Does Your Picture Really Capture Your Brand?

Social media can help our brand make a good impression if we do it right. Part of making a good impression is choosing the right profile picture for our accounts. When people visit our profiles, the first thing that they notice is our picture. This picture can either lure them to know more about us or simply close the window and move on.

Profile pictures matter because it should reflect who we are and people are likely to be drawn to our profiles when we have the right picture there. According to a study on Facebook, the most clicked part of a Facebook page is the profile picture. When our audience goes on our page and clicks on our picture, we want to make an impression that is aligned to our brand. How do we know it’s the right picture for our brand?

Here are some tips on how you can do it right.

Smile – when you are smiling in your profile picture, your audience will get the impression of happiness. It could give a pitch that says you are happy and they will be too with your brand. It could also lead to better social relationships because your audience sees that you are approachable.

Body language is one way for people to read you. People can either see you as open or closed just by how you pose. For example, folded arms and closed hands mean that you are not open. A trick to show openness to your audience is to open your mouth a bit when you smile.

Babies, cartoons and pets – because you are using social media for your business, it’s best to avoid using pictures of anyone but you. Don’t use your baby’s picture, your pets or a cartoon version of yourself because there’s a big possibility that your audience will not take you seriously.

No logos – using your brand logo may seem like a great idea but people are more drawn to connect with people than logos. So avoid using your brand logo as your profile picture. However, you can try to include your brand logo in your picture like wear your brand’s color, use it as a background, mini-logo in the corner, or portray your brand.

Same applies to QR codes. QR codes are good for your website if you want to direct others to your content but it’s not going to work as a profile picture. You want people to remember your face as a brand and not as a QR code.

Stand out with bright backgrounds – personal branding is about standing out from the rest and one way to do that is to use bright backgrounds. Try experimenting with different bright colors and see which ones look good and effective for your brand. Rand Fishkin, founder of SEOmoz and web research mastermind did exactly this and said that orange works well for him and earned him more Twitter followers compared to other colors.

Where you look and what it means – looking straight to the camera will look like you are making direct eye contact with your audience. It seems like you are talking to them and that they have your full attention. It’s a good way to make direct contact with your audience.

Studies also show that your audience will look at the area where you’re facing in your picture. If your face is looking to the right, your audience will look at that area. It’s the same if you are looking to your left, up or down. You can strategically look at your left if you want an audience you go through your tweets.

Stick with your picture for long periods – part of being consistent is to keep your profile picture on for months at a time. Changing it every week or every month will only confuse your audience. You have to give it some time for your image to stick before changing it. Some are even dependent on profile pictures. They search for the image instead of looking for the name because it is easier to remember.

There are different ways on how to make our profile pictures work for our brand. Think about your brand and your goals, and then capture that image you want your audience to see. Once you have an idea, hire a professional photographer to take your photos. It’s a good investment. You only have one time to make a good first impression.