What compelled me to write this piece was the growing number of
people who are popping up on sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter,
Plaxo and the rest with no profile picture. Many times I understand
that these are new users setting up accounts (which is great). But I
feel it is important to say that but before you begin interacting with
others online you should really have a profile picture visible. While I
am not interested in how attractive you are, I am more interested in
seeing that you are a real person.
The growing fact, or dilemma if you will, are companies that are
creating fake accounts with fake people in order to spam. While many of
these you can spot a mile off, sometimes they slip through the cracks.
Will they ruin your life? No, but they will add a few extra minutes a
day to your time online: deleting, de-friending, removing their “cutesy”
posts to your Facebook wall, etc. As a busy professional myself, this
is time I won’t ever get back.
With that point aside, the importance of a picture is that it rounds
out your profile. People like to see who they are engaging with online.
It builds trust, it builds credibility and above all, it makes you
“real”. Remember that the social media world is built on engagement,
trust and value packed conversation. So, a picture of yourself is a
crucial element. And also note, when you are building relationships and
interacting online, use your own picture and name – not a picture of
your company logo, your products, or heaven forbid..clipart! Having a
brand/company profile is extremely important, but people interact and
engage with other people and not with faceless brands. Your personal
profile will build your company’s credibility.
Now choosing the photo. I’ll leave that up to you. But remember, we
have been blessed with something sent from high above – Photoshop! So
if you have an existing picture or have just taken a new one, airbrush
the heck out of it if you want. At the end of the day, you want to feel
comfortable and a slightly “updated” picture of you is better than no
picture at all.
I will be covering the Social Media World Forum Europe this March
15th and 16th. During this time I am going to hold an interview with a
specialist on this subject about the importance of a profile picture and
the best tricks to get the most effective one. So look out for that
post in the future.
Yikes! Now I have to update mine…can someone pull up Photoshop for
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