Your Face- Your Brand! Tips for Great Social Media Head Shots

tips for social media headshots

I suggest that people take new headshots every couple years or more often if your look dramatically changes.  It’s always awkward when a conference speakers or someone you have known through online sites walks through the door and not only do you not recognize them but you wonder if their son or daughter is who you have been engaged with online.  How many times have you met someone, looked at their picture on their business card or social media site and said, “WHOA- they need to update that photo?”

I took my own advice and scheduled a photo shoot with marketing expert AND photographer, Neil McKenzie for some fun new Geeky Girl shots!  After our shoot, we sat down and I asked him what makes for a great pic.  We talked for almost 30 minutes but I got it down to 10 (YouTube may not have time limits for content anymore but your attention span may only keep you engaged for a few minutes.)  Here is a recap of what we discussed, a few of the pics and the video of our chat:

Gina Schreck, Technology Social Media Speaker, Technology in Education

Basic Headshot

    1. Know the brand you are trying to convey BEFORE you begin.

      Is your brand about serious leadership or green resources?  Fun family activities or corporate innovation?  What message should your customers or contacts get when they see your picture?  Make a list of messages you want people to get just by looking at your picture.  This can help you focus your photo shoot time and ensure your picture is congruent with your messaging.

    2. Take time to get to know each other.

      The more your photographer knows about what you do and how you will use the pictures, the better he or she can snap the right shots.  You want your personality to shine through in the pictures, so be sure to show a little of that before the shoot begins.

    3. Bring a bit of your environment with you.

      If you use gadgets or have props that will add to your photos, bring them along.  If you’re a realtor, perhaps you want a SOLD sign with you.  If you’re a professional organizer, have some of your tools with you, and as you will see with Neil, if you’re a photographer, perhaps you want your camera with you!

    4. Aim for the eyes!

      Neil explains the importance of capturing the sparkle in the eyes.  Make sure your headshot is close enough that you can see your eyes.  Some people crop the picture to really allow others in (I think with HD technology there should be a warning sign similar to your car’s side mirror, “WRINKLES ARE SMALLER THAN THEY APPEAR!” -HA!)

    5. Create a series of shots.

      If you end up with 4 or 5 different shots and poses you will be able to use them more creatively.  Perhaps you have one standing or jumping in the air (one I forgot to do!), one close up for a good basic headshot, one laughing or a bit more relaxed, and one with some of your props. You will be able to sprinkle them from websites, blogs, social sites with different pictures and yet same look and feel.   This creates a consistent branding message while allowing for a bit of personality of the particular site.

    6. Lastly…have FUN!

      This should not be the old Sears photography studio shot where you sit and give that cheesy smile while holding your glasses under your chin (Is that supposed to make you look smarter?).  Let go of those negative thoughts of hating every picture you are in and allow your great personality come through and be captured.

Gina Schreck, Technology Speaker, Social Media, Learning, Synapse

Fun with props

Do you have other tips for great photo shoots as it applies to branding and social media use?  What do you love to see in pictures?

If you or your organization need help getting your message out, contact me or one of our brilliant SocialKNX team members! We LOVE helping organizations manage their brand and magnify their messaging for BIG business success!

If you want tips on crafting better bios, download your free copy of our free resource guide HOW TO CREATE GREAT BIOS THAT ATTRACT


Social Media Do’s and Dont’s When Job Searching

Social Media Speaker, TEchnology training, Social Media for business, Gina Schreck, Technology ExpertAlthough job seekers and employers are still grasping at various ideas on how best to use the medium during the hiring process, it’s pretty clear that social media is here to stay.

There is a lot of advice out there about how job seekers should use social media to connect with employers – to the point where the information can sometimes become overwhelming. Therefore we’re going to stick to some basics that every job seeker should keep in mind when using social media.

