Social media is the hottest game in town for spreading the word about your business. When someone meets you at an event or gathering, chances are they went home and looked you up. They "Googled" you. And what did they see? They most likely saw your name on links to these Big Six Social Media Websites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and/or Google+. And what do you have on those sites? Did you create an account one day to see someone else's pictures or to access someone else's profile? Chances are you have an account at each of these websites, and you've done nothing to make it work for your business or professional reputation. In fact, it's hurting your image, which, if you haven't uploaded a profile picture, is an image showing you off as a generic, genderless egghead. Here's how you're going to fix it:
IF YOU ARE A SERVICE PROFESSIONAL
If you're in the service industry, you're going to want your headshot everywhere. In today's age of "selfies", headshots can be very casual. They can be taken outside, in your kitchen for great lighting with a neutral background - no pots and pans unless you are a chef - and with your smartphone. If you've got no headshot at all, and you don't trust yourself to take a selfie, you can have a friend who takes good pictures take a picture of you. You can hire someone for a professional headshot later. Anything is better than the generic egghead.
When you have the headshot, your next job is easy: Put it at the Big Six Social Media Websites: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook. Facebook is a little trickier because this is such a personal space and most of the time your pictures and profile are private. You might want to include a picture of your kids or dog in your profile picture, and that's ok. You can let this one at Facebook go to a more personal level. As for the rest - get professional.
IF YOU RUN A BUSINESS THAT SELLS A PRODUCT
You're going to want to brand your logo. The profile pictures at these social websites are going to be different:
- LinkedIn: Your professional photo, not your logo. You can create what's known as a "Company Page" for that.
- Twitter: Your company logo. If you'd also like to tweet about personal things, create a different Twitter account and have a blast. Use the same headshot you're using on LinkedIn for your personal Twitter account.
- Instagram: If the Instagram account is for your business, include your logo. Getting your logo in Instagram is a takes some cleverness, since you don't usually carry a copy of your logo in your Camera Roll. Here's a shortcut: On your phone, visit your website. Take a screenshot of your home page (assuming your logo is on your home page). You could even do a finger-zoom on your website and get a great closeup of your logo and take a screenshot of that on your phone. Go to Instagram from your phone and click on your settings in the bottom right hand corner. Click on the "Edit your profile" link. at the top, you'll see your empty photo and click "Edit" underneath it. Browse to your Camera Roll on your phone and select the screenshot of the home page. Instagram should let you move the photo around so that just your logo is in the tiny square frame and the rest of the home page will be cropped out.
- Google+: Tricky. Definitely establish a Google+ profile and use the same headshot. Your business can also have a Google+ account, and this will take more effort. Perfect the Google+ for your person first. It will rank highly when people search for you on Google, so get your picture up there because Google makes it so that your picture shows up in search results. Keep your bio current (Google+ is an easy one to forget about...but it will be one of the first websites people see when they Google you whether you like it or not).
- Facebook: This photo can be personal. Chances are you'll want to change your profile picture to match your mood or social movements as they happen. That's ok, enjoy the freedom.
SO GO MAKE CHANGE!
You can do this. Yes, it's six social media accounts, but who's counting? Here is an easy list of exact directions on how to change your profile pictures:
- How to change your profile picture on Pinterest
- How to change your profile picture on Instagram (see above for how to add your logo if you can't take a picture of it)
- How to change your profile picture on LinkedIn
- How to change your profile picture on Google+
- How to change your profile picture on Facebook
- How to change your profile picture on Twitter