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