Here are five basics to live by if you plan on using your social media profiles for job searching:

  1. Brag about your skills, but not too much – Social media is a great place to showcase some of your skills. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are perfect for posting short articles or status updates about your accomplishments and highlighting any clubs or volunteer activities you’re involved with. However, don’t go overboard and brag about yourself and your accomplishments too much. Keep in mind that an employer wants to know what you can do for them, not what you can do for yourself.
  2. Keep your private life private – When you’re only using social media as it was originally intended – for social purposes – it makes sense to share more of your private life. But when you’re using social media to find a job, posting such things as risque photos and highly-opinionated status updates are more risk than they’re worth. Even such things as your relationship status, political and religious affiliation can cause some employers to disregard you (unless, of course, you’re searching specifically for a job relating to one of those things).
  3. Use the same decorum you would at work – Most employees would not walk into the office and speak obscenities to their co-workers or talk about how much they drank the previous weekend, so keep those things off your social media profiles if you’re searching for a job. Although these things might seem like simple fun between you and friends at the time, they can just as easily turn a potential employer off from even considering you for a job.
  4. Keep it interesting and professional – When you’re searching for a job, it helps to convey that you know something about the area of work you want a job in and that you’re interested in that type of job. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great for conveying this type of knowledge to potential employers. Instead of posting a status update about the type of sandwhich you had for lunch, try posting your thoughts on a recent article about your industry of work or provoking a constructive discussion on an interesting work-related topic.
  5. Choose your friends wisely – Your network of friends can play a huge role on your social media sites. Some of your friends may work for companies that are looking to hire and may be able to recommend you for a job opening. You also want to steer clear of friending anyone who may not represent you in the best light, whether they tag you in unflattering pictures or post obnoxious things on your wall. Even though an employer may not be able to look at your friend’s profiles, they will be able to see who you’re connected to and what people are saying about you.

GUEST BLOGGER: Jennifer Carpenter, Jobing Technology Services at


Social Sharing: Important Trend or Evil Plan to Take My Crown?

“I’m watching Biggest Loser.  I joined a local kickboxing class this week and will try to lose weight with these contestants!”

“Eating at my favorite deli for lunch- the best egg salad sandwiches in the world!”

“Anything by SEAL is a favorite song”

Technology expert, social media for businessPeople want to share their life experiences with other people.  Whether they know each other or not, they feel someone else out there wants to know this information.

We want to connect with others and new technology tools are allowing us to do that.  We can find people who like the same music we like, who go to the same places we go and even those who are reading the same books we are reading or television shows we are watching.

Initially you may not see the purpose in all this social sharing, but it is a trend that continues to grow.  A trend we cannot ignore.  Sites like GetGlue are allowing people to rate movies, books, artists, TV shows and more.  Fans comment and you earn stickers for “checking in” and can be elevated to GURU status if you can answer questions on the particular show or topic.  The game-like concept fires up my competitive juices.  Who doesn’t want to be THE OFFICE guru?

If you are familiar with Pandora Radio, you may have noticed that while one of your favorite songs is playing, you will occasionally see the face of one of your Facebook friends who shared that this is also one of their favorites.  We have the ability to search for and connect with others who like the same music we do.

We can even share how our weight loss plan is going with the Tweeting Scale.  When you step onto this smart scale (or idiotic-blabber-mouth scale) it will upload the data to your computer or mobile device, and if you’d like, it will send a tweet telling the world how much you have gained or lost.  WHY?  WHY would someone want to share this kind of information?  Because we are social!  Because more and more, people are looking for ways to find and connect with their tribes, their posse, their peeps!  Before you shake your head and shrug off this strange behavior, let me ask you to consider this “case-study.”

On Foursquare, one of the geo-location sites I wrote about last week, I began checking in here and there just to learn more about it, but really didn’t see why people were going through the trouble… until I became the “Mayor” of my daughter’s high school.  The surge of power became more than I should have been allowed to handle.

I was then checking in everywhere trying to see where else I could dominate.  Two days after my first Mayoral appointment, I got wind of a dad who dethrowned me.  Who was this man who ripped my crown from my head?  How did I let this happen?  I went to work.  I checked in every time I dropped the Schrecklet off for summer sports conditioning and within a week I was Mayor Schreck once again.

