Technology Speaker, Social Media Expert, Gina Schreck, Social Media TrainingThis is a common question asked by executives, entrepreneurs and, small businesses especially.  Should you tweet or post content from a Facebook page as yourself or as your company?  Ask yourself this question: On Twitter, would you be more likely to follow and engage in conversation with a person who happens to work at, or own, a particular company, or with the logo of the company?  You know that there is a person (most of the time) sending out the information on the company’s behalf, but which is considered more transparent and authentic?  The REAL person.

Take a look at the company, Zappos. For those of you who are not familiar with this company (shame on you!) it started as an online shoe retailer but now sells clothing as well.  I believe Zappos is a customer service company that happens to help you look great!  The CEO, Tony Hsieh, says they deliver HAPPINESS…and when shoes are delivered…it is indeed HAPPINESS!  But if you do a search on Twitter for Zappos, you will find over 40 individual accounts that have Zappos and then the person’s name within the company that is using Twitter to reach and engage her own community, including Tony Hsieh. People want to connect to brands that they love and if there is a real person behind the brand, it is a bonus!

Remember, social media is about the conversations, not the pushing of your goods and services.  Once I like you, I will be more likely to buy from you.  If all you do is talk without asking my opinions or listening to what I am talking about, you might as well keep wasting your money on those slick postcards that I love throwing away!

Now on Facebook it is a little different.  You may want to allow individuals within an organization to send or post content on behalf of your company from their personal profile pages, but I would use extreme caution (OK I would really ask you “ARE YOU NUTS?”).  If you are a small company and you want your team members to help you get the word out on certain company campaigns or messages, have and communicate clear policies around what type of content should and should not be shared from a personal Facebook profile.  “Company picnic today at Synapse” is fine but “Boss man getting married AGAIN…this time to our marketing VP” may not be the message you want getting out to all of Facebook Land!  Facebook has PAGES that serve the business world and provide a great place for you to engage with your community. I suggest that companies create a PAGE that does not have an individuals name, but the company or the service you provide.

Twitter and Facebook profiles are more about the personal conversations, while PAGES (formerly FAN PAGES) are about great content and engaging your community -whether around a brand name or common interest group.

So who’s face do you use?  I will leave that up to you…but unless your logo has a shoe somewhere in there, you may not get me to engage!  Share your thoughts with us~ What PAGES do you engage with most and is it a person’s name or an organization?  Come on…take off that mask and talk to us!

@GinaSchreck

You can connect with me on Facebook on my personal page.