Definition: A profile picture is the image that represents a social media account in all its interactions across a platform. Profile pictures are displayed as an avatar next to the account name on posts, comments and mentions (depending on the platform).

Profile pictures create a visual association for social media users, making it important for businesses to select the right image. For a company, a profile picture should be the best distillation of that brand's image, usually incorporating their logo.

How to select a profile picture

Profile pictures should be easily recognizable as belonging to your business. While using a standalone logo is the most common strategy, some brands use a lifestyle image that includes their logo.

Other brands rely more on a person - a recognizable "face of the brand" (e.g. Orville Redenbacher or Flo). If this is your marketing strategy, your profile image should be creative and attractive:

  • Use professional photography and design.
  • Asymmetrical images are better at catching people's eyes.
  • Photo's should be well-lit.
  • Show a smiling face.

If you have multiple social media outlets, use the same profile picture on every platform to create a consistent brand image.

Above all, use high-quality images. Keep in mind a few basic rules:

  • Images should be clear, not blurry.
  • Make images simple and visually striking - remember that most of the time, users will only see a greatly reduced version of the image.
  • Use images that are in the correct aspect ratio for the platform's format.
  • Always meet or exceed the platform's minimum image size requirements.
  • If the platform allows, add a description to your profile picture that includes links to your website or a call to action such as "Follow Us."
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