The saying goes ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ Or something like that. While I may not always agree with that, the saying holds particularly true when it comes to your profile picture on social media.
A profile picture is often not given its due importance and tends to be forgotten about amidst all the other updates. But one must not forget that it is the profile picture that helps form an early impression: especially since, online, we connect with we have never met. On the professional front,#### a lot of assessments and conclusions are automatically, even subconsciously drawn based on profile pictures of certain social media#####.
This only makes it prudent to take control of the profile picture and make sure it represents who you are. Let us look at some do’s and absolute don’t for the profile picture:
Social Media Segregation
This is the background homework before actually starting work on your picture or rather pictures. Identify what each of your social media accounts does for you, or means to you. For example, it’s a no-brainer that LinkedIn is solely meant for professional purposes and the probability of getting work opportunities is higher through this account.
Likewise, Facebook is considered a lot more personal; a means to share information and updates that are more personalised and meant for friends and family. Twitter comes somewhere in between; a professional platform with a personal twist. As you can imagine, depending on how you intend to use social media is an important step towards putting up the right picture. For starters, for many people, Facebook doubles up as a professional network as well.
Many research sites conclude that the possibility of getting a hit of any kind increases greatly with having a profile picture to begin with. If you have profiles that do not have any pictures except the defunct silhouette, then they automatically get pushed lower in any search algorithm and by the human eye itself. The first step is making sure you have a picture. Within this, always make sure the picture is of you and not a celebrity or a cartoon or something completely abstract. As an extension, also having your company logo or tag line as your picture is not recommended.
The profile is yours, the picture should be yours too. Many people also tend to put up photographs of their kids as profile pictures. This is an absolute no for sites like LinkedIn, and should also be avoided for Facebook. On LinkedIn, it gives out a very immature and unprofessional vibe. As a prospective employer or client, why would I want to know what your child looks like, or that you’re a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan.
The logic for avoiding this on Facebook is not as direct. You might argue that Facebook is more for family and therefore having your child’s photo is no big deal. But understand that Facebook is also a great way to connect with old contacts – some of which might help you professionally too. It is nothing but confusing to get a friend request from a oddly familiar name, only to see a 11 month old baby on the display picture. Then there is the whole security issue which is a real concern but is beyond the scope of this article.
Be aware that increasingly Facebook is used by many employers, investors and the likes to get a better understanding of the person in consideration. And in areas like the Valley, often times Facebook is used as a professional social media site where all your professional contacts will add you and expect to be added. Imaging the impression you can make with the right profile picture?
There are many more do’s and we’re yet to cover the dont’s, which we will next week.