For millions of startups all over the globe, being active on social media is a natural part of the process -- positioning yourself solidly in a steady pipeline connected to potential customers.
The digital world we all have to embrace.
But in a digital world where first impressions are made in an instant, competition is rampant, and screens are small, the brand visuals a startup presents on social -- mainly the logo -- are more important than ever before.
The logo presented in the tiny profile picture space on social media can help nab or repel customers. These customers are so flooded with buying options and opportunities that selecting a brand based solely on logo is no longer shallow. It's smart -- it's a time-saving device. It's a method of elimination where the weakest link will fail. The startup with a logo that is pixelated, oddly cropped or with a straight-outta-1997-aesthetics -- is dropped like a hot coffee burn -- and without a second thought.
At one time, a brand could survive, even thrive, with just one version of its logo. Today, in the digital age, one-logo startups are coming up short. Take a look around on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter -- notice anything special about the logos of successful startups and brands?
Logos are staggeringly simple.
Optimizely, Cloudpeeps, InsideView, Startup Stash, Roomi, BlueChilli -- the list is endless. The logo components these brands are using are more than finite -- they're downright lean.
Instead of cramming a full logo into the social media profile picture space and appearing amateur -- they're onto a branding method of brands quadruple their size: Using bold, memorable flashmarks instead.
Flashmarks are the wordless marks brands like Apple, Nike, and Instagram have been using for years. The iconic bitten apple, black "swoosh," and simplified camera outline are all examples of flashmarks.
Scalable marks -- you need both.
These scalable marks help users recognize and identify your brand just like a logo. But unlike logos, flashmarks are designed especially for social media: They're lean, clean, and designed to scale to fit small screens. You don't need one or the other. If you're serious about being successful on social, you need both.
If your existing logo meets certain criteria, you may be able to simply isolate your symbol. Think about your symbol and use it as a flashmark by dropping the text. If your logo contains fine lines, more than two colors, or a lot of detail -- it's best to start by simplifying your design. Overall simplification come before creating a flashmark.
Flashmarks enable companies to represent themselves flawlessly on social media, where it takes something special to make a user stop scrolling.
Really -- you just need users to take notice of your brand long enough to read about how awesome you are. Let the customer know you and your brand quickly and seamlessly. The rest will practically be done for you.