Social Profile Psychology & How It Affects Your Business

Social Profile

Do you have a social profile strategy?

Have you ever thought about one before?  Marketers are using social media, but aren’t utilizing every opportunity that they have.

The social profile is the least thought about strategy in marketing.  In fact, I did a quick poll on the good people of Google+ and here’s their results.



A lot of people don’t think about it.

But what if I told you that your profile could attract people to your business, create a sense of trust with your customers and clients, and build your brand better with the correct photo?

You would start thinking about it then wouldn’t you?

Let me explain.

How the Profile Is Seen

When you think of marketing on social media, the first thing you think of is your brand and how you can get more attention from your target market.  You probably think about how you can create revenue and use strategies that will help people and ignite their marketing strengths.

In fact, the social profile can do all of this for you because it is on the front lines of the marketing war you are fighting.

The social profile is the first thing that is seen after someone reads your guest post on someone’s blog.  And you are exposed to an audience that doesn’t know you.  This is a split second opportunity for them to judge you based on what you said vs how you look.

Now, I realize you’re probably not a person that judges people on sight alone, but a psychological study done on first impressions revealed that you don’t get a second chance to make that first impression.  You can’t take the chance that everyone isn’t as nice about this as you are.

So make it a good first impression.

This is where the social profile comes in.  I want to work from the perspective of someone that doesn’t know who you are and has possibly never seen your face before.

These are opportunities that you can capitalize on.

For instance, I am not a widely known person, so there is a chance that some of you have never seen nor heard of me before and you would possibly like to get to know me a little better.

What happens at that point?  You want to know what I look like.

The social profile is the first thing people go to when they want to find out more about you.  Whether it’s an image of yourself on the blog, or on a social network, a picture will tell your audience a lot about your character and, more importantly, what you can do for them.

Google Profile


Why the Profile Is Important

People want to see the real you.

This is where I’m going to get into the psychology of the profile photo too.  According to a study done by Stanford University, the social profile is one that is being the most actively used online for businesses as well as personal.  People with a good profile photo on social media platforms received the same as I did above.  Increased activity on their marketing.

Can you guess why the profile is so important?

It’s not because your hair is awesome, or because that new suit you’re trying to show off is simply stunning…that doesn’t affect them.

The profile photo is important because of your eyes.


According to this scientific study, the eyes are the windows to the soul.  And, they go on to reveal, that we tend to get acquainted with a person’s eyes when we first see them.  That is why you see advertisements, whether on television or in an image, that have someone holding the product.  They just made it intimate and personal because they are allowing the product to be connected to us by using the inserted person’s eyes.

The markings on your eyes show your deep seeded character qualities and this is why people judge someone in mere seconds.  The eyes have it.

Show off your best quality in your social profile by making sure your eyes are revealed.

Don’t Do This

Here are some things that you should remember not to do.

  1. Don’t cover your eyes with sunglasses. Never wear them. I know you may look really cool, but remember the eye tip?  Hiding your eyes is a product of distrust.
  2. Don’t wear a hat or anything that covers the head because the head is also being judged due to approachability on social media.
  3. Don’t laugh while taking the picture. According to this study, people tend to think you’re laughing at them when they see this in your profile thus killing your chances later down the road.
  4. Don’t take a side profile shot. Again, this hides some of your face, and one of your eyes to the person viewing the photo.

In other words, you don’t want to make your audience think that you’re hiding anything from them.  Via the hat, sunglasses, scarf, large bulky coats, etc.  Indirectly let them know that you are an open person by taking a simple profile picture that shows the true essence of you.

Things To Remember

Just keep it simple.

  1. Look straight ahead at the camera.
  2. Smile easy, showing your teeth slightly.
  3. Keep your eyebrows relaxed, show that you are approachable.
  4. Open your eyes to the point that you’re not straining to open them any wider, this shows that you are a dominant person that can help them.
  5. Give them a full face to see. Don’t cut off half of your head.  That is a trigger that you can’t be trusted.


