Do Your Social Media Avatars Have to be the Same?

I’ve been looking closely at the ins and outs of the social media icons on blogs lately. I came across one that said to “make sure all of your media sites are the same” (same favicons, icons etc.) so that people will know that it’s you. I didn’t necessarily agree with this to a certain extent because not all of my media sites have something to do with book blogging or even reading for that matter… and if you clicked on the icon on my blog, would you not already know that it’s me? That’s what lead me to this question: If your media sites aren’t necessarily all related to book blogging, should they be included on your book blog in the “follow me” area? Mine are. There are only 3 related to book blogging and the others aren’t related at all to blogging. I just put them there in case someone cared what my other interests were. If they don’t care, then don’t click on the icon. Am I wrong? Should I get rid of icons that aren’t book related? I’m just trying to gather some opinions from everyone on this. I’m not necessarily NEW to book blogging, but I want to do things right too.

Hi Carrie!

If branding and recognition is your priority, use the same avatar

Ultimately this depends on what your priorities are. The reason why people suggest your social media avatars be the same is because it strengthens your brand. It makes you become instantly recognizable from one site to another. If someone sees you on Twitter, they see your avatar and immediately know, “It’s Carrie from [insert site name]”. Then they go on Facebook, see that same avatar and think, “Oh I’ve seen this before. It’s that girl from [insert site name]”. Having the same avatar everywhere reminds people what your brand is, what your logo is, and what your site is.

Otherwise.. do whatever you want!

If creating a strong brand isn’t your priority, then to hell with rules and guidelines! Do whatever you want! Will it be worse for your “brand”? Probably. But if that’s not your priority, then who cares! You can have whatever avatars you want.

For example, I’d put myself in the “do whatever you want” category. I think I do a mixture of enforcing my brand and ditching the “rules”. I participate in three main social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

My Facebook page for Nose Graze is 100% Nose Graze. I have my graphics in the header area and Nose Graze graphics for my avatar. This is because I don’t use that page for anything personal; it’s all 100% related to the blog.

But on Twitter, I use a mixture. I do mostly tweet about book/blog related things, but mostly I see Twitter as a personal space. I can tweet about whatever the heck I want. So my background/header graphic is clearly Nose Graze, but my avatar is a picture of me. Because when I tweet, I want people to see the avatar and think of me, not necessarily my blog.

Should you link to social media sites that aren’t specific to book blogging?

If you have a personal Twitter account that you use for talking to friends, family, and tweeting about your life, should you link to it on your blog? If you’re a hobbyist blogger, I say YES! Or more accurately: whatever you want. There are no rules or regulations here when it comes to a hobby blog. Now if this was a company website, I wouldn’t recommend it because it may seem irrelevant or even unprofessional. But when you create a blog as a hobby, there are no rules. People may want to follow you on Twitter not because it’s book-related, but because they like YOU as a person from your blog and want to follow you elsewhere.

Do you use the same avatars on different social media sites?

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  1. While I do think it’s easy to keep things recognizable by using the same picture across social media platforms, I have started using different pictures within my brand. (e.g., People associate me with giraffes, so I have my Twitter profile picture of me wearing giraffe ears.) And, of course, I do like seeing an actual photo of the person—it personalizes the whole experience.

    The biggest reason, for me at least, to use the same/not changing social media avatars is that people look for the avatar first, not your name. When you change it, people miss you because they’re looking for the wrong picture. It takes time for them to remember which picture you’re using. Like you said, having the same picture means they can find you, even if they’re not necessarily looking for you. But again, it goes back to looking at why you’re using social media.

    Amanda @ On a Book Bender recently posted: Top Off Tuesday, Yank It
  2. Oh thanks for this, Ashley! I figured it was a personal decision but didn’t want to look silly for having a link (for example) to my instagram account that has nothing to do with books. It’s more geared toward my tattoos likes and dislikes etc. The rest of them I have my Carrie bear avatar on them, but again, they aren’t necessarily about book blogging, but I did put my link to my site on them anyway.

    Facebook is the only thing I don’t have. I have a personal site and was going to create a page specifically for the blog but just haven’t done it yet. It’s a lot of updating and I don’t even do that on my own FB account imagine how slack I’ll be on a page! Then again, if I want to drive traffic to my blog, then I’ll have to suck it up.

    I love hearing the “Do what you want”. That is a mantra that I’ve heard over and over again from everyone. (Do what you want & be yourself) Just hearing those words takes a bit of pressure off.

    This has been extremely helpful along with other posts that I hunted down on here. You’re a GEM!!

