Why Logos, Cartoons And Other "Non-Relationship" Connections Don't Belong On Your Social Media Connections 

By: Sandi Krakowski

At first glance that cutie up above seems pretty neat, doesn't she?

But as the author of the graphic and I were chatting recently about how fun cartoon characters and cute logos can be the conversation turned back to something Guy Kawasaki, best selling author of the book "Enchantment" said about eyes and smiles.

"Four factors create a good first impression- your smile, your dress, your handshake and your vocabulary." Guy Kawasaki

He goes on to say that you can actually tell a genuine smile from a non-genuine smile by the 'crow's feet' around the eyes. It's easy to see why he rated Social Media expert Mari Smith as one of the BEST examples for a genuine smile. The "Duchenne smile" aka smiling with the eyes and crow's feet is the one to be pursued and Mari is a great example of it! Whenever I see Mari's picture I feel safe, she is trust worthy and she is someone I really look up to.

Do you think that is coincidental? Not on your life. She is all of these things and her BRAND mirrors who she is.

Recently on a Facebook Webinar Mari Smith actually mentioned ME as someone who had one of the best Twitter Profile Photos she has ever seen!  (Could it be the crow's feet?)

Back to our topic on logos, cartoons and other things that might be considered 'non-relationship' builders and how they are affecting your social media or website positioning.

Here are three tips to remember when picking out a photo for your marketing-

1- When we connect with people it's a spirit to spirit connection.

Remember, long after people forget what you said, you did or what you even wore, they will always remember how you made them feel. I don't know about you but I don't typically get a 'feeling' or 'energy' off of a cartoon. It's an inanimate object. Sure, the cartoon characters on Saturday night morning funnies when we were kids made us feel good but it's not likely that we would 'turn to a cartoon' as a brand we want to partner with or have serve us in business.

 It's ok to have a cartoon on some of your products, and we have done that. But always remember that when social media really took off like gangbusters the number one thing that made people come back over and over again to connect with people, brands, products and more was HOW they felt through the connection.

Major corporations are now choosing 'girl next door' images to be their company spokesperson. Influence and persuasion experts are discovering that the age old, "I can't get a good reading on that" is becoming increasingly popular in social media. In plain English, people rarely form deep buying relationships with cartoons or logos. Even Nike and other household names have PEOPLE that we aspire to be like, not cartoons or product logos, leading the way.

You don't believe me?  Think back to the time when the Marlboro Man or the June Cleavers of our day ruled what the 'home' was supposed to be like. Men road horses (in our imagination) and they always had big muscles, nicely fitting jeans and to top it off, of course, a great man was smoking a Marlboro cigarette! People ran to the store hoping to BE that man and began smoking! It's a sad example but it's true. No one bought June's pearls because they had hoped they could push a vacuum as beautifully as she did. They wanted to BE her and to this day many genrations later women are still beating themselves up when they can't be the perfect mom. Ironic, isn't it? That NONE of the cartoon characters of June's day are ever a visual that comes to a young mom's mind when she struggles to keep up with the June's and the Jone's of the world?

Faces make big impressions.

They blueprint a memory onto our minds faster than ANYTHING else.

2. Your product is not what I am buying.

Financial expert and brilliant Entrepreneur Dave Ramsey said it beautifully in his book "Entreleadership" , "When we ship out packages, we pray over them. We are not sending out CD's or DVD's on finance. We are selling hope. We are saving marriages and lives with our products."

I wonder how many of you have actually given good thought to what it is you are truly offering in the marketplace. One of the core reasons we are doing a live event in Dallas, TX entitled 'The Divine Call of God On Business And The Key Role You Play' is because many business owners and entrepreneurs have forgotten the core principles of business, that just so happen to be foundational principles taught in the Bible.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

The blessing of the Lord makes one rich and He adds no sorrow to it.

You see, in this day of transparency and relationship marketing it is CRITICAL that we get back to the basics that originally grew a spirit of entrepreneurialism in our nation. It's not a national issue, however. It's a global issue. We were not designed to be disconnected, aloof, hidden behind a screen and fading behind a logo or a cartoon. We are designed to connect with one another. Connect at a deep level! This is why social media alone has been responsible for creating some very POSITIVE changes in our society!

Sr Citizens who connect through social media regularly are said to be living longer, because the interaction with other human beings gives them joy and hope. And it goes BEYOND just connections with grandchildren! They love to research and find things just like the rest of us. Social media meets that need.

HR Reps are now finding social media to be a great resource in the process of hiring new candidates for work! Hours and dollars are saved instantly if someone is found to be less than desirable or not a good fit for the company. What used to take months to reveal can now be found in a matter of an hour's casual search on Facebook!

It's important that when we create a business online, which I believe more than 75% of you reading this today are desiring to do, we make real connections with people.

A real face and a real presence is required.

Always remember, when you meet me face to face in person, your smile, handshake, tone of voice and your eyes tell me a lot. You will make a first and a lasting impression with all of those factors coming together. So the question we must ask ourselves today is this- what kind of impression are we making?

3. Be sure that the impression you are giving online isn't one of trying to hide.

In my years of working online I have met literally hundreds of thousands of people. 15 years of being in the online world has given me quite the vantage point when it comes to doing a personal case study on the behavior and influence of people. It has also caused me to bump into a few "Black Widows". What do I mean by that? A black widow crawls silently in the background and is very often never seen until she does her damage. She is small, black and it's even hard to see her poisonous hour glass marking until it's too late. In plain English, she's deadly but looks nearly harmless.

When we went to a Science museum when my kids were little I was SHOCKED to discover that a black widow is typically quite small. Here I was thinking she was big, kind of like a Tarantula! I'll never forget the time my nephew stayed with us for a few months and he had a Tarantula with him. We soon discovered that the reason that Gus wasn't coming out of his tube in his aquarium was because he was a Gussette and about to give birth! But that is another story…..

Sometimes the most dangerous predators hide behind logos, facades, weird images and the like. And because of this, we as company owners are being forced to really stand up. People want to do business with people they can trust, and with people who are genuine. This is another reason why I teach my high level students that being available to 'help anyone, just call me, just give me a shout out, I'm always here to help!' isn't necessarily the mode of operation of a professional! It's actually more the way someone who is desperate behaves.

If we build a business hoping to create long term relationships with our clients in a way that is genuine, sincere and memorable, we need to BE real people.

Take Zappos for example, the giant eCommerce store that was recently acquired by Amazon for more than $ 1.5 BILLION dollars.

Have you ever noticed that they do not use professional models? Maybe you didn't realize that EVERY photo on their website of clothing or the like modeled in any way is actually done by an employee. Check this out below! While I'm certainly not suggesting we give our measurements, look at the transparency and genuineness going on here. This helps one who is shopping to see what the 'real life fit' of this item is! And these are not 'super glossed over Photo Shopped' images. They are everyday people, just like you and me, helping to sell items to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars in sales.

If you have made an innocent mistake of turning yourself into a logo, cartoon or maybe you've been focusing too much on your product, it's easy to get things back on track.

Just be sure that your FACE is what I am seeing when I communicate with you. When you post comments on your Timeline, your Facebook Page or your Twitter stream, I will see YOU when you make a statement, comment or give input. So always be sure that the BEST you, complete with a big smile, crow's feet and a happy disposition is coming through loud and clear.

Remember, how you make me FEEL is more important than anything.

With love,
Sandi Krakowski