  1. Show your hands by looking around them at the camera or any other way, just make sure your eyes are visible.
  2. Choose to take the picture from the neck up, or the shoulders up.
  3. For Men: wear a tie with a jacket, or just a jacket, but not a tie without a jacket. This shows your nature and your leadership qualities.
  4. For Women: hair up or down, both of these options show different qualities about your character. Make sure you keep your hair out of your face.
  5. Get the best lighting that you can get for maximum profile exposure.
  6. Think about your background. Is it too busy for your profile photo?

Here’s an infographic that explains it all, give it a share!

psychology infographic

Psychological Triggers of the Social Profile

Without even knowing it, people will come to an assessment of you and your brand in seconds by simply looking at your profile photo.

This reaction comes from the Broca’s area of the brain where visual stimulation is born.  The brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.  This is why you should be more concerned with your image on social media.

Your profile picture can tell a story about your brand in a matter of seconds because that is the way their brain is processing the information that you feed it.

Here are the triggers: these are findings researched from the PNAS study.


The head shows dominance and whether or not you have leadership characteristics.  Don’t hide it with a hat, or wear some kind of crazy hairstyle.  Studies have suggested (as listed above) that the more conservative the hair the more attractive people found them in business.


Have you ever seen people where the muscles drew their face up when they smiled?  If you are one of these people, and you don’t feel like you can control your face in an ordinary smile, you can still approach this profile scenario like everyone else.

Work with what you have.  If you can’t use smile muscles for fear of the “frown-smile”, then barely smile.  Studies have shown that a tilt of the head, when someone isn’t smiling with their teeth, works just as well.


We’ve already talked about the eyes but let me explain them a little more in depth.

You know that the target audience looks at your eyes first.  It’s a natural reaction.  But which eyes do you have?  Droopy, straight, flat, etc?  The list is endless, but what you want to portray is that warmth that accentuates the smile.

The smile and the eyes work hand in hand and if you’re not smiling from your heart, the eyes will tell on you.

When you’re ready to take the photo, think of something nice that you like doing and express that feeling outwardly while the picture is being taken.  You will capture that moment and the audience will be engulfed in the story that your eyes tell.


Are you nervous, edgy, and stressed?  Don’t take the photo just yet then.

Just as the eyes tell on your heart, the jawline will tell on your emotional disposition at the time.

Sure you could remember that happy moment as explained above and smile with your eyes, but if something’s nagging at you in the back of your mind then your jaw muscles will tense up causing a rigid jawline and creating a sense of distrust.

Wrapping Up

You want to create a profile photo that shows you are a leader, confident, and knowledgeable.  This way people let their guard down a lot easier than they would have if you had a pic of three days worth of stubble, sunglasses, and your hair disheveled.  Taking care of yourself allows your future customer to understand that you will also take care of them.

The best photo really depends on your state of mind during the time you take it.

You didn’t know you would have to get all woo-sa in order to get more attention from your social media did you?

These are all just issues leading into the trust factor.


If you don’t trust yourself enough, or if you aren’t confident in yourself enough, that’s going to show on your countenance, and you will always tell on yourself.

The best photo comes from someone who is confident in what they’re doing.  Someone who has already accepted that they are going to make some mistakes sometimes and that’s just who they are!

So stand in front of the camera and show the world who you really are.  Mistakes and all, and people will trust you for it.  All that is needed of you now is for you to go and display your profile photo to your target audience in conversation and engagement and let them get to know your brand.

Strategize your social profile to allow people to distinguish what type of business, blog, or brand that you run by showing them your story in a split second.  It’s more powerful than you think, and it should be utilized and taken more seriously than it has been in this industry.

What do you think?  Have you considered your social profile to date?

What are some of the questions you have about social profiles?  I would love to hear them.


Wade Harman is a social media psychology expert showing businesses and brands how to trigger an emotional response from their digital strategy.  He loves Star Wars, pepperoni sandwiches, and meeting new and interesting people.


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