Like any other company, Facebook establishes branding guidelines to which parties writing about and posting links to the company are to adhere. Unlike many other companies, parties who write about and post links to Facebook extend beyond contracted vendors and media outlets. Their branding guidelines apply to everybody who posts links to Facebook on a website, so…everybody with a web presence. So…everybody.
Facebook has to approach branding guidelines differently than other companies. First and foremost, Facebook is a global brand–one of The global brands responsible for expediting globalization–and therefore has a brand identity that it must maintain globally.
Ironically, by connecting people with brands, Facebook entrusts its branding to anyone with a web presence. Since it functions as an outlet for connecting people and spreading ideas, Facebook makes its branding assets available to everyone online. Many businesses have adapted the Facebook logo to their own brand. Much to the dismay of picky designers everywhere, changing the color or font of the Facebook “f” is out of scope of proper usage of Facebook branding assets.
At least that blue is kind of neutral, ’cause you have to make it work with your branding.
Other social media company branding guidelines that are too easy to break:
“Tweets” and “Twitter” are capitalized.
Twitter requires 150% buffer space around the Twitter bird when it appears as a badge online.
“Pin”, “re-pin”, “pinner”, “pinboard”, and “pin it”, when used in regards to social media, are considered to be Pinterest marks.
It’s a miracle that, with endless opportunity for variation, the Facebook brand is still titanically strong. Even if companies using social media badges on their websites didn’t get the Facebook branding exactly right, the link they’ve posted will still lead to Facebook, and the audience will absorb the brand while
Facebooking looking on Facebook.