How important is your profile picture? Very.

If a picture really is worth a thousand words, than our profile pictures speak volumes. They serve as visual representations of ourselves and our companies/brands in the online world. You want to make sure you are representing yourself well.

Regardless of what people say, we all judge books by their covers. In social media, your avatar is your book cover. It can make the difference between someone reading what you have to say or scrolling right past it.

Some tips for having great avatars and profile pictures…

Consider the medium.

Your avatar on Twitter should be different than your profile picture on LinkedIn, and rightly so. They are social media outlets that serve very different functions. It isn’t crucial that your photo be the same across all your online outlets, but that your photo matches the platform it’s on. Twitter and Facebook are considered more conversational and personal. They lend themselves to profile pics that are fun and casual expressions of yourself.¬†LinkedIn is professional and corporate. Your profile picture for those types of networking sites, or any platform where you specifically represent a company or brand, should be engaging but professional.

Size matters.

There is nothing more frustrating then clicking on someone’s avatar to get a closer look, only to discover the owner uploaded a tiny image. Use large pictures to avoid small, blurry, pixelated images.

Don’t change your photo too often.

On Twitter and Facebook where we quickly scan through the timeline to read only the bits we’re interested in, profile picture recognition is key. When you change your avatar often, it makes it more difficult for people to readily identify you and follow along with your conversations online. That doesn’t mean you should never change it — just avoid changing it every other week!

What would you add?
What tips do you have for profile pics?

Comments


Rylan

5 January, 2012

I believe I have a different viewpoint on your last recommendation.When viewing Facebook's newsfeed, people are initially drawn to the name and the respective posting. The profile picture acts as a supplement. I feel to attract visitors to your page, a healthy amount of profile picture changes need to occur. Sometimes a status or link won't catch someone's eye, but if there is a picture with several people in it or something 'different' than what they're used to seeing beside your name, then they may proceed to investigate. So I believe your status or tweet is your book cover; they are your book title. I could care less what the author looks like in flap on the inside.My question is: is the profile picture THAT important? On an online dating site? Absolutely. However, on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, a profile picture is secondary to the quality of posts that a user decides to share.

    Trevor Roberts

    5 January, 2012

    Content is definitely king. Having something worth saying and worth people's listening is way more important than a killer avatar. But I do think it's vital to visually catch attention in a positive way as well.I would agree about the Facebook timeline being different than Twitter. It's all about finding unique ways to capture interest, and that will look different for everybody.Out of curiosity - how often do you tend to change your Facebook profile pic? Your Twitter avi?Thanks for your input on this! Appreciated hearing your thoughts.

Rylan

5 January, 2012

Well. First, after reading my reply...I was seemingly contradictory. wah.But, I don't have a set timeline as to when I need to change my profile picture. I typically just change my profile picture when I have a picture of me newly tagged/uploaded and I actually like enough to make it a profile picture. I tend to change my Twitter profile picture less, due to less traffic/audience.

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