I love how social media has such a high level of engagement with people on a day-to-day basis. The internet is a big, wide, crazy place. It is full of interesting individuals, incredible stories, and breathtaking images of beauty. And trolls, of course. Lots and lots of trolls! It is also a beautiful place to make connections and put your best foot forward – with your profile picture.
But, troublemakers aside, one of the most charming and valuable aspects of the internet is how it facilitates connections. This is the exact reason why social media is such a worthwhile priority for businesses when they’re looking to their marketing strategies – there isn’t any other venue out there that allows companies to communicate on a personable, human level with their customers and clients. It’s that familiarity, that relatability, which sets social media marketing apart.
Profile Picture: Logo or Personal Photo
We’ve been spending some time lately discussing the ins and outs of setting up your social media account for success. One of the most immediate, important elements of any social media account is the profile picture. While many businesses make use of their profile image as an opportunity to enshrine their company’s logo prominently on their account, other business owners will opt instead for a photo of themselves, to further personify their company and put a human face to the business that they stand behind.
The Benefits of Using Your Photo
Previously, we discussed the ins and outs of using your company’s logo for your profile image and when this is beneficial. To summarize, we ultimately recommended choosing to showcase your logo as your profile image to appear professional, further enhance brand recognition, and as a means of transparently communicating the intent and purpose of the account.
Using a photo of yourself as your profile picture has the opposite comparative effect, but not in a negative sense. Rather than putting the focus on brand identity, using a photo of yourself puts the focus squarely on YOU. It gives your company an element of humanity playing on the relatability that social media is all about. Putting a person and not a logo in that profile picture instantly creates an air of approachability. People will see themselves engaging not with a company, but with an individual.
Great Intentions of the Profile Picture
Now, this can be either good or bad, depending on what your business is trying to accomplish. One of the end goals is always going to be brand recognition. By not having your logo as your profile picture, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to capitalize in this regard. Unless, as can be the case with many small businesses, the person is the brand. Many entrepreneurs will forego using their logo as their profile image to put themselves forward as the face of their brand. To use myself as an example, I am The Marketing Girl, so it makes perfect sense for my profile image to be a photo of me. I want to present myself as the face of my business and make an interpersonal connection in online interactions.
Luckily, modern social media platforms have also helped to ease some of the pressure around this decision. With the advent of header images, there’s a bit of room now for compromise. Many businesses who choose to put a photo of themselves in their profile picture will then splash their logo across their header image, to try and have their cake and eat it, too. This is a pretty smart way to approach things. Keep in mind – it only works when people click through to visit your page. When they’re engaging with you out in the wide world of social media, they’re not seeing your header image – they’re making a connection with your profile picture.
Some Profile Picture Pointers
If you’ve decided using a photo of yourself is the way you want to go with your profile picture, great! Just like we talked about when choosing to go with your logo, there are some tricks to ensuring you get the most bang for your buck from this decision.
Firstly, make sure the photo you’re using is professional, taken by a professional photographer – selfies won’t cut it. If you have some headshots, use one of those. If you don’t, take some time and go get some. As a business owner, having professional photos of yourself is an investment in yourself and your business. If budget is a concern, inquire into one image pricing or look for photographers who are starting out.
When you’re picking a photo, keep in mind that it’s representing both you and your business, so choose accordingly. Take into consideration how you’re dressed, the background, your pose, facial expression, and the technical composition of the image. Is the photo meant to be representing a small accounting firm? Make sure you’re looking clean-cut and proficient, and that the photo has a more subdued, business-like tone to it. Do you run a creative-based company? Go with a photo that’s a bit more creative in nature.
Keep it Personal
No matter your business, make sure you’re smiling and looking both friendly and personable. This image will essentially be functioning as your business’s “logo” on social media. Take the time to choose a photo that best represents the personality and voice of your company. Lastly, make sure the photo fits the dimensions of the platform you’re putting it on, to have an image that is sharp and professional-looking.
There’s a lot that goes into setting up an effective social media profile – choosing the right photo is just the first step! If getting your profile up and running feels a bit overwhelming, give me a call. I’ve set up countless accounts for success, and would be happy to do the same for yours!