Friday, April 6, 2012

What Are Your Pictures Telling People About You?

Branding has always been essential to any business marketing strategy. It has also been an integral part of marketing for Universities and Non-profits (although it is established in hushed offices of the most important individuals). I've previously done a post about what the term "brand" has to do in relation to the concept and principles behind the strategy in my post What's in a Name. While a name may not be important... images are. A picture is worth a thousand words, what are your pictures telling people about you?

Today I want to focus less on the nuances of the debate and more on the specifics of actions that can be taken. Almost every individual has an account on one social media platform or another. If you pay attention to the way that people are presenting themselves across platforms, you will find some interesting strategies.

William Arruda is a self-professed personal branding guru. If we Google his name and look at a few of his social media profiles, you will see a striking consistency in the way he is portraying himself weather on Twitter (far left), on his blog (center), or on LinkedIn (far right). While this may simply be a coincidence, I imagine there is a strategic line of thinking behind it. These consistent profile images are establishing his image in connection with his name.

Barack Obama is the President of the United States, so I would hope that he needs no introduction. President Obama is another example of how consistent profiles establish an image that viewers begin to connect with a name. Not only does President Obama use a consistent profile image, but he has established an individual logo to represent his campaign. These are immediately recognizable by a vast number of individuals as being related to the individual.

Now I could repeat this same procedure for many individuals, but the principle remains the same. A consistent profile image or at least a variation of the same image will provide you with consistency throughout your social media use. The idea is to not have viewers guessing if you are the person that they met at a conference or saw in a meeting. Anyone can use this same principle to the extent that they wish. If you are not comfortable with having images of yourself displayed on social media platforms, come up with a caricature or image to represent yourself. These can often be just as fun and intriguing as a real image. I have created one that is displayed on my website.

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