Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your avatar: the most important aspect of any social media effort

So what does your avatar look like?

As someone who has watched the evolution of social media, I believe that the avatar is like a business card.   And, like my business, my avatar is like it in that the quality of it says a lot about my business.

Several weeks ago, I was at the Door64.com tech fair in Austin.  There was a lot of out-of-work silicon chip manufacturers who had those homemade business cards with the ink stains.

For those who has a cropped family picture at their avatar, it's time to update it with a professional photo.  And, like a business card it has to evolve over time.

A year ago, Ruben Barron, my graphic guru, sat me down for a formal shooting session.  I have used that photo for over a year, until I met Steve Noreyko, an Austin photographer at  Austin Interactive.  Steve took my latest mug shoot.  I loved his generous use of pancake makeup on what he termed "extended forehead."

Just after getting my photo, I noted Louis Cardenas' ditzy blonde avatar on Twitter.  So, I sent Louis my latest mug shot to ask him to see what kind of personality he could create for me.  In a day, Louis created an "Andy Warhol" feel to my mug shot.

I am now using Louis' new mugs on my personal blog and my personal Twitter page.   I believe it will help me broaden my marketing efforts.

If you are individual or a business, a professional graphic artist can update an avatar.   For those using a homemade photo or a simple graphic file,  it's time to engage somelike Ruben, Steven or Louis to help them get a professional look and feel.

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