The Hot-Chick Avatar

The mark of any semi-aware (and completely cynical) social media marketer is the use of a hot chick in the avatar. We’ve all seen this for years. You get a friend invite from someone you’ve never heard of, but their profile picture is of an attractive female.

I’m guessing the thinking is people (read: guys) will be more inclined to follow/friend this profile, in the hopes that they’ll be able to meet said attractive female. Of course, the profile is likely nothing but posts about making money online, or “read my blog,” or some other desperate bit of tweet-spam.

But it must work, because people still do it. Here’s one I saw on FriendFeed:

friendfeed screen

The post is typical of all the other posts on the account: A flat sales pitch to anyone who bothers to read it. And given the fact that they post an average of 30 times a day, (likely from a feed,) that’s a lot of selling.

Also look at the number of people they’re following. They obviously hope that once they follow all these people, some will follow them back. What’s odd is that 491 other users have. Who are these people?

Upon closer examination, they are all polite users who follow back anyone who follows them. Whomever runs this account must feel that a 0.93% conversion of follows to followers is a good thing. But the real question becomes how many of those followers ever actually click on their sales pitch links? How many become customers?

I think the point here is that in social networking you are who you follow. If you want to be associated with sales people just because they use a picture of a hot chick – even if they are one – they are all you’ll have to read from. If you want to learn something, or get something worthwhile from your time spent, you should really be more selective. The point of all this, after all, is not to collect followers.

Similarly, if you’re here to sell, the direct approach isn’t going to work – no matter how cute the woman in your avatar is.

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