Like it or not, your Twitter avatar (or profile picture) may well be the first thing that people use to judge your credentials as a worthy person to follow or converse with. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a slighty tongue-in-cheek look at 5 types of picture you really don’t want to use as your Twitter avatar. This post is meant to be fun, so please don’t be offended if you use any of the below!
1 – The Downward Angle Shot
These tend to be used by people with something to hide, or by those looking to attract a partner. Whether it is fair or not, these shots give off a really cheap and nasty impression. Usually used by female Twitter users, coupled with copious amounts of makeup and hairspray. Go natural and take the shot head-on. It gives a much better impression.
2 – The Stiff As a Brush Corporate Shot
You know the ones – suit, tie, sitting down, semi-smile and a dreary background. They look awful and are often the weapon of choice for the many American ‘realtors’ that grace Twitter. Of course, you may be working for a corporate company, but why not loosen things up a little? Show a bit of personality and you are way more likely to attract people to your Twitter ramblings.
3 – The 10 Years Ago Shot
Age is cruel thing. It makes many of us look like our faces are slowly melting. My hair is starting to look like I use chalk to hold it in place, but you know what? I think we should embrace it and have a shot that shows our youth or indeed advancing years. If you use Twitter professionally, and attend face-to-face networking events, you want your avatar to be a true reflection of how you look – doing so helps to avoid those nasty moments when you don’t realise the person you are speaking to is the very same person you’ve been speaking to on Twitter for years.
4 – The Moody Shot
Chin on clenched fist, gazing in to the middle distance, black and white colouring with a certain look of strain across one’s face. No I’m not talking about someone sitting on the toilet, but those oh-so-moody shots that we all know and erm, love. I get the whole ‘trying to look creative thing’, but it is a little cliched now and it just makes you look cold. Show your teeth and smile!
5 – The Extreme-Closeup Shot
Back up off the lens! Nobody wants to see every little pore on your nose, or that little bit of pastrami stuck in-between your two front teeth. This type of shot really freaks me out. It also makes it hard to recognise people in real life unless you go nose to nose with the person and quite frankly, I don’t want to have to do that. Ever.
So What Should My Avatar Look Like?
My key piece of advice is make it look like you, sounds obvious but too often the shot is not a true representation of the tweeter. Don’t be too fancy and always think if people would be able to identify you in real life based on your profile shot. Also, don’t change it all the time, Twitter moves fast and you want people to be able to identify your tweets at a glance. Now time for a disclaimer, my avatar is far from perfect, but I do think that people can recognise me from it, and that is half of the battle.
Have I missed a classic nasty Twitter avatar style? Have I made you think twice about yours? Think my advice is wide of the mark? Do tell in the comments below!.
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