Guidelines for choosing the right social media profile picture

Most people would think we’re stupid for suggesting there’s anything remotely complex in choosing a profile picture. However, when you see the number of people using holiday snaps on professional social media channels it’s pretty clear why these guidelines are necessary.

A lot of people now use social media channels to display pictures that should be left on the mantel piece at home. They find it necessary to use pictures of their pets, children and holidays as their profile pictures rather than using it as a chance to represent themselves professionally.

Your profile picture should be nothing more than a head shot – like a passport photo – and it should definitely be recent. It’s no good putting a picture of your graduation a social media site if you’re now over 30.

When it comes to you as a business owner, unless your business is well known then you shouldn’t use your logo as a profile picture. People don’t generally like to be connected to businesses but they have no problem being connected to people who are representing a business. Remember also that you can’t use a logo on LinkedIn anyway so in order to keep all of your social profiles consistent, scrapping the logo is probably best.

Your profile is about you and your profile pictures should be too; this means ditching your sunglasses, hat and friends for this picture, so that the focus is all on you.

Consistency is key when it comes to being recognised in social media; a great way to help with this is to use the same profile picture across all of your social media channels.

Try not to be too serious in your profile picture as this could come across as intimidating to potential followers, friends, employers and employees. Your profile picture doesn’t have to be professional either, although it should never be taken by you. Enlist the help of a friend to take a quick smiley shot of you that’s suitable for all social media sites.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll definitely see a difference in the traffic to your social media profiles; take a look at some of our own profile pictures for a bit of inspiration.