This GAME engaged me.  It caused me to take action.  It caused me to go a little crazy, but I have hopes that my title will somehow help the Schrecklet during her freshman year!   When the surges of testosterone subsided, creativity started to flow.  I started to explore other ways we can use these game-like tools to engage our community, our audiences, or our customers.  How can I get my customers to GO MAD trying to learn new bits of information as they earn points or stickers?  How can you get your customers to fight over who gets to be KING or QUEEN of your business, if only for the day?  Can you invite your community to share knowledge with one another?

Instead of shying away from these sites, log on and start playing.  How will these new tools and trends shape your business?  How can you tap the power they have to engage and turn customers into RAGING FANS (Ah Perhaps this is an idea for a follow up book to Ken Blanchard’s RAVING FANS. )  If we study the trend in Social Sharing, we will discover ways to tap this wave and get on board!

Happy Sharing~


5 Brand Management Tips to Be More Responsive in Your Social Community

Social Media, Facebook Twitter for Business, Technology speaker, Social media training, Gina SchreckI had a great stay at the W Hotel in San Francisco last week.  I was there speaking at a conference and like I always do, I share my experience with my community through various social sites.  I checked in using FourSquare, I added a glowing review on TripAdvisor, and of course I sent more than one tweet on Twitter about the cool “Chill Pods” and great food at the hotel.

Not a peep back from anyone at the W!

Now I certainly don’t post my comments about companies, good or bad, just to get a response from them, BUT when your organization has over 7 different accounts on Twitter and a Facebook Page set up, you would be wise to have SOMEONE listening!

The opposite happened this morning when I posted something on Twitter about checking out a social sharing site called GetGlue.  within minutes Ami was in touch with me via email (she had to do a little work) with more information about their company.  She said, “I just saw your tweets about GetGlue (thanks!) and wanted to reach out… let me know if I can get you anything else.”

Ami, is the business development director for Get Glue and SHE ROCKS! She was listening.  She responded with more information (which I will use in an upcoming post on Social Sharing) which immediately moved their company up on my radar and I will be talking about her and Get Glue to others.

So how did she do it?  How can your company be more responsive on Twitter and Facebook?  Try these 5 Brand Management Tips:

  1. Set up a Google Alert for your company name (be sure to include different spellings, multiple words in quotations, and with or without spaces to grab every post).  I have one set for “Getting Geeky” as well as “Gettn’ Geeky.”  Google will send you an email alert notifying you when someone talks about you, which you can receive as they occur, once a day or once a week. How long do you want to wait before you get that notification?
  2. Set up an alert through Social Mention. Again set up an alert for your name spelled without spaces (example: Gina Schreck AND Ginaschreck; Synapse3Di AND Synapse 3D) to get those mentions.
  3. Create a column on TweetDeck, Hootsuite or other third-party tool you may be (should be) using to monitor your brand on Twitter.  Obviously if someone is referring to you with the @ symbol before the name (@GinaSchreck) it comes to your mentions column, but what if someone talks about you without using your Twitter handle?  Have a column set for that.
  4. Check in on your Facebook PAGE at least twice a day–morning and afternoon.  Unfortunately you do not receive an email letting you know someone has posted a new comment on your PAGE.  You have to go to the page, or watch via Hootsuite or other tools. Answer any question, thank people for their comment or address concerns promptly.  If you are getting hundreds of comments per day, you can summarize a response to a string of comments, but let people know you are there to be of help and that you appreciate their engagement.
  5. Lastly, MONITOR…hourly if necessary. Depending on the size of your organization, you need to be checking that Facebook PAGE, scanning Twitter Town for mentions and even conversations regarding your area of expertise or service, and like Ami, be ready to respond quickly!  You never know, that quick response could just be the fuel for some great word of mouth advertising!

