In the world of social media - don't underestimate the power of your profile picture

Some people underestimate how important it is to have the right profile picture representing your presence on any social media site. The little box that sits at the top left hand side of any Linked In/Twitter/Facebook or YouTube account is seen by your entire social media community, all the time. Not making the most out of this branding opportunity is not only foolish but could in fact be detrimental to your brand.HiRes

Web designer and illustrator Brad Colbow argues that:

‘Your Twitter profile is your personal brand and with any brand, consistency is the key. When you market yourself, your avatar becomes your logo. It will be seen on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube and in blog comments everywhere.’

Below you’ll find some top tips to ensure that you’re profile picture is spot on:

Don’t be default

Make sure you have your logo or photo on your profile in the first place. Seeing the little default egg on Twitter or the default shadow on Facebook as a profile picture – says not committed, not trustworthy and not bothered. When looking for people to follow on Twitter I assume that all the ‘egg’ profile users are not serious tweeters or haven’t been on their account since they set it up.

Also – do note that there are a number of Twitter apps that now enable users to auto remove all those followers that show the default Egg. After all – would you engage in a conversation with a paper bag on your head?

Don’t change the picture too often

Followers and friends will come to associate your account with your profile picture – people will look out for your face or logo first when scrolling down their feeds. Keep your picture consistent or you may get swept into the mass of faces that appear on the feeds of any popular user of social media. Our attention is short lived on these sites so you only have a second or two to make an impression, by keeping your profile picture the same you greater the chances of someone remembering a connection or history.

Get the right size

Ensure that your profile picture fits the dimensions specified by each social network – you may want to take the consistency rule across all your networks and have the same picture for all your profiles (not a bad idea) – however, your Twitter image will need to be cropped and scaled down in comparison with your Facebook profile. Having half your face or logo image on show, sort of defeats the object of having a picture at all (unless you’re objective is to be ‘artsy’) - so make sure it fits for each site.

  • Twitter –   73 x 73 pixels
  • Facebook - 80 x 540 pixels (smallest) 720 pixels – (largest)

Attention Seeking

If you can be creative with your profile picture then go for it – with Twitter having over 300 million users, it really is a case of standing out from the crowd.

There are things you can do to put a quirky spin on a dull profile picture.

There are numerous apps that can be downloaded for smartphones that instantly turn a mundane headshot into a pencil drawn masterpiece. The iphone has a lot of effects that can be used alongside the camera to jazz up any photo:

  • ‘Toonpaint’ converts photographs into cartoons,
  • ‘Photoshop Express’ has a range of filters and effects.
  • ‘Colour splash’ highlights certain areas of an image in colour and leaves the rest in black and white.
  • ‘The juxtaposer’ app merges two different photos together to create a rather wacky shot that would grab the attention of any dozy tweeter!

What are your tips for ensuring your profile picture says it like it is and get’s your or your brand’s personality across?  Do share…

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Enjoy the post… Vikki

Vikki Mills is Social Media and Marketing Executive at  Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of online visibility - covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.

For marketing and social media advice – view the Carvill Creative Blog

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