Mark Ataya suggested that since I needed something for a small consultancy, “I think it should have a personal touch. Why not have something inspiring to you that can relate to your audience.”

3. Showcase your work. Stephan Hovnanian said that the absence of products per se doesn’t mean you don’t have something to show. So a designer might take a picture of some of her design work; a writer, brochures, reports, and other “products” of his expertise.

4. Showcase your results. Suggesting that my business was “all about story, speaking, amplifying a message, advancing [word of mouth], and creating community, Joanne Ritter said that “the image that comes to my mind after reading your profile is a group of animated people talking to each other — buzzzzz. Thanks to you, they’re talking about your client’s business!”

5.  Visualize your business. Amy Garton said her company created a word cloud for their Facebook page.

There are lots of ways to tell your story. 

As you might have guessed from the above image, I opted to visualize my business (using brand-consistent greens). Here’s my Twitter banner. And here’s the same word cloud on Google+. Let me know what you think.

What approach have you taken to tell your story?