Social Media Profiles: The Importance of Your Picture

by Julie on April 23, 2009


The power of social media is that it lets you, one person, connect with them, millions of other people, online. To maximize this connection, you need to put a face on your presence.


Because traditional marketing puts customers face to face with companies. Companies that are big, unapproachable – essentially non-human.

Social media sites offer each user a profile page where they can input information about themselves personally and professionally – and upload an image. Your picture, even if you’re part of a larger company, puts you face to face – person to person – with your customer.

It changes the way you interact and the way you’re perceived. It removes the message, “I’m selling you something and that’s the only reason I’m talking to you’ from your forehead. So be sure not to paste that sentiment elsewhere in your profile.

How to pick a good picture:

  1. The picture box is small – so let the picture frame your face. Don’t be a dot in the distance.
  2. Most sites tell you the image size they allow. If your picture is too big, you can either resize it yourself or give your photographer the dimensions.
  3. Smile. They’re contagious and who doesn’t want to work with a happy person?
  4. If you really don’t want your face up there, pick something personal that really does say something about you. Example: @readergirl has a great snapshot of her jogging shoes. Her feet are in them, but they aren’t running – ankles are crossed, legs are stretched out. She wants to run…maybe after this nap. I’ve never seen her face, yet I feel like I know her.
  5. Company logo? The NY Times can get away with it. So can Google. And Whole Foods. Can you?
  6. Be consistent. Interestingly, when people change their avatars, I get confused. I think, “That’s not you!” Because I’ve come to identify that person with a particular picture. So, I recommend that you:
  • Keep the same picture on all of your sites
  • Have a different picture on each site, but let the chosen image stay put
  • Change your picture constantly so that people get a feel for all of your different looks

Whatever image you choose, realize that this is how people will remember and identify you. It has an impact of their perception of who you are – personally and professionally.

Image courtesy of Luc Legay

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 --Deb April 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

I agree that the picture in your avatar is important–and that changing it too often is bad! For, you know, pretty much the exact reasons you just said. If I’m used to identifying a specific avatar with a specific person and he or she changes it, well … I’m going to miss stuff. And I hate when I miss stuff!

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