Want your friends, family, and potential lovers to be more attracted to you? Facebook is an amazing tool for making you shine. Perfecting your Facebook profile can be considered art form, and is often referred to as “online persona creation”. The art involves a masterful combination of images, writing and information. Here are five simple tips for creating a more attractive and interesting online persona through Facebook:
Tip 1: Know who you are and have a clear message
A profile is a collection of characteristics that people look at to gauge our personalities. Often times, people will get to know us better based on our status updates, photos and other media. Even though we’re all complex beings, people categorize us to make sense of the world.
Are you the party animal doing keg stands, an investment banker closing a deal or jetsetter back from his latest trip? You can’t be all of them and if you try people will be confused about your personality and who you are. And for those of you who don’t want to be defined by society or think you’re a free spirit, get over yourself; you are not the unique snowflake you were in first grade.
When posting media or status updates ask yourself: “Is this consistent with the image that I am trying to portray?”
For example: When my friend Frank was fundraising for startups, he removed several hundred photos of him at parties. Ultimately they sent an inconsistent image. Would you give $500,000 to someone who had 20 albums of him being drunk?
My friend Kirk removed hundreds of photos of him with women when he started dating his girlfriend so that people wouldn’t think he was a womanizer. It allowed his girlfriend’s friends and family to take him seriously.
Tip 2: Pick An Appropriate Profile Photo
Your best bet is to use a head shot; something clean. According to Jo Blackwell of one of the top hair salons in New York, Dopdop Salon, it is important to “use contrast in the photo … if you have light skin, you should use a dark shirt. If you have dark skin, you should use a light shirt.”
Most importantly, use your image as a way to express who you are. Throw some personality into it. Use photos of you playing a sport, painting or performing on a stage. Also feel free to be silly if that is the personality you are trying to portray.
Biggest Pet Peeves
People who have a couple’s photo
Yah I get it, you love each other, and need to spend every moment of the day together. Thank you, we all just threw up little. Unless you just got engaged/married and are making the announcement, keep it to yourself. This is your profile.
I don’t need a photo of your pet. All this photo tells me is that you are incapable of relating to people in a healthy way. Instead, you’re making up for it with your strange relationship with an animal.
No Group Shots
Group photos tell me you are too insecure to stand on your own. No one will know who you are in a group photo. To make matters worse, if you aren’t the best looking, people will spend more time trying to figure out who the hot/interesting/cool looking person is instead of learning about you.
Special note to guys who are balding:
Stop trying to pretend it isn’t happening. We know, you know… it is no secret. So get over it. It also isn’t a big deal. If you can embrace it, no one else will care. In Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner reference a paper on online dating done by researchers at the University of Chicago and Duke University. The study found that balding men who shave their head and men with a full head of hair are contacted the same amount. While men who are trying to hide their balding are messaged significantly less. Translation: buy a fresh pack of razors and let’s see that pretty scalp of yours.
Tip 3: Don’t Say Something, Show It
If you choose to fill out the “About Me” section, here is the most important rule: You don’t need to tell us characteristics about who you are. If you’re funny, you’ll write funny posts and have funny photos. You won’t say “I’m really funny.”
Biggest Pet Peeves
People who say they live life to the fullest
No you don’t. I have met a lot of amazing people, I have traveled with them, interviewed them and I have learned something very important: it is exhausting to live life to the fullest. Most people really aren’t built for it. It is more important for most people to curl up on their couch after a long day then to go on some zany adventure. So be honest with yourself. Chances are, you probably sit in a cubical wondering how you ended up spending 8+ hours a day pretending that you are working.
Someone who lives life to the fullest has photos, status updates, and videos showing how wild their life is. If your profile is covered with updates of how you just got a cow on Farmville or you just found out that you are like Samantha in the “Sex In The City” quiz, you’re not living life to the fullest.
You are what you do. Things to consider when wanting to be one of the following:
- Funny – Post funny things (You tube videos, amusing photos, a comedy routine you did).
- Deep & Spiritual – Photos from your yoga retreats, quotes from obscure spiritual leader, and weird statements of living life with purpose. (Spoiler alert: What is the sound of one hand clapping? A: The sound of one hand clapping. Things are always what they are and never what they are not. Now I sound deep and spiritual. LOL)
- Athletic – Photos from your triathlon, your latest race scores, updates about going to the gym.
- Lame – Tell people you have a bunch of great characteristics and then have a boring profile.
Tip 4: Set The Right Privacy Settings
If you never post anything to your profile, don’t worry about this. If you have multiple social circles and like to limit what people know, adjust your privacy settings. Make lists with custom privacy settings for people who are in high risk categories (Work, family, ex-girlfriends and their friends, current girlfriends, etc…) and keep the lists up to date. If that is too much effort, put everyone on the highest privacy setting and create exceptions.
Tip 5: Block Applications And Delete Wall Posts
There is a lot of spam that will appear on your wall. People will post the dumbest media, updates and gifts from applications. Don’t be afraid to delete these posts or block those stupid applications. When someone comes to your page, do you really want them to see that the latest item on your wall was “Heather has bought you a shot”? Or maybe you’re tagged in a video from college that you never realized was recorded. You probably don’t want that kind of media associated to you. If it is on your page, it should provide value.
All in all, when it comes to sculpting your profile, make sure that you send a clear message of how you want people to see you. As social media becomes more woven into our daily interactions, people will relate to us more on an online level. It’s important to make sure you always ask yourself: “Is what I’m posting consistent with the image I’m trying to create?”