Over the years I’ve Tweeted and Facebooked and blogged for clients in their voice and followed their personal brand or company guidelines to communicate their stance on particular issues via social media. It’s easy to stay within the bounds of their personality and tone because they’re defined and very much theirs. What’s proving to be more challenging is doing all of the above for my own business where I am the business and the voice is mine.
I’ve worked with clients defining their voice via Social Media versus their brand or company’s public persona. The lines have been clear when deciding whether to publish as their own person or as their entity and the communications divide was set and adhered to and it’s worked a treat, even for personal brand work.
So it bothered me when this was something I grappled with in the first few days of becoming a business.
The value of this quandary
On the flip side, being in this position has provided me with the valuable experience of sitting in my clients’ shoes, faced with multiple personalities. Now I understand first hand why some clients have struggled with “but how do I know what’s me and what’s my business?”
Of course, when communicating in public, there are the obvious lines drawn between your personal public self versus what you would say as a business … although seeing some tweets and posts prompt me to reconsider the definition of ‘obvious’. The nuances of Social Media where the value is in being real and human also nudge me to ponder a little longer on which account I tweet from.
@KimberleyL or @brandPRsocial #help!
I am going to focus on Twitter in this post because this is the domain where I was first confronted by having to choose which ‘me’ to tweet from: @KimberleyL or @brandPRsocial? I’ve Tweeted my comments, opinions, check ins, dog and ReTweets of entertaining and informative posts as @KimberleyL, or RTs in support of friends. And I have tweeted all these categories as my business too (and to those who gag at tweets of pets, my dog pics were part of #dogsatwork … #justification).
So how do I decide when to tweet as @KimberleyL and when to share as @brandPRsocial?
The ‘kind of’ solution
When you are your own business and you are your brand or company’s voice and human face, then you’re better off getting used to having multiple personalities and getting on with the job rather than spending hours deliberating which you is writing today.
Although I have set myself some rules of thumb when communicating as my company:
- Always let my personality come through – after all, people want to know who they’re dealing with
- Anything to do with the industries I work with or in to come from my business…
- …But comments that could come back to haunt me with future job prospects to be kept offline and in my head
- Any posts about my personal life that has a ‘who cares?’ factor for any business associations to come from @KimberleyL
- No profanities except where really really appropriate
- Cheekiness allowed but try and stay away from #innuendos that @KimberleyL would post … except where really really appropriate
- Tweets to Tweeps who are friends who want to see what my Great Dane puppy is up to come from @KimberleyL … except when it’s for #dogsatwork
- Tweets about my puppy to be kept to a minimal
- Have fun and keep it informative, entertaining and me