Thursday, October 2, 2008

Social Media: Your Photo Needs to Look Like You Do


Here I am again with another "warning" about your photo on social media. First, let's be clear what your photo is there for on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. It's there to make you a real person, someone with whom people can relate, someone whom people can get to know, like and trust (the mantra of doing business on the web).

We've already discussed that this isn't possible if there's no photo. Only this morning I got three Twitter messages of people following me who had no photo with their bios. I did NOT follow these people. If they aren't willing to identify themselves by photo (or real name), why should I trust their advice?

And we've talked about photos with baseball caps that hide your eyes or photos of you on Facebook with two friends and which one is you. And never using a silly photo of you sticking out your tongue or wearing a clown wig.

But yesterday I came across another social media photo mistake -- a photo of a young man with a beard who I had just met clean-shaven in person. The photo looked nothing like the young man. If one purpose of social media is to make an online connection so that when you meet in person you recognize each other, using an old photo with a beard is not going to do this.

Moral of this post? When you dramatically change your appearance (grow a beard, shave off a mustache, change the color of your hair, drastically chop off long locks, get glasses), change your photo. If you want people to know, like and trust you on the web, then don't show a photo that "disguises" the current you.

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2 comments:

Tammy Munson said...

That is so true! I understand completely about using an CG avatar or something b/c its cool and fun,etc.

The difficult part is that when you attend an event and you won't recognize them because they are certainly going to be having their avatar with them! : )

The best thing to do is do something cool with your profile, add text or a "frame" to your pic. (so thats it is memorable)

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Tammy --
I like the photo you're using on Twitter now. It's memorable.