    Carrie recently posted: College Girl, Sheila Grace
    1. One thing about Facebook is that you can at least set up the bare minimum with zero ongoing effort on your part. You can use NetworkedBlogs to have your blog posts automatically post to your Facebook page. That at least takes care of the basics. Then you don’t ever have to visit it again if you don’t want. Or if you do want to put even more effort into it, you can post other photos and updates on Facebook. But at least the blog updates can be taken care of automatically!

  3. Yes, I saw someone mention NetworkedBlogs… maybe here in an earlier post. I just might do that. I’m not saying I won’t ever visit the page, but I’m terrible at updating things on FB. I spend more time on my blog and other sites to take time updating. I’m just trying to have fun and not make it a job and I want to keep it that way. At least if it updated itself with NB, then it looks like I was there when I wasn’t. Sneaky! LOL

    Carrie recently posted: Alpha, Jasinda Wilder
  4. I myself use mostly the same avatars, but sometimes I like to change things up a bit once I get a decent picture, haha. Like right now, I use the same avatars for my blog and comments, but I have a different one on Twitter and Instagram. I don’t think people should feel restricted to using just one. But really, it’s up to the blogger! 🙂 As for adding non-book-related links, I find them to be a bit off and they kind of ruin the consistency of a book blog. If you’re linking to a personal social media account, it’s fine with me, like you said. Great tips, Ashley!

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted: You Know You’re a Bookworm When…
  5. I agree on that. I also feel that it’s okay not to be too strict with the rules if one is into blogging as a hobby. I’m not much into social networking, and I use Twitter mostly to remain connected with my book/blogging friends, but leaving a personal touch here and there never hurts!

    Munira recently posted: 4 Apps Every Book Blogger Should Try
  6. I once learned from a successful freelance photojournalist that standing out and staying consistent are two must-follow rules when it comes to establishing your brand. “Find a logo and a name that you can live with for a long time and stick with it,” he told me. With my blog-related accounts (Goodreads, Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) I use the same logo and name. Although, my reasoning for using a logo instead of a photo of myself is simply that I don’t want to reveal too much on the internet. I have completely different account names and avatars for my personal accounts, which are solely for the eyes of family and friends, and I don’t ever share links to those accounts on my blog.

    Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted: Every writer has a style. I haven’t figured out mine yet.
  7. I use 1 graphic pretty uniformly across my twitter, fb, and Goodreads accounts. But I use a picture of myself for a lot of my commenting profiles and on Shelfari and on booklikes. And that’s all really for my blog – so I guess I’m only semi-concerned with brand recognition. To an extent, I do want to put my face out there a be a person too lol. I think most bloggers are like that though, from what I’ve seen. Great post Ashley!

    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: Bloodfire by Helen Harper | Book Review
  8. I am like you, I have my facebook for my blog, so I don’t have MY face on there. I have pictures of me on there but not as the avatar. As for twitter, wordpress and all that– I have two different pics but they are similar. Goodreads is different, but that’s because I haven’t felt like changing that picture. I am really good with names and faces, so even if the picture was different, I would recognize the name. If that makes sense lol

    One thing though, my twitter is used for both personal and my blog– but my blog name isn’t anywhere there except for my INFO. I always wondered if that was confusing. lol

  9. I have the two graphics that I switch between, one being the purple dragon and the other being the only picture of me that I ever use since I have a book and a cat in it (priorities!). I was conflicted about what to use on Twitter, but figured that I’d rather have people feel like they are talking to me with my book and cat than talking to a weird purple dragon 😉

  10. Here’s my take, for what it’s worth: I write a family lifestyle blog, and a book/entertainment blog. I currently use the same picture for all of my social media, and both blogs. However, in the next year I hope to be able to afford a total online makeover from a professional (hopefully YOU, actually), and part of that process will entail hiring a photographer to do a series for me. I plan to use some of the images to create headers and other graphics for both blogs, and I want to do a series of portraits so each blog and social media account has a different picture, but all instantly recognizable as the same person. For instance, on my lifestyle blog, I show a ton of pictures of my daughter, whereas on my entertainment blog I only talk about her at all in my KidLit Friday posts, and rarely show any pictures. Social media, I’m still figuring out, because I despise Facebook and am trying to figure out if I can ditch it completely, but whether or not I get to do that I do use each one a little differently, and I’d like the images I use to reflect that multi-faceted personality thing I’ve got going on there, without diluting my brand. Make sense? Hopefully it’ll work out that way, and not end up being a huge mistake! #lol

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