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Photo or no photo?

Recently on LinkedIn  someone posed the question to one of the groups, “photo or no photo on social media sites”? Any marketer will tell you that if you are going to put yourself out there on social media, you may as well have your photo up there so there is no identify confusion. In other words, claim your online identity because you are responsible for your brand.

But what type of photo should you use? Should it be a close up? Should it be in black and white or color? Should it be of my company’s logo? Yes, these are always the questions that stump people.

Some people want to be clever so they put a picture up of something you cannot identify as the person or a picture of their cat. Some people don’t want their photo out there for the whole world to see so they go with the creepy default of a silhouette or the ominous egg or they protect their photo in their privacy settings so that only the people they know can see them. (I’m a fan of the last one).  The point is that there are many options.

  1. Does it need to be a close-up? Or professional photo? On LinkedIn, yes it should be, everywhere else – no. It would be nice to invest in a professional photo if you can, but not necessary. It doesn’t have to be a close-up but people should be able to recognize you.  And it should NEVER be of your kids. Protect their privacy.
  2. Should my avatar be of my company logo? Only if you are the sole person representing the company online. Otherwise, make it your own face and just put a disclaimer in there that the posts reflect the company (or vice versa, the posts reflect your personal opinion).
  3. Black and white or color photo? Seriously speaking, we all look better in black and white photos. But color is just fine, especially if it matches your personality.
  4. Is it a bad idea to put my pet in my photo? Yes, a bad idea. Unless you are a veterinarian or work in animal rescue, just say no to pets in your online avatar photo.
  5. Should I let people not connected to me see my photo? My vote is no. All of the social networks allow you to make this private too. If you want to connect with me and you don’t know me, then why don’t you just send me an email? Do you really need to see what I look like first?
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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.