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.
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."