A profile picture provides a snapshot of who you are or what a company represents. It adds a sense of legitimacy or trustworthiness because it adds a face to the page. When someone has a blank profile picture, it can appear suspicious and seems like the user has something to hide. It makes you wonder who the user really is and what they actually look like.
Choosing to have a profile picture and choosing not to have a profile picture, says something about the user. On social media, users rely on a profile picture to verify that a person is who they say they are or to convey some sort of message. Having no profile picture on Facebook makes a profile look abandoned or gives the impression that they do not care enough to put in the effort to choose a profile picture. Your profile picture is one of the first things users notice and the last they remember. In this article, I will explain the reasons why you should never have a blank profile picture.
What is a Profile Picture?
A profile picture is an image that is displayed on a user’s social media profile that they set themselves. Depending on the social media platform, the photo is shown on posts, comments, mentions, and other interactions so users know who it is from. Usually, the profile picture is a photo of the user themselves. Or in the case of a business, it may be a logo. Users are partly known by others through their profile picture so it is beneficial to have one.
The Importance of Profile Pictures on Social Media Platforms
When you think of changing your profile picture, many people would conjure up Facebook and Instagram as the social media platform to do so. Especially because of the notification Facebook shows your friends when you update your profile picture. If you have no profile picture on Facebook, many of your friends and other users may think you have blocked them. This can create some tense feelings and awkward conversations that are easily avoided if you have a profile photo.
Profile Pictures on Instagram
On Instagram, a blank profile picture will make you look like one of the thousands of spam accounts that exist. Since followers are an important aspect of Instagram, many users resort to purchasing fake Instagram followers to boost their following which is not worth it in the end. These paid for followers are Instagram accounts that are made quickly and carelessly. They often also have a blank photo as their profile picture. If you do not want your account to get lost in the masses of fake Instagram accounts, upload a profile picture. Instagram is a photo based social media platform so it is somewhat strange to have no profile picture.
Profile Pictures on LinkedIn
Even on professional networking websites like Linkedin, it is so important to have a profile picture. It helps connect a face to the name and humanizes the user. This can help in fostering business relationships. A Linkedin profile looks incomplete without the inclusion of a profile picture and can even appear lazy. The lack of a profile photo can even make a profile look like a fake account, which can be detrimental to a user. You may lose out on valuable networking opportunities because other users cannot be sure the profile is actually yours. People on Linkedin want to know who they are connecting with, which is especially important in the professional world. On Linkedin, you want to make sure that your profile photo settings are shown to the public. If you are trying to market yourself as a professional, show your face and look put together.
It is important to have a profile picture no matter the social media platform. No matter the function of the social media platform, a profile picture communicates who the user is and helps verify their identity. It also helps show who a person is and the message they want to send across. In a business sense, it shows thoughtfulness and trustworthiness that a person comes across professionally and is who they say they are. It is much more beneficial to have a profile picture than to not have one.
Tips for a Good Profile Picture
Now that you know how important it is to not have a blank profile picture, you may be wondering what a good profile picture looks like. If it is a personal account, you will want a clear photo of your face with an expression that conveys your personality. If you are a business page, then your company logo could work well and display professionalism. However, a photo of your owner or key team members still work well too. The use of a face for your company’s social media account can make it appear more personable and approachable. It is dependent on the type of business you are running. Most people deliberating whether or not to include a profile photo are personal social media accounts or individual professionals.
Show Your Face
This is one of the most important aspects of a profile photo. We know that there are other hobbies, sports, and passions you are interested in but a profile picture should put your face on display. These things can go elsewhere on your profile but should not be the main attraction. In general, people like to see other people’s faces and it sparks something in their brain to keep their attention. Especially in a professional sense, show your face and skip the pet photos or hobbies.
Properly Frame Yourself
Now that you are showing your face, you want to make sure the photo is cropped correctly at the right distance. If the photo is too close or far away, it can make you look awkward. Most of the frame should be your face with some background showing. If your photo is too close, it looks like the picture was taken by accident. When the photo is too far away, people will not be able to make out who you are because it will be too small. A correct frame size will not make people second-guess your picture and look more aesthetically appealing.
Keep the Background Simple
The focus of your profile picture should be you and your face, not a busy background that could distract users. Your best bet for the background is a simple solid color that does not take away from your face and even complements it. A cluttered background could appear unprofessional and confuse users about what they should be paying attention to. The background should be flat and void of any objects so it does not compete with your face and winning smile.
Say Cheese and Smile!
People want to interact with others who seem friendly and open to connections. If you look closed-off or negative, there is a lower likelihood that you will be approached by others. People perceive smiles as being approachable with a smaller chance for rejection. If you want more people to reach out to you then have a wide, authentic smile in your profile picture. The kind of smile you want to display is dependent on your occupation. If you are a serious accountant or attorney then a smaller, closed lip smile could be appropriate. Most likely, you do not want intense professional work by someone who looks like they are about to burst out laughing. Now if you are a social media influencer, a big happy grin would work well for your profile. A bigger smile indicates approachability.
Incorporate Your Brand Into the Profile Picture
Now we know that while logos are okay profile pictures, the most appealing ones include a human face. Still, there are ways to include your brand in a noticeable way without being in your face about it. There are a few clever ways to do this that helps communicate your brand and what it is about.
One of the easiest ways to include your brand is to wear the colors of your brand. This sends just a subtle hint to your viewers. Another way to do this is to make the background one of your brand’s colors. If there is enough space, you could include a micro logo somewhere in your profile, which gets the company name and a human face out there. A large logo in the background can be easier to include and fulfills the same task.
A really tricky way to display what your company is all about is to “live the brand.” For example, if you offer painting services then hold a paintbrush and a bucket of paint. If your company offers financial services, then hold a calculator while wearing a suit. You can be creative with the inclusion of your brand in the profile photo. These are all interesting ways to promote your business without compromising the human element that attracts people.
- Do profile pictures matter?
- Do all social media sites have profile pictures?
- How can I take a good profile picture?
- Why is it bad to have a blank photo as your profile picture?
- Why are profile pictures important?