Okay, seriously. I’ve had it with the avatar pics that people use and it is time to take a stand. So unusual for me, I know.
Ladies, do you go to a meeting at your kids’ school with your boobies hanging out of your low-cut blouse? How about the monthly Chamber meeting? How about the grocery store? If you say no to displaying your God-given charms in any of those public places, well then, I say that it’s only right that you keep your ta-tas covered in the social media realm. Honestly, I don’t need to see how buxom you are and if that’s the basis for anyone following you, are you really interested in that?
Twitter is not a dating service. And, while some may occasionally use the medium to flirt, overall, I find it to be a world filled with intelligent, thoughtful, professional people (and by “professional” I simply mean people who work for a living – regardless of profession) who love engaging, learning, sharing thoughts and ideas and making friends. Some engage in social media for business, some for pleasure and fun conversations, but it is rarely a place where physical attributes make a difference. In fact, in my opinion, it’s just the opposite.
When you barge in with your boobies hanging out, what message are you really sending? Is it: “These are the assets of which I’m most proud, so I’m making sure I show them to you FIRST.” Or is it “I don’t have much intelligent to say or contribute, but if you get a glimpse of these babies, you’ll follow me back, for sure.” Or is it “I’ll flash you my boobies because they are sure to impress.” Surely that just can NOT be your intent.
Men, this is about you, too. We don’t need to see your rippling six pack and you can save your package for underneath the Christmas tree. Or, for the UPS guy. Maybe it’s just me, but I truly enjoy seeing what people have to say in the social media realm and when they cavort across my screen half-naked, with bulging biceps and boobies barely constrained, I find myself more annoyed than anything. But, you see, I’m attracted to brains, passion, intelligent thoughts and conversation, causes and real people. I don’t care whether they’re old, young, handsome or homely – I look for what’s on the inside because, in my almost a half century of life, I’ve discovered that that’s what really matters.
So, whether you’re just setting up your Twitter account and experimenting with the medium or are a veteran user, I challenge you to consider your avatar photo and make sure it really represents the “YOU” that you want the world to see – and get to know. Aside from keeping your clothes on, here are a few other suggestions:
- Make your avatar a picture of you. Just you, not your cat, your horse or your kid. No matter how cute any of them may be. And don’t include a pic taken with your wife, your best girlfriend or your baby alligator. Your avatar is YOU. When someone engages with you in the social media realm, they want to talk with YOU, not any of those other things. And if you include people other than yourself in your photo, how in the HECK do we know who we’re talking with?
- If you’re set on using a logo, design an avatar that INCLUDES a logo, but not an avatar that IS a logo. Refer to the paragraph above. If you’re a winemaker, terrific. I want to get to know you, first. Then we can talk about your wine and, once I like you, I might just buy some. But I really don’t wanna have a meaningful conversation or interaction with a logo. Do you?
- Don’t change your doggone avatar even 20 seconds. People come to recognize the “face” that you present to them (your personal brand, you know) and, when you change it often, it really changes your personal brand – and it’s confusing. Keep it consistent. Change every once in awhile, if you must, but this really one instance where less is better than more.
- Be honest. Don’t use a picture that’s 10 years old. That’s fake. And really kind a lazy. And, no matter what you may think, most of us don’t really enjoy having our photos taken and most believe we’re not very photogenic. Get over it. Have someone snap a picture, use your webcam – whatever, just take a current
pic of your mug, suck it up and use it!
There you go – that’s the end of my Twitter Lesson #1: The importance of an avatar photo. And all kidding aside, this is really a critical element of your online persona. Be real. Be honest. Be yourself. That’s all anyone could ever ask.