Twitter can be an extremely lucrative and effective social media tool for your business, if you leverage it correctly. It goes without saying that your profile details, including your photo, are critical to your interactions online.
The challenges of Twitter
Of course, one of the most obvious challenges about Twitter is its 140-character maximum per tweet. However, that is far from insurmountable. You can accomplish a great deal with Twitter and if real-time and live chats are at all important to your business, you will use it and keep on using it with a great deal of positive results. As you develop relationships with people using Twitter, you will most likely succeed at getting them to share your tweets and your links with other people whom they know and trust. In many cases, you will want to meet at least some of those connections (or, at a minimum, you will wish to share an online relationship with those connections). The only way to do that is by being introduced to those people. The people with whom you share a relationship will never do that if they don’t trust you and if they don’t find you to be credible. Believe it or not, your profile photo is an extremely important and relevant part of your being able to successfully have a relationship with those new connections.
Your Twitter profile photo should have the following:
- Your photo should be taken by someone who really knows how to use a camera.
- Make sure that there is enough light surrounding you when you have your photo taken.
- When it comes to the cropping stage of the photo, you should crop it as close as you possibly can.
- When the person is taking your photo, make sure that you look directly into the camera’s lens.
Of course, if you pay attention to the people with whom you are connected on Twitter, you will see a variety of photos of various degrees of professionalism and of various degrees of aestheticism. With that said, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have the most effective photo that you can possibly have. Many people will see that photo regularly and you need to leave them with a positive, lasting impression of you and your business if at all possible. If you look at the many social media profile photos (or what pass for photos), you will see many that just should never be used in that context.
- The “bad-ass” photo: Many people post a photo on the various social media channels that they find amusing but which are actually screamingly inappropriate and ineffective. It just isn’t worth it for a second of amusement.
- A company logo in place of the person’s face: No doubt, the person has a great company logo; however, a logo is absolutely no replacement for the person’s face.
- A photo with an exotic location in the background: This is inappropriate as well as a social media profile photo. It is a fine photo if the person is sharing his or her vacation photos. However, it is not appropriate in a professional context.
- The person is posing far away from the camera: Nobody wants to see a photo of the person at a distance. You really can’t tell anything about that person in that case because he or she is not allowing you to see anything. That sort of photo says a great deal about the person. It says that they are possibly hiding something and that they want to keep you (and everyone else) at arm’s length.
- A photo of the person with another person or people: The social media profile photo (Twitter or any other social media channel) should only be of that person who owns the profile. Anyone else in that photo has no business being there.
- A photo with a pet: This one doesn’t even need a great deal of explanation. No pets, please!
- A profile photo rather than a front-facing photo: This is another example of the person trying to hide something. If you are being genuine, honest, and forthcoming, let your viewers see that.
When it comes to Twitter profile photos (as well as your photo for the other social media channels), you should use a photo that is professional, front-facing, and appropriate. That photo will be creating the first impression, which is very important for you. Also, you should be the only person in the photo and it should definitely be your face. People will only form a relationship with you if you have a photo that pleases them. If your photo is anything else (or says anything else to them), it won’t work. It is important to keep that in mind. People will react positively to your photo and to the rest of the profile details that you have shared with them.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.