As a photographer and a social media coach I am often asked what makes a good profile picture for business social media. So here goes this is what I would advise everyone.
Which leads me nicely onto another don't.
This is about YOU, showing YOU in your best light
People want to see what YOU look like NOW,
They want an open, friendly face so...
LOOK STRAIGHT into the camera lens.
That way you are making eye-contact with people looking at your profile shot.
Don't use a grumpy or angry looking shot.
I've seen all these, I kid you not.
ask some trusted friends if the one you choose fits the criteria.
Remember trusted. Ask people who will be honest with you. If it's not OK they
will tell you.
Here's a handy infographic, share it with your friends and colleagues (unless you don't like them!)
Visual social media is now a hot topic in marketing.
It's not really surprising visuals: photographs and videos have been selling products for years.
Our brain process images better than text and done well they work.
These days all social media platforms have got their head round this and provided us with great ways of presenting images.
Engagement increases by around 30% with a photo and 20% with video.
That's the great news.
OK there is some bad news...
Done badly it could really damage your business whether that business is you, a service you sell, or your products.
What are your options to get great photos?
How can you stand out from the crowd?
You must differentiate.
Don't have the budget?
There is one more route you can take, no it's not ripping off photos and hoping nobody will notice as copyright infringement comes with a hefty fine.
You can take your own photographs!
Want to find out more? Read on...
Get into the habit of taking photos all the time.
You may have a story/blog/brochure or quote you want to illustrate already in mind so think around the subject, don't always opt for the obvious.
Photos can illustrate all sorts of things, here are a selection of mine, most of these are shot with a small compact or my smart phone
or be the cover of a brochure about healthcare or,
inspiration for a colour palette
Be creative with your composition. We don't need to see the child in the photo but it still tells a story, (you must have written parental consent for publishing shots of under 18's in the UK)
Leave a little bit to the imagination, and there's plenty of space to overlay text that will read.
Look for evocative images. Everyone likes the sea....Usethe rule of thirds to compost your picture
This image is perfect for a quote which can then be used in Twitter, Pinterest etc
Or it could be used for an invitation, an illustration for a brochure...the list goes on.
I hope I've given you food for thought.
Keeping things tidy...
I used Canva to overlay text. It's a really cool design tool.
In five years time, you will thank me for this advice. Build your own library, it's valuable and it's yours.
... and how to fix them
Visual images on social media get a lot more engagement than text alone. On every platform; Twitter see's a massive 35% increase in engagement. Facebook too, even the platform for professionals Linkedin is driven by visual imagary.
How do you stand out from the crowd?
By posting GREAT images.
Not everyone is a professional photographer but there are two errors that lots of people make. And bad photos don't get noticed.
I'm going to tell you what they are and show you how easy it is to fix them, so you can look like a pro photographer every time.
It drives me nuts every time a see a horizon that is sloping off to the left or right.
Unless it's a deliberate 'artistic' gesture (no I know it isn't) then this is how you fix it.
Go into your picture editing software, if you're on a smart phone then it's right there. Chose rotate image and do just that. Save it, then post. It's that simple.
If you're posting to Instagram you can do this in the app.
Go to the spanner icon and click adjust. It's easy to get it right because you even have a grid to follow.
Twitter's new in app photo tools are still somewhat rudimentary and don't yet offer this but I'm sure they will be soon.
Pinterest lives and dies on great imagery so get this right before you post.
The next one is for all you foodies, food bloggers or restaurant owners.
A yellow cast on pictures of food
Yes, you've seen them, maybe you've even posted them. The food sitting in front of you looks good enough to eat, so you want to share the moment with your followers and friends, and why not?
So you take a snap and before you know it a sickly looking image of your gourmet meal is shared forever with the world and it doesn't look appetising, if you're lucky some kind friends will like your post. And if you're a restaurant owner? Well, you won't have customers beating down your door.
Why does this happen?
It's really simple. The colour temperature in artificial light is different to daylight. Your brain adjusts to this, we're just clever like that. But cameras record things faithfully. The colour of light in restaurants is often warm (more orange to give a cosy feel), in labs and studios it's often colder, more blue.
You need to adjust this. Before you post your photograph you need to adjust the colour temperature. This is so easy.
Look for tone and temperature on your smart phone and adjust it to look more like something you would like to eat, usually introducing a little more blue if it's yellowy and yellow if it looks cold.
Save your image then post it and wait for the applause!
Instagram makes this easy.
Go to the spanner icon and select warmth, adjust the slider to get the desired colour temperature. Then post.
So, no more excuses. It's what pro photographers do all the time, it's not difficult or even time consuming and it makes your images shine above the rest.
Thanks for reading. If you want any more useful hacks for your social media empire let us have your email and we will remind you what is coming up! No spam.
Found photographing in rain or shine for magazines and the like.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.