(Last Updated On: December 11, 2013)

December, time for the tradition of gathering your family together to grimace at a camera whilst posing infront of a garishly adorned temporarly relocated, indoor shrubbery. After many attempts at getting everyone to smile, working the auto timer on the camera, and threats invoking the name of a certain fat man in a red suit that would NOT be visiting our house if someone didn’t stop picking their nose… I started to think a bit more about pictures and the impacts they can have. As I’m sure you are well aware SnapEngage gives you the ability to upload an agent picture so that the person visiting your site is connecting with more than just a chat box. This got me thinking about what factors contribute to drive engagement as opposed to driving people away. Thus the quest began!

Let’s start with the simple fact that adding a picture, any picture will boost engagement roughly 12%. A 12% increase isn’t bad but what happens when you add a picture of a real person, well that number more than doubles! On average proactive engagement increased 20-30%, turns out as humans we are hard wired to connect with other people!

“Using real agent photos with live chat boosts engagement 30%!”

Look super smart and click to tweet this to your friends!

Now there are many different factors that can go into optimizing that engagement percentage but for today we are going to just focus on the agent picture. A few simple things to keep in might when selecting your agent picture:

  1. Closely cropped photos or pictures that are taken up close can actually make you appear less competent, less trustworthy, and less attractive. Maybe Norma Desmond should have thought about that closeup a bit more, you can read the study on that here.
  2. The basics of photography apply, you want to make sure you have the light source facing the subject and not behind it or you will mask the details of the agent’s face and they will look dark. PhotoFlex offers some great tips to get you started.
  3. Photos of women have higher response rates when looking at the camera versus men who have higher response rates when looking away from the camera.
  4. Interestingly enough we follow the gaze of the subject, you can use this to your advantage for example if you want the visitor to look at the message or content on a page having the agent “looking” at the content will drive your visitors to do the same.      *Gotcha*
  5. Be Happy! The very act of smiling has been proven to make you happier in life! Visitors also like to see a smiling face greet them on your website, the bigger the better.
  6. This tip can be a bit subjective but there is some evidence that the background can play a part in how people react to a profile picture. Try A/B testing an orange vs. a blue background and see which one brings in more engagement.
  7. Pictures where the agent was doing something interesting (hobby) or an interesting location (travel photo) have been associated with longer conversations and potentially more engaging. It is ok to show a bit of personality and can make a great conversation starter.
  8. Bonus Tip: Ignore all previous tips, well maybe aside from the ones with a bit of research attached to them. Ultimately there isn’t a 100% fool proof formula and testing is highly encouraged.

A few simple tweaks to boost engagement could very well lead to SEVERAL thousand dollars!

Do you have any tips or tricks that you have seen work exceedingly well? +10 points for creativity! Let us know in the comments below

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