Tips on designing the perfect social media profile page.

Rishi Mailoorkar
6 min readAug 8, 2022

By Sourish Joshi Co-Founder at Rish Official

Now that you have a strategy in place, you’re ready to set up your social media profiles for success. Your profile is the homepage of your social media account. It is where users will go when they search your name or are otherwise directed via a link. It is also where the “Follow” button will live — a well-executed profile design can make the difference in whether or not they click it.

The goal of your profile page is to tell prospective followers who you are. While your bio should lay this out in a few concise statements, the design of your profile will do so visually, using color, shape, and imagery to express your brand identity. This means avoiding graphics that are outside of your brand guidelines or pretty for the sake of pretty. The graphics should say something about you. When deciding on imagery for your profile page, ask yourself critically what story each graphic is telling about you and make sure that the narrative is consistent across platforms.
-Check out our guide to branding yourself on social media
To help you get the most out of your profile design, we’ll go through the common components of a social media profile and provide tips on how to leverage each for branding.

Profile picture design
Your profile picture (or avatar) is, along with your handle, your online identity. It is the part of your profile that will be seen outside of your profile page, acting as a signature for your posts. This is why profile pictures are generally small, to give more attention to your actual posts. With that in mind, focus your avatar on simplicity. Some brands can get away with using their entire logo if it’s legible at a tiny size. Many brands will instead opt for an abbreviated version (either the first letter in the brand name or the logomark by itself). Backing this version of the logo with a bold color or pattern can help it stand out. Also keep in mind that although dimensions are given in a square orientation, most platforms use circular avatars.

Profile picture sample by Rish Official
A professional headshot is a way to go for LinkedIn. Via Anjali Sud.
Rish official
The logomark with a bright color background can be a great profile picture option. Via Airbnb.
Rish Official
Some brands can get away with displaying their full logo in the avatar if it remains clear and legible at that size. Via LEGO.
RIsh Official
A patterned background can make the logo pop. Via Birchbox.

Image Design
Although not all social media platforms include cover images, it is common enough that your design strategy should account for one. The cover image is the wide, rectangular banner that sits at the top of your profile page. It shares an intrinsic relationship with the profile picture — they are commonly positioned together. In some ways, you can think of your cover image as the expansion of your profile picture, the space in which you can fit more text, photos, and graphics.

This cover image expands the logo into a full illustration. Design by Rish.

Many cover image designs go as far as to have the graphics of each literally interact with the avatar, as in the line of color that is sustained from cover image to avatar in the No Co Facebook design. Just be careful with this approach — while clever, it can be a lot of effort for something that is essentially a gimmick and will break when your profile layout is rearranged for smaller screen sizes.

The profile picture and cover image can also literally interact with each other. Design by Rish

Although there is more space to work with compared to the profile picture, this is not an excuse to design a busy, over-the-top cover image. As a banner, your cover image does exist for visual impact, but it is also an advertisement, highlighting what sets your brand apart. It is also the perfect space to display additional contact info, such as your website address, phone number or other social handles. All in all, it should deliver a focused message about who you are, and clutter will dilute that message. Consider minimalist imagery that captures your brand values. For example, the Kathryn Mueller YouTube design uses bright and friendly pastel pinks, circular shapes, and a photo of the trainer in workout wear to tell you that this is a woman-owned and operated fitness brand focused on wellness and balance.

Profile page layout design
Although the profile page layout is generally dictated by the social media platform and the day-to-day content you publish, you still have some control over how your page is presented. This part of the design process does not involve creating social media graphics, but it does involve the use of spacing and alignment to make your content accessible for users.

GoPro organizes its YouTube profile page layout with an important video at the top, blocks of carousel playlists below, and related channels arranged on the right

YouTube is an example of a platform that gives you more tools to customize your profile page. One convention is to pin a channel trailer to the top (explaining what your content is about), following that with a feed of recent uploads and following that with blocks of curated video playlists. Similarly, Pinterest is built on the ability to organize content through boards (and sub-boards). Whatever the platform, take the time to arrange your page so that the most important content is up top and that featured images (if applicable) convey the nature of grouped content.

Instagram layout

Even with platforms like Instagram and Facebook that display your recent posts in chronological order, with no options for customized profile display, you can still plan ahead for how your day-to-day content will display on your page (more on that later).

Platform-specific branding
The great thing about social media is the amount of versatility that exists between platforms. Each social media app has its own unique approach to design and the way they distribute content. So while most platforms share common design categories such as avatars and cover images, each individual platform might have extra profile designs you’ll need to account for.

Wendy’s uses the linked thumbnails on Twitch’s about page to display coupon codes and brand these with a Nintendo Mii version of their mascot.They also get bonus points for customizing their avatar for this channel to include a gaming headset. Via Wendy’s Twitch.

For example, your social media branding for Twitch will include an offline image (a static graphic that is shown on the video screen when you are not currently live) and screen overlay images (branded graphics that are overplayed on the screen when you are life). On YouTube, you will need to plan for a channel trailer, branded video thumbnails, and lower thirds. Make sure to spend some time testing out the profile pages and reviewing those of your competitors on the specific platforms you plan to use ahead of time and take advantage of these extra branding opportunities.



Rishi Mailoorkar

Co-Founder at Rish official | student | designer and editor | teenager | film-making enthusiast