If you or your organization need help creating or managing your social presence, give us a holler…Im just a tweet away!  @GinaSchreck

Setting up a Facebook Business Page (fan page) WITHOUT a Personal Profile?

how to create a Facebook business page

(UPDATED July 2017)

So many businesses are now jumping on the Facebook bandwagon in droves and there are still a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to setting up the account correctly. Do you need a personal profile first?  Can I just create a personal profile with my business name and information instead of my own personal information?  What about using the “BUSINESS ACCOUNT” feature that is available when setting up a Facebook PAGE for the first time to avoid having to create my own profile?

Not fully understanding the differences can end up hurting the efforts you put into managing your Facebook presence as well as the actual functionality of your business page.  To understand the 3 faces of Facebook (Profiles-Pages- Groups) check out my earlier post but let’s look at some important facts that will help you make these decisions as set up a business page:

    • You can create a Facebook PAGE for any of your businesses.  You must be an official representative of the business or organization to create a PAGE (not just someone who uses a service or likes a business).  Even as a hired consultant, you are authorized to set up the business PAGE and I highly suggest you add one or two additional people to be admins on the PAGE after it is created (These people must have a personal profile set up and become FANS of the PAGE first!).

Create facebook page for business, begin to create facebook page

    • To create a business PAGE (or Fan PAGE as we used to call them), you must also set up a personal PROFILE or “BUSINESS ACCOUNT” that is linked to the PAGE.  Some people make the mistake of thinking they will keep their personal PROFILE for personal use and set up an additional “BUSINESS PROFILE” using a different email address for their business.  DON’T DO IT!  Managing multiple PERSONAL PROFILE accounts is a serious violation of Facebook’s terms of use and they can terminate all of your accounts.  You will be adding a feature to your Facebook PROFILE when you create a PAGE.  You will use the same login information but they are kept very separate. Many fear that by connecting the two, FANS of the business will see the personal information on the PROFILE.  This is not true.  A personal PROFILE can have multiple business PAGES attached and they are each kept as stand alone.  You are just given the ease of logging into one account and jumping to any PAGE you manage.

Start a business page on Facebook

  1. If you do not have a personal PROFILE on Facebook and you don’t intend to ever use a personal PROFILE on Facebook, you CAN go the route of a “BUSINESS ACCOUNT.”  This is basically just a “limited” personal profile.  Facebook still wants to know that there is a real person managing the account and they want to know how to get a hold of you.  HOWEVER… here are a few more things to keep in mind before you decide to forego the personal PROFILE for the BUSINESS ACCOUNT:
    • You only have access to information that is LIVING ON THE PAGE (Posts on your PAGE wall, etc.).  If a fan comments, you cannot click over to see the PROFILE. (Creating a personal PROFILE, even without using it, will open this feature)
    • A business account CANNOT be found in a search (a PAGE can be found and a PERSONAL PROFILE can be found but not your name or information listed in the biz account set up)
    • You CANNOT send or receive friend requests when you are set up under a BUSINESS ACCOUNT.  All activity is strictly run through your PAGE.  (With personal PROFILES you can send and receive messages from people on Facebook)

Most people find that it is easier and more flexible to just create a personal PROFILE and limit the info shared there.  You may change your mind later and post information or start connecting with friends and professional associates.

Remember, any post or comment made from your business PAGE does not reference or show information from your personal PROFILE.  It does NOT have your name attached at all and vice versa.  When you post something on your personal PROFILE, your fans on your PAGE will not receive that post.

If you are completely confused by now, give me a holler!  Although many think it is not a big deal, later they regret that they set their business PAGE up incorrectly or their account gets shut down because they have two different PROFILES associated with their name.  Take some time to do it right and this marketing powerhouse tool will help you connect and engage your community!

We have loads of free resources on our site for helping you to engage and continue growing your Facebook community.  Happy connecting!

@GinaSchreck and her team manage the social media marketing for organizations, both large and small.  From goal setting and strategy development, to daily research, posting and customer service, we help YOU connect to YOUR WORLD!