Whether you’re an individual or a business, your profile picture says a lot about you, and with most of everyone having a social media presence nowadays, it becomes even more important to keep on top of your online game and the image you portray to the world.
But how often should you change your profile picture?
Well, truth be told, there are no definitive answers to this question, and ultimately it comes down to your personal preference, but there are a few guidelines you can follow depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
How Often Should I Change My Profile Picture As an Individual?
- When you’re actively looking for a job
- Whenever there’s a significant change to your style or appearance, whether that’s a haircut, weight loss or gain, or any cosmetic enhancements.
- When you get promoted or advance in your career, or have a change of career
- When there’s a significant event happening in your life, like getting married or having a baby.
- When your profile picture no longer represents you
- When you’re just tired of seeing the same picture of you
A good rule of thumb on how often you should change your profile picture is to just do it a few times a year or whenever something important happens in your life or you have a specific goal in mind, like finding a job. Having a professional-looking profile picture that represents you is extremely important when you’re looking for a job because you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the same rule applies to dating.
Some people like to change their profile picture every week or month, but that can get a little excessive and give people the impression that you’re a little too self-absorbed. The beginning of a new year is the best time to change your profile picture to start every year fresh and ride the “new year, new you” train, but if you want to do it more often, you can change your profile pic every season. Four times a year should be more than plenty to show people you are active on social media.
How about different types of social media?
How often should you change your profile picture on Instagram? How often should you change your profile picture on Facebook, etc.?
At least once a year is a good rule for any type of social media network. A survey published a few years ago showed that people change their profile pics more frequently (every 2-3 weeks) on dating apps like Grindr and Tinder, while Instagram and Facebook users change theirs only 5 to 6 months, and even more rarely on Twitter and LinkedIn, 1.8 years and 2.1 years, respectively.
The main reason quoted for an infrequent change of profile pictures was that people struggled to find pictures of themselves they liked, so that’s one thing to keep in mind.
Maybe every once in a while you could schedule a photo session with a friend who likes taking photos, and you could return the service. Selfies are rarely a good option, especially when it comes to more professional networks like LinkedIn, and finding a good picture of yourself from randomly taken photos is quite hard, so asking for someone else’s help is a good idea.
How about any limitations? How often can you change your profile picture on Instagram and Facebook?
There are no limitations to how often you can change your profile picture on Instagram and Facebook. You can do it is often as you like — daily, once a year, once a month, whenever you feel like it.
Does Instagram notify when you change profile picture?
Although owned by Facebook, Instagram does not notify your followers when you change your profile picture. So although changing your profile picture more often might be a good marketing strategy for Facebook and LinkedIn, there’s no point in trying that on Instagram, as changes you make to your profile picture will not show up in anyone’s feed.
If you want to learn how to take a successful profile picture, take a look at this cool research analyzing 1,000 images of faces to help determine the facial features and tics that help make a good impression.
How Often Should You Change Your Profile Picture As a Business?
It’s important to stay relevant, but don’t go nuts changing your business’s social media profile pictures all the time. While once every month or two is a good goal, once a week is too much. It will make your company appear indecisive, suffering from the social-media equivalent of attention deficit disorder. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to changing your profile picture only when you have a really good reason, like:
- With the change of seasons
Nothing screams “we don’t update very often” like a Facebook page with the same art month after month, year after year. If you like your avatar too much to change it frequently, why not give it some seasonal flair? There are apps that will add a Santa hat to your Facebook profile picture, giving you an “of the times” feel even if you never reference Christmas on your updates.
Use similar ideas for other holidays. Incorporate a heart into your Twitter profile pic around Valentine’s Day. Add a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day. Dot it with red, white and blue for July Fourth. You get the idea. This shows that there is a real person behind your social-media feeds, which makes your business seem more trustworthy and more personal, a great asset when trying to woo customers.
- To reflect a change in direction or a new mission
Say your company started out renting Caterpillar equipment, but now you’ve broadened your offerings to include other types of heavy machinery. Your old profile pictures with the Caterpillar logo might not be the best way to sell your company any more.
Every few months, take a look at your social media profile pictures and ask yourself if they reflect your company’s mission. If you are moving into new areas or providing new services, change your profile pics to reflect that. It always gets attention when you change a picture, and you may engage your customers into asking why, giving you a chance to share your newest offerings.
- To show support for a good cause or tragic event
When there’s an important event or movement happening in the world, you can show your support by temporarily changing your profile picture with a symbol. That way, everyone will know where your company stands on that subject and you don’t risk getting backlash for not supporting certain causes that are popular at the moment. Of course, it goes without saying, don’t support causes you don’t believe in just out of fear of getting canceled.
- To show off new product photos
Or whenever you have news or there’s something else important happening in your company.
In conclusion, you have to change your profile picture to stay relevant, but don’t overdo it!
Staying fresh and relevant on social media is especially important when you own a business, and changing your profile picture more often is part of that. It shows your audience that you’re current with technology, so don’t be afraid to refresh your brand image every once in a while.
And speaking of staying fresh on social media, one common reason people fail at social media is the lack of being consistent and organized, but it’s hard to do so without some extra help. Check out our social media management tool comparison article, see what worked for other people, and pick your winner!