How to Add Social Media Links to YouTube Banner

You can add links on top of your YouTube banner. And you can also use them to add social media icons that link to your accounts. Here’s how to do it.

YouTube Banner Links Header
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:
Topics: YouTube

I MAY get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Quick Summary

  • YouTube banners, or channel art, set the first impression and reinforce branding for viewers.
  • Banners can overlay up to five active links, appearing in the bottom right corner.
  • These spots can be used for website links or social media icons linking to accounts.
  • To add, navigate to Channel Customization > Basic Info > Links, and input URLs.
  • YouTube auto-generates social media icons based on provided links.
  • Icons are active, directing users to the respective social media profiles when clicked.

Your YouTube banner is the image at the top of your YouTube channel. Google sometimes refers to it as your channel art.

It works much like a book cover. Everyone who comes to your channel will see it at the top of the page, whether they’re viewing through a desktop, mobile device, or TV app. While the image will display differently on each of those viewing devices, the banner image still has an important role to play in establishing a good first impression for your YouTube channel and reinforcing your branding.

You can obviously customize photos, graphics, and logos on the banner image. But that’s a passive graphical element–clicking on it isn’t going to do anything. But YouTube has added an area where you can overlay up to five active links on top of the banner image. They appear in the bottom right corner.

You can use those spots for traditional links to websites. Your homepage would be a natural example. But you can also use them to display social media icons that link to your social accounts.

It’s not hard to do, but it doesn’t work quite the way you might expect.

So here’s how to do it.

Go To Channel Customization Page

After you’ve signed in to your YouTube account, click on your profile picture. Choose Your Channel.

On your main channel screen, you’ll see two blue buttons under the banner image: Customize Channel and Manage Videos. Choose Customize Channel.

YouTube Banner Links and Social Media Icons

On the Channel Customization page, there are three tabs at the top: Layout, Branding, and Basic Info. Choose Basic Info.

YouTube Banner Links and Social Media Icons

Add URLs to Websites & Social Media Pages

Towards the bottom of that page, you’ll see a section titled Links. This is where you add the URLs.

Now, the trick here is that you don’t actually add the social media icons. What you do is add the links to your social media accounts, and YouTube automatically pulls in the icons.

Here’s an example. I’ve added my website’s homepage and then the URLs of my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles.

YouTube Banner Links and Social Media Icons

You can drag and drop to reorder them.

Under that, there’s a section titled Links on Banner. This is where you control whether the links appear on the banner itself or in the section below. You can choose up to five. In this example, I want all four links to appear in a row on top of the banner image.

YouTube Banner Links and Social Media Icons


Next, hit the Publish button at the top right corner of the page. Then choose View Channel.

You’ll now see that it is displaying my homepage URL and has automatically pulled in the icons for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. (I’m using a simple solid blue banner image here just for the sake of illustration.)

Here’s a closer crop of the same thing so you can get a better view of the social media icons. These icons are active links, which means users can click on them and go straight to the relevant social media profile.

YouTube Banner Links and Social Media Icons

Things Worth Knowing

You don’t have any control over which icons it uses. You can’t swap them out for black and white versions, for instance.

With standard URLs, the site’s favicon is used–again, you don’t get to choose.

Profile photo of David Coleman | Have Camera Will Travel | Washington DC-based Professional Photographer

Text & Photos by David Coleman

I'm a professional photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.