Face Value

David JacobsI have been fortunate enough to attend a few really great social media conferences in the past few months and while there I noticed something very interesting. It’s something I had experienced in years past as well. Several people that I came into contact with were familiar with me because of Facebook or Twitter and my profile picture specifically helped to jog that recognition. One person even commented how much he enjoyed my picture on Facebook as it includes my new baby Capella on my shoulders. He said it makes him smile every time he sees it pop up in his Facebook stream.

That’s a kind of brand awareness that you can’t purchase for anything. Traditionally we think of brand awareness as it is associated to a logo like the Nike swoosh or Apple’s Apple with a bite out of it. Logo branding is still a powerful tool and I help many customers crate or revitalize their logos but in this increasingly social world there is also a power in your own face. I guess they don’t call it Facebook for nothing.

Don’t underestimate the value of your face. Think carefully about all those profile photos on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and everywhere else. If you’re into this for building business and brand value, here are some tips to remember:

  • Make sure your picture is a good one. A clear close up view of your face. Make sure the exposure is good and the pose is comfortable and positive. Something that captures a little of your personality is always great.
  • Don’t use cartoon characters or other logos. If it is an account that represents the entire company, a company logo would be appropriate for that.
  • The background should be as clean and clear as possible. You don’t want anything to obscure or take focus away from what’s most important, your face.
  • Don’t change your picture often. You can change it now and again, especially if you get a better picture to use, but try to remain as consistent as possible.

I would not appear with anyone else in your photo with the exception of your kids. This could even be a debated point, but I chose personally to have Capella in my Facebook profile for a few reasons. My personal Facebook account is a little less business and more personal. My Connected World Media Facebook page uses the company logo. My kids are also a big part of my life and so much of who I am, I don’t mind showing that. That being said, I have recently changed my LinkedIn photo to a photo of just me and my Twitter profile pic is the same one although my Twitter custom background has the Capella and me photo on it. I try to use the same photo across all networks as much as possible, again for consistency sake.

As with most things there are no hard and fast answers. You have to discover what works for you and your company, but I hope I have given you some things to think about. As always if you want help in this or any other social media regard, don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to work with you on your brand image online.