The Importance of a Good Social Media Profile Picture

In the past few years, it seems like everyone has somewhat of a social media presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and they use these sites to promote themselves, a product or a service. 

All of these sites have something in common, the facility to show a photograph as a profile picture and unless there is a good reason for anonymity, most people have a picture of themselves in place.

When was the last time you had a good look at your profile picture? Does it match the image you are trying to portray for that particular site or are you still using an old outdated photo from a couple years ago to portray a cool guy image?

While that outdated image may be acceptable on personal sites like your personal Facebook page, it certainly isn’t acceptable on more business-orientated sites like LinkedIn or sometimes even Twitter, if you are using it for business related reasons.

Even Facebook Pages for your business demands a more professional image.

Remember, first impressions count, and people do business with people they trust so be sure that your picture conveys the impression of the warm, professional, friendly person that you really are.

Here are a few guidelines to help you for when you are having a business profile picture taken:

Look Smart

You must be well groomed with hair washed and brushed. Your clothes should reflect the type of business you are in. If suits are required, wear one or if your business favors a more casual type of clothing, then wear them. It is still very important that they are clean and smart.

Head and Shoulders

In most cases there is no need to show anything other than head and shoulders in a good profile shot. Just be sure not to zoom in too close and make sure you leave plenty of room around the edges for the different sizing requirements of different sites. You can also include a small prop if you like, say a camera if you are a photographer.

Eye Contact

There is a school of thought that the eyes should be looking straight at the camera, and while this does produce pleasing portraits, it is not absolutely essential in every case. Plain Background.
Try to have the background as plain as possible. You could for example use a plain wall or use some white or cream bed linen hung on the wall or even a professional photographers backdrop if you can get hold of one. After all, you are the focus of attention – you want your customers to be engaging with you, and not being distracted by the heavily patterned wallpaper behind you, or the view outside your window.


The straight-on shot to the camera is OK for passport pictures and police mug shots, but it doesn’t work on professional profile pictures. When having your picture taken, angle your shoulders at about 30 – 45 degrees to the camera and then turn your head to face it. This gives a more pleasing, dynamic shot and is generally more flattering for most people.

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