You Never Get a Second Chance to Make A First Impression
Remember that phrase by Will Rogers? What first impression are you giving with your profile picture on your social media sites? In my opinion it is wise to use a professional photo (the same one) across all of your profiles. For many business owners, we are our brand. Many people know my name better than they know the name of my business, Cannon Social Media Solutions. If someone was going to look me up via social media, if they put in Vicki Cannon or Vicki S. Cannon, they will know that they got the right person if they have met me before, because my photo looks like me. If the person has not met me, but is going to meet me in a public place, they would be able to see my profile picture and know who to be looking for.
Have you ever gone to meet someone for a business meeting and you haven’t met them before? Going to their LinkedIn or Facebook profile before the meeting allows you to see who they are without you having to ask every person that walks into the coffee shop if they are the person you are meeting. Of course, if you don’t have a profile image on your sites or it is replaced with a picture of your dog, then how will they know?
I was in a shop a couple of weeks ago when someone asked me if I was Vicki. I said yes, but didn’t recognize the person asking. She introduced herself and I knew who she was by her name, but not her face. She immediately said “you probably don’t recognize me, I have my puppy as my profile image on Facebook”. She was right. We were friends on Facebook and had even had a few messages back and forth, but I did not know what she looked like because we hadn’t met in person before so I couldn’t be the one to say to her, “hey aren’t you _________?”
There is another person that I know on Facebook, but her picture is that of her niece. It always throws me because I know she doesn’t have children and I don’t associate a child with her name. She is a small business owner & in my opinion the picture of her niece as her profile picture dilutes her brand. (It would be better for her to have her cover image on Facebook reflect her niece rather than her profile picture.)
One more thing – not having a profile picture on your social media sites makes you look like a spammer (Facebook & Twitter) or not trustworthy or insignificant (LinkedIn). Also, if you aren’t a usual tie & coat kind of guy, don’t wear one for your picture – wear what you would for a business meeting with your clients. Remember that social media is all about extending yourself and engaging with others. Make your first impression a positive one.
Credit for photo: Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo