Confessions of a Social Media Girl: Is Image Everything on Social Networks?
I was 17 and slightly naive when I walked into my first day of college classes. My professor had left his overpriced coffee and bagel sitting on the desk in front of the room, with no other sign that he had entered the class before we had other than his poor excuse for a breakfast, and the large, dusty, white letters spelling out “SEX SELLS” on the cloudy black chalkboard. I didn’t think much of it then, but this was possibly the most important lesson I would learn in the next 4 years of my marketing degree curriculum.
It’s obvious that someone would want to put their best face forward on social networks, whether for a personal or business page. Making yourself look appealing to your market is a heavy burden to carry though since folks are judging your personality based on text and pictures you post.
It’s superficial, but it’s acceptable.
Social media wasn’t inherently created with the idea that we would be digitally letting out skeletons from our closets, up late at night braiding our Facebook friends’ hair, and Tweeting love notes. With that in mind: the tangible world has been suggesting for years that life is easier for good-looking people, and that the success of a business can be often attributed to a great brand image.
So how heavily does the look of your profile weigh on your popularity as a user? Does your success as a business rely on the “sex sells” idea?
A recent post on AllFacebook.com explains how the desire to be physically appealing has become so great that some are turning to cosmetic surgery to improve something as simple as the way they look in their personal profile picture. (I personally don’t understand their reasoning; then again, I’d like to think I’m somewhat photogenic.) This leads me to believe that the old ad edged, still holds validity. So if image is everything on social networks, to what lengths should we be trying to make ourselves more appealing to other users?
Facebook and Twitter have integrated more image-based features like Instagram, as well as the Cover photo and timeline features of Facebook giving users a more visual experience, solidifying that images/good looking images are the kings of content. Facebook and Twitter aside, let’s not forget about the entire success of Pinterest- how much more evidence do I need? If you think that more pictures of sunsets and kittens exist on social media rather than some weird bathroom photo shoot you need to get a grip.
I’m not saying that you wont get great results from engaging content and awesome contests but I am saying that as a business, if you are doggin’-it on social, take a good hard look in the mirror and see if your brand is attractive. If your brand looks like the nerdy, boring, Valedictorian rather than the Prom Queen, it’s time for a makeover- like, yesterday.
‘Cause we are living in a digital world and I’m @soshalmediagirl
A graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology with a back ground in International Trade and Marketing, Veronica brings a unique sense of style and flair to online marketing. Veronica specializes in Social Media Solutions for Small business. A skydiving veteran with over 300 jumps under her belt, Veronica brings the same approach to marketing as she does to skydiving: all or ...