Your Social Media Avatar and Conversion

We are well into the digital publishing world. I am fortunate to have my work appear several times a month in a variety of places.

Yet, I still love to see my mug in print, I don’t know why.

So, my digital friend, I thought I would share my mention from Chief Content Officer Magazine (free subscription) and fill in a few more details on the method to my headshot madness.

The Conversion Scientist’s Social Media Avatar Tips

1. Include something unusual in the image, something representative of your personal brand.

I wear the lab coat in every shot, even if it isn’t showing much. The human mind remembers such things.

2. Control the viewer’s eyes with your eyes.

Eye-tracking studies have shown that our gaze is drawn to faces that are looking at us. In fact, we may stare at a pretty girl long enough to forget why we came to your page in the first place. Have several versions of your headshot and aim your eyes at things you want people to see: calls to action, content, headlines, etc.

3. Be unexpected.

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One of the things we want to do is engage the mind of the viewer. Things that will light up someone’s brain activity are the unexpected, off-center and the need to “fill in” an image.

4. Consider integrating action.

You can tell a story with a one-frame headshot. So, tell it. What am I doing in this shot?

I’m talking to an audience. I must be a presenter. Why, yes, I am! But, what am I holding (unexpected)?

I’m going in for the hug! That means I’m a connector, right??

Other avatar actions: Being passionate, banging a table, thinking deeply, contributing at a homeless shelter.

Our avatars don’t have to be boring, and in fact they can be quite instrumental in engaging with visitors to our Web site, Facebook profile, Twitter stream and more.

Hand-drawn avatar courtesy Kathleen McElwaine.

Headshot logo by David Holston.

Headshots by Korey Howell Photography.

Image with mic courtesy Eugene Hsu.

Contact Brian Massey

  • Very interesting insights you shared. I have a quick question: Have you been A/B testing the real impact on conversion for each avatar version?

  • Brian this is such a great post. It’s so important to stand out from the crowd but also be an inviting and friendly face for people to connect with. Fantastic advice! :)

  • I love this article. Simple, yet so informative! I have a picture of me with a drawn on crown on my private facebook page and in one of my article posts. I was afraid to use it at first, but I got some amazing responses to it!
    Thank you,

    • Tammy,

      I must admit that I wince when I walk out on stage in my Lab Coat. I even get feedback that people rolled their eyes at first site of it. But I work hard to deliver value. Your crown may seem kitschy, but if people are hanging memories like “remarkable” and “helpful” on the image, it will work for you.

      As we say in Texas, you can’t be all hat and no cattle.


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