I spent a fun and insightful day last week at Nick Tadd’s Social Media Workshop. Altogether a very useful and thought-and-action-provoking day!
One of the questions I raised with Nick was the desirability of using corporate versus personal branding and accounts when using the social media.
Nick concludes that “…The answer is to simply be YOU…you should focus on one core business, the one that you feel most passionate about. Build your on-line brand, personality, and profile around that one business. Once people LIKE and TRUST you, you can then expose them to your other business activities, even if they are totally un-related.”
As I noted in my response to Nick’s post, I believe the choices are not necessarily straightforward, and will depend on the individual, the business, target market and the industry.
And, as the social media and the way they are driving business strategy are here to stay, it’s well worth thinking through the issues as they affect YOU and YOUR BUSINESS…
As Nick (and Penny and Thomas Power, the founders of Ecademy) point out, the mediums available for promotion of one’s business are rapidly changing as we go into the 21st Century – largely due to the changes social media have brought, as well as the ‘information overload’ that we now have thanks to the internet as a whole.
As a result, we’re well into the ‘age of recommendation’ and the tendency to follow people, rather than brands (viz Penny’s KnowMe-LikeMe-FollowMe analysis).
There are many big corporates who use the social media – especially Facebook and Twitter – very successfully to promote the brand (Dell, etc) , rather than individuals – and this is an appropriate approach where the brand already has global or growing recognition.
Many senior executives do, of course, also have a personal Facebook and/or Twitter account, as this allows the corporate to put a more human face on the brand and plays to the above factors.
Many senior executives do, of course, also have a personal SM account, as this allows the corporate to put a more human face on the brand and plays to the above factors.
There’s an interesting TechCrunch blog post on how Charities are using Twitter very successfully to raise funds – this of course is using a corporate branding…
Celebrities are the prime example of using the social media to great effect on a personal branding basis, as people follow them (or their stage name personas) as ‘fans’.
There are also those who use the social media both with a ‘sober business persona’ and also with a zanier ‘ the real me’ persona – eg Simon Leung (of Adwords List Building) – @SimonLeung has 39,900 followers, while @CoolSi has 43,600.
Using a personal brand on the social media may also be less easy for smaller businesses, eg the local hairdresser/cake shop or online graphic designer, unless the proprietors have ‘big personalities’ and/or are already well known in their business/area.
For the smaller start-up business/entrepreneur, social media are inevitably going to be a necessary part of core strategy for the future – it’s more and more a question of making the product fit the media, rather than vice-versa.
However, as they may not already be known by their persona, whether to use a corporate or personal branding will depend on a range of factors, including the business, the industry, the target market, personality, etc…
So thanks Nick for a timely post – all good ‘grist to the mill’…
…and I’ll include some questions on these aspects in my Free Tele-Interview with Thomas Power on Wednesday 8th July on “How To Use Social Media For Business Promotion”.
Details at: www.ThePowerNetworker.com
I look forward to you joining us on Wednesday!