What is your Twitter profile picture?

Your Twitter profile picture is the image you have chosen to represent you and your brand on Twitter. Any picture you choose is displayed as an avatar close to your account name and will appear anywhere your posts show.

Your Twitter profile picture gives users an instant impression of what the profile is about. This is why brands make sure to choose the best possible images for their profile pictures.

For a business, the profile picture should be a shining example of the brand’s ethos. This is why many business owners are stuck in the age old quagmire of whether to use the brand logo or a human face on their business profile.

This chapter addresses this confusion.

The argument FOR and AGAINST using a logo on your Twitter profile

The business logo is the most unifying symbol for any brand. It is what you want any prospects and customers to see when they come in contact with your brand in any way. Is it always a good idea to use your logo as your profile picture?

 FOR

  1. It provides uniformity. Any profile visitor will immediately be able to reconcile a profile to your brand as long as the logo, which they are probably already used to, is readily visible. You can use the same logo across all your social media profiles to ensure uniformity.
  2. It creates a professional appearance. A user is more likely to treat your brand as a serious business when there is a cleanly designed logo on your profile.
  3. It makes your brand more memorable. Most people remember what they see more than what they read. If your logo is on your Twitter profile, your brand will be more likely etched in the memories of your prospects for when they need your goods and services.
  4. It helps your profile to stand out. When a user is reading through their Twitter feed, a cleanly designed logo will stick out in the sea of faces. This increases the chances of your messages getting across.

 AGAINST

  1. Social media users tune off to brands. Unless you are already a huge brand with massive followings, the average social media user will find it difficult to connect to your logo. Bear in mind that they are inundated with marketing posts every single day. If your goal of running a social media profile for your business is to genuinely connect with users, you may rethink using a logo and coming off as just another brand.
  2. There is the risk of the page turning bland. When you use a logo on your profile, there is the inherent push to keep things overly formal to maintain the professional stance. This means staying away from certain areas of Twitter discourse. Unfortunately, such areas hit home the most with Twitter users.

The argument FOR and AGAINST using a Face on your Twitter profile

If you have always been against overly corporate accounts on Twitter and considering having a face to your business Twitter profile, you should consider the pros and cons first.

 FOR

  1. People can relate more to the brand. When there is a face to a profile, people feel some sort of connection as they read tweets from an account with the face in mind. This increases the chances of users reading a post, if such users tune off to brand messages.
  2. It allows you to get more personal with posts. With a face behind a brand account, users are not seeing a brand but the voice for a brand. This means you can offer personal takes on issues and generally tweet in normal everyday language instead of corporate speak.
  3. You can create an emotional bond with your target audience. When users associate tweets to a face long enough, the emotional bond begins to appear. When this happens, they are more likely to respond to marketing messages.

 AGAINST

  1. It becomes an administrative hassle when the face on the profile is no longer with your business. For instance, if you run the Twitter account of your startup as the CEO, it may be difficult maintaining this when the brand gets bigger and responsibilities increases. This will create the need for a new face, public announcements to usher in the new face and other administrative problems.
  2. People can draw conclusions about a brand based on a face. Subjectivity is a strong factor when a face is representing a brand. People can draw inferences relating to age, appearance, race or sex. This may or may not affect the overall perception of the brand depending on the individual involved.
  3. It could create the impression of a solo, small business.  When there is a face to a business, some users can assume that the business is still growing and will thus be wary about conducting a certain level of business with the brand.

What’s the Right Approach Then?

As you may have noticed from the arguments above, there is no right or wrong approach to this.  The decision should be solely based on your brand ethos. Does your business plan support a firmly corporate appearance for your Twitter or a more lax, personalised account? Look inwards and find the right solution.

A general tip for brands is to create a fully corporate business account and then use the personal accounts of staff members to push the business profile. Twitter users are likely to be more favourable to a brand if they know the individuals behind it.

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