Here’s why to never use social media logos in your printed marketing

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If you’ve ever been at a company that changed its logo you know how much work is involved when the powers that be decide the logo needs to be updated.

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Often the logo is found for months down the road. Sometimes longer. It’s really a bear of a project.

As much work as that is, now imagine having to update other company logos in your marketing materials when they update their logos – which is a decision even more out of your control.

This is a real problem out there with companies of all sizes when they slapped social media logos on their posters, fliers, even business cards. I also see social media logos on conference booths and company trucks among other things. Why, why, why? No idea, but it’s a problem. And at this point do we really still have to advertise that we are on social media. Everyone should be on some kind of social media.

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In 2016, Instagram changed its logo from this:

To this:

But in reality they were a few more updates:

Instagram logo options

Love it or hate it, it’s not our decision. But it’s our decision to print it on posters, the back of trucks and wherever to show the world we are social we know how to sign up for accounts.

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But now there are all these outdated logos out there. They are everywhere. Even four years later I still see the 2016 logo on vehicles and other physical things.

As a marketer, my recommendation would be to not even promote all these networks. That’s free advertising for them anyway, you know? We have enough work with our own marketing.

Do this on physical marketing materials instead

On printed pieces, add one call to action. If it has to go to something digital just have your website. In the case you want people to call, add a phone number. Want them to visit your website, add that. Want them to sign onto your WiFi, make that the call to action. Consider augmented reality or QR codes, which are making a comeback in 2022.

Author Sam Horn joined me on this podcast livestream to talk about how brands can stand out.

I can see some out there being upset about not using social logos. But: Somebody got the budget to get all this stuff printed with the logos but now there’s no budget to replace it.

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Does it matter, though? It depends. If you are selling anything in the social media vertical it’s a credibility killer. How can you run a good social media strategy which depends on adjusting to change if you still use an outdated logo?

A poster at the airport – it might not be that big of a deal there except to us marketing people notice.

Either way, it’s easier to not use other networks’ logos and focus on marketing our own brands.

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