The days of customers dealing with faceless big businesses are coming to an end. People like to deal with other people, and even corporations understand that now. Just think about some of the most well-known companies and the names associated with them. The late Steve Jobs was the face of Apple. Bill Gates, to many people, is Microsoft.
Sometimes, the person that represents the brand isn’t a CEO or a manager. Many game developers rely heavily on their community managers. Ask a gamer about Pitch Black Games, and most of them will mention Sanya Weathers, a community manager that has served several companies, and is highly regarded.
Socialising as a Brand
When you’re in the public eye, representing a company, you need to be careful. Social media marketing is not the same as social networking on a personal level. This is something that is easy to forget. You might post about “Lolcats” and your favourite, perhaps slightly tasteless YouTube videos on your personal account, but do you really want your customers to see those posts? Just imagine if you went to Elle Macpherson’s brand page on your favourite social network and saw links to online petitions, games, and funny Occupy Wall Street memes. If your political leanings weren’t the same as Macphersons, there’d be a good chance she’d lose a customer.
Elle Macpherson keeps her profiles clean because she understands that the important thing is the message about her brand. She might occasionally engage with fans, but she’ll be careful what she says because she understands social media marketing. She isn’t being evasive, or fake, by not cluttering her profile, she’s simply presenting an honest message and not getting drawn in to discussions that would take away from that message.
Handling Your Social Media Accounts
You might think that you don’t have to worry about all that, because you’re not Bill Gates or Elle Macpherson. You are, however, vital to your own brand. So, next time you’ve had a few drinks and you’re thinking of posting a rant on Foursquare about that place with the rude barman, think about who else will read it.
If you’re an avid user of Facebook and Twitter, consider setting up two accounts, one personal and one for business. If managing two accounts sounds painful, you could recruit an online marketing agency to take care of your brand for you. This will save you a lot of time, and should produce better results too. An online marketing agency will have experience in working with a wide range of sites, and will already have a solid understanding of what type of posts will generate the best results, and how often those posts should be made. Figuring out how to market without looking like a spammer is quite a challenge for most people, and is one area where many fledgling brands fall down.
In conclusion, remember that you are your own brand, but don’t lose sight of yourself in an effort to make yourself more marketable. As the kids say (in movies, at least!), “keep it real”.