How to Customize Your Social Profile in 2012

Every website has different photo dimensions and rules to what you can adjust on their website. They need all pages to look similar so the site is easy to recognize but that leaves little to the imagination. How can each of us show our personality or our brands if we’re only given so much space to do it?

Well, we probably will never get too much control over our own pages, but we can use what we have to still create a personal touch. So I took the tools available to me and figured out a few things.

Twitter
Twitter is a bit frustrating for me. Although you can have a custom background, not much of it shows either and I know I’ll have to play around with it more. I just put a tiled background of four things that describe me and didn’t seem too unprofessional.

The background, tiled at 250 x 25o pixels:

Twitter collage, twitter background

What it looks like on my account:

Twitter collage, Twitter background

My Twitter background could use some work, but let’s focus on the meat and potatoes of social media profiles.

 The infamous Facebook Timeline and cover photo.
Ever seen that cover photo that is obviously stretched out and grainy? It only takes a simple Google search to figure out the dimensions, but most of us don’t have a picture floating around that is 851 x 315 pixels. That’s old news.

Once you figure out the dimensions, you can try to make a collage or fit a picture to the length and voila, right? That depends on what you want. I like my cover photo to be personalized- after all, I like to handle social media and if a future employer is looking at my site, it needs to be at least slightly impressive.

I always wanted to have one of those profiles where the profile picture and cover photo looked like they were the same. I researched and found a cheat to develop one, but I didn’t have the right version of Adobe Photoshop and it was more complicated than I wanted it to be. So I settled for a collage which many found impressive but I still wasn’t satisfied. Then a thought occurred to me and this was the outcome:

Facebook timeline, cover photo, how to edit, line up cover photo and profile pictureSuccess!

I did have to make the profile picture line up with the cover photo by trial-and-error method, but it only took 3 attempts of slight adjustments once I set up a template.

Step 1: Getting a background
My favorite photo editing site used to be PicNik.com but they were bought out by Google+, which is now known as your “Creative Kit”.

I found picmonkey.com and it even has a Facebook Cover photo size in the collages. If you click “Create a Collage” and then the second picture option on the left:
Scroll down to FB Cover:
You can choose one of the collage options, but since I like to have a blank canvas, it doesn’t matter which one you choose to do this. After you choose a collage, select the third option on the far left to change the background settings and move the spacing slider to “0”.

Then, to get the blank canvas, I insert pre-made blank white images into each of the picture slots and save the file onto my computer under something like “FBcoverBlank” — and you have to make sure to add the “.jpg” extension or whichever you prefer at the end. Why? I’m not sure. Once you have saved the blank canvas, go back to picmonkey and click “edit picture”: this will allow you to add text, images, stamps and more.

Step 2: Line it up
I created a quick fake profile to try out the cover photo and line up a black box where the profile picture was located. You can do this, copy the image below or simply take my word for it:
The top of the black box is lined up at 24×195 pixels to 192×195 pixels.

The profile picture hangs lower so that’s why the box looks funny of course.
Now you need to line up the cover picture so you know where to crop the profile picture. Don’t worry, I provided an example of that below, too.

picmonkey.com
I clicked on “Overlays” and then where it says “Your Own”, I uploaded the picture of the billboard. Notice how on the right where you can adjust the picture, I faded the photo to 41% so I can see what part of the image would overlap the profile box. I then cropped my profile picture to line up with it and it came out like this:
University of Houston, graduation
I wanted all of the other words and images to look like they materialized out of the sky so I just used the “Geometric” shapes of rectangles to fill out the rest of the space and readjusted the fade back to 100%. I matched up the same blue by clicking on the far right rectangle above the fade percent on the settings box that pops up every time you add an object:

(The box above the 41% here in black.)

I added what I love on the sheet of paper because I liked it to showcase my favorite things as if I’d scribbled them down, and I managed to add some of my other accounts so people know where to find me.

If you want to personalize your networks, take these tools and get creative. I’m by no means an expert, but I am proud of my work.

Here are some other FB cover photos I made to show individual personalities:

texas tech, android, google

How do you customize your profiles?

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