What are appropriate photos for social media accounts? For both company and team. I run a mid-sized Magento development outfit and I am encouraging my team to be more active on social media, including Twitter. Please also guide about photos on channels like Google Hangouts

Answered by Meeta Malhotra

Great question Anirban and very often overlooked. This is what I recommend:

Company accounts

All company accounts – social media and digital – should use your logo as profile photo.

Team /People accounts

I don’t know how much you can influence your team’s accounts – social media is a personal thing, but here is some advice that applies to all professionals anyway.

  • Linkedin: No-brainer. Please use your own photo since the primary reason for the platform is professional.
  • Twitter: Since Twitter is an ‘open’ platform, the most important thing here is transparency. You should use your own photo. No kids, no flowers, no landscapes.
  • Facebook / Instagram: A lot depends on what you use the accounts for. If it’s purely personal, then anything goes. It’s up to you. However, if you are using FB to build a personal brand and as an important platform to share your company news, then again use your own photograph to create credibility and recall
  • Digital communication channels: Google hangouts, skype, etc. Definitely use your own photo because it is a ‘proxy’ for you when you are not using the video calling facility.

If you look at this list, I think the only purely personal channels are Whatsapp and maybe FB/Insta, depending on what you use them for. All others should have your own photo.

Now to the question of creativity. Look at the photo and ask yourself a basic question ‘Does this person look like someone I want to deal with / speak to?’

You can have a great professional image in a non-conventional setting like playing a game or trekking. On the other hand, I have been sent decks where the team images are frightening mug shots, which show people to no advantage. To me, that signals a lack of attention to detail.

It’s not hard. Get someone to point a phone at you and click dozens of images. One of them will work for sure. Follow basic guidelines available all over the web https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-pose-people-for-headshots/