Why you need your face on Twitter

Faces drawn on snooker balls
There is overwhelming evidence that your face has a huge impact on-line.

It seems that every day I have a conversation with someone about whether they should have their face or their business logo on their Twitter account.

Their argument is that they want to get brand recognition.

My response to that is that brand recognition is much, much more than someone seeing your logo in a pile of other logos and immediately associating it with a particular product or service.

A small business on Twitter is like a snowflake in a snowstorm. Every one is unique but none stands out just because they add themselves to the pile.  [pullquote]A small business on Twitter is like a snowflake in a snowstorm.[/pullquote]

The way big businesses get brand recognition is by spending millions on advertising.

The advertising doesn’t just put their logo in front of us on a regular basis, it gives a very carefully crafted message that creates powerful emotions and expectations.

Creating brand awareness and recognition needs specific skills, time and money.

Sticking your logo in a stream of thousands on Twitter has no impact at all – in fact it can have a negative effect.

Even the biggest brands don’t rely on their image to get traction on Twitter. The ones that get the best results spend millions personalising their accounts and training their staff to interact in a personal, human, friendly, authentic way with real names and smiling faces.

If you join Twitter to get more business this can seem confusing. If you’ve been told that social networks are a great place to do your marketing you’ve only been told a very small part of the story.

Imagine a room full of people all brandishing their business cards and all shouting at the same time “Buy from ME!” This is what happens when businesses flock to social networks to do their marketing.

The people they are trying to sell to are not listening. They are either too busy shouting about their own business or having fun pursuing their own interests and getting to know interesting people.

So, how DO you use Twitter to get business?

In the same way that you network face to face, the first thing you have to do on line is create rapport.

You look for things you have in common with someone, you check out their interests and values.

You aim to be an interesting and useful person that others want to hang out with.

You gather a bunch of friends and fans who will go from liking YOU to being interested in what you DO.

These people may never become your customers but they’ll be happy to promote you to their friends and this is where the magic happens.

You build TRUST.

You post interesting and useful stuff that draws people into your website – and the first thing they do is check out the “About Us” page because everyone wants to know WHO they’re doing business with. If you haven’t got a picture of yourself and a great story on your website you’re wasting your most valuable on-line real estate.

Why is your picture so important?

When people meet you for the first time, face to face, they decide if they like the look of you within 30 seconds.

If they do, and they decide to have a conversation with you, their first question is  usually “What do you do?” [pullquote]Nobody cares about what you do until they care about who you are. [/pullquote]

If your on-line profile has a picture of a logo instead of your face, it’s a barrier to people making that first step towards getting to know, like and trust you.

There are millions of studies that show how human beings react to pictures of faces.

In any print or web page our eyes are immediately drawn to a face and we experience emotions based on how we react to the expression on that face.

Eyes are particularly important in creating feelings of trust. A real, open smile, one that makes your eyes crinkle, has a huge impact.

When you follow someone on Twitter they will look at your profile to see if they want to follow you back. (Unless they’re an idiot who uses autofollow in which case you’re wasting your time.) Your name and picture are the biggest influencers in this decision.

A lot of people simply won’t follow a business account because they assume you are there to sell to them. Even when someone does follow you, they will have trouble picking your tweets out of the ever changing stream, especially as most people use Twitter on their phones. They’re a lot more likely to pick you out if they recognise the general outline of your picture – so don’t change it too often!

I’ve lost count of the number of people who have started out on Twitter with a business name and logo and got very little traction. When they change to their own name and face they get more followers and more interaction and this is what leads to business.

Drop the idea of “Social Media Marketing”

No-one ever joined a social network to be sold to. Social networks are where people talk to friends and family and interact with businesses only when they want something .

If you approach Twitter as a way to build your network, bearing in mind that most people are there to waste time and have fun, you will get much better results than any attempt to market your business. That comes AFTER people have grown to like and trust you and is done by drawing people to your website where you can show off your logo as much as you like!

Follow me on Twitter @AnnHawkins

If you’d like me to help you to make more profit, keep you accountable for your success and introduce you to a support network of your peers send me an email and lets talk!

4 replies
  1. Andrew Martin
    Andrew Martin says:

    Great article, Ann! A few years ago I had grown a few hundred followers on an account where the Twitter avatar was a simple logo for my blog. However, after a few of the followers and I attended the same real-life event, once they’d realised who I was, they told me that I really should switch it to my face instead.

    I did, and the follower growth and engagement rate really increased, and people also recognised me more at events and this improved my networking.

    I guess humans always connect best to humans – we’re always looking for patterns in things, and a face is definitely one of those things that we can then recognise, remember, and feel like we have some kind of relationship with. It’s hard to do that with a logo or a piece of text.

    I’d definitely recommend making the switch over.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] their profile picture should help you to recognise them when they walk into the […]

  2. […] their profile picture should help you to recognise them when they walk into the […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *