In a world dominated by social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, it isn’t a wonder that people judge us by what they see on our social media accounts. Anything we post — from statuses to tweets to links — paints a picture of the kind of person that we are in real life.
Whether we like it or not, the things that people see on our Facebook or Twitter accounts form part of our personal brand, which draws the interest not only of family and friends, but potential employers, business partners and lovers as well. Here’s what not to do.
Nothing we put on our social media channels portrays a clearer snapshot of who we really are than the profile picture. It is, after all, the very first thing that people look at when checking out our page. This is why we all need to put up decent profile pics if we even care at all about our personal brand. Forget about social media optimization. Post any of the following bad profile pictures as your profile pic, and you’ll be flirting with disaster, at least where your personal brand is concerned:
1. The Default Icon
If there’s one thing you need to do when you sign up for, say, Twitter, it would have to be replacing that white egg that automatically becomes your default profile pic. You wouldn’t want to give people the impression that you’re too lazy, or that you have no idea how to go about it.
2. Blurred Pictures
Unless you’re doing this for effect as part of your personal brand (that you’re a bit on the artsy-fartsy side, for example), it would really be nice to post a profile pic that wouldn’t give your followers or readers vertigo or something.
3. A Picture of George Clooney
Or anyone else that’s not you, for that matter, unless you really are George Clooney. It doesn’t matter if he’s your favourite actor. If you’re so shy you’d rather hide behind the toothy grin and dimpled chin of the Oscar-winning actor, maybe you should rethink the decision to actually create a social media profile in the first place. Also, posting the picture of someone else might damage their own personal brand and get you into legal trouble, so avoid it if you can.
4. Rude Pictures
You may think you’re cooler than cool if you post a photo of an orangutan raising its middle finger as your profile pic. On the contrary, all you’re doing is turn off people and kill your social media marketing campaign. Besides, would you really want a potential employer or customer come across such a pic on your profile?
5. Adult Material
Actually, this is just fine when you’re in the adult film industry, and you need to build your personal brand to boost your stock. However, many social media companies do not allow this type of marketing on their services and you will be banned instantly. If the closest you have come to a porn set is watching those behind-the-scenes videos pornographers typically make, putting up a pornographic shot as your profile pic speaks volumes as to the kind of thing that you’re into, and it’s not looking good for your personal brand.
Enough of bad profile pictures – what you really want is a nice sharp image of the real you that conveys who you are and ideally sees you smiling.