On Small Business is introducing a new feature in which young entrepreneurs will answer common questions about small business owners’ social media needs. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth.
When Tweeting from your business account on Twitter, do you speak as yourself or as your business?
Rakia Reynolds, principal at Skai Blue Media : (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Branding is at the heart of any business, and when people are following a business account on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, they should be getting a glimpse of the team and operations behind the scenes.
We make it a point to speak as the business on our social media platforms, and use the engagement to build one-on-one relationships with our followers. As a business, we are comprised of a team of individuals, and our social media platforms play off of that by providing access to our personal accounts in a Twitter list and under our Facebook page featured “owners.”
Lindsey Pollak, author of "Getting from College to Career" and LinkedIn global spokesperson: (New York, NY)
As a professional writer and speaker, I am synonymous with my business, so I tweet as myself. My rule of thumb, though, is for my tweets to be about 80 percent professional content (industry articles and opinions, event announcements, retweets of professionals I admire) and 20 percent personal content (restaurants I'm trying, movies I'm seeing, cute pictures of my daughter in her snowsuit).
When I'm following businesses on Twitter, I like to know who is doing the tweeting. No one wants to interact with a nameless brand, especially if you have a complaint or a compliment. I really like it when company Twitter feeds explain in their profiles who is doing the tweeting, or when each tweet is “signed” by the person posting. I've often unfollowed Twitter feeds that felt like they were coming from an anonymous corporate voice.
Tom Cannon, co-founder and CEO of BungoBox : (Orlando, Fla.)
When tweeting from our business account, we only speak as our business. We never want our fans to consider the voice of our company social media accounts as an individual person. I recently spoke at an event and Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee) was the keynote. He gave the single best reason I have heard for having a branded twitter account and not tweeting as an individual from that account.
Simply stated, a brand can scale and an individual cannot. The beauty of social media accounts for a brand is the ability to maintain a high level of interaction with fans as the business grows larger and larger. The true power of social media is in the ability to have a high level of individual interaction with customers. Now more than ever, individuals have a voice and want to be heard. A brand can have as many people as is needed, listening, interacting and taking action in the best interest of the customer.
An individual simply cannot accomplish this goal, and attempts to do so will inevitably prevent growth and reduce customer satisfaction. We are very strict with our rules regarding social media accounts. We are growing quickly with 12 locations and dozens of people represent our brand. Therefore, we have only one corporate social media account for each platform. So, when anyone searches, they find only one company account and there is zero brand confusion.
We do not allow our franchisees or employees to form any account with a mention of our company in their handle. We want one voice and that voice must be able to scale. However, we do encourage our staff, employees and franchisees to form personal accounts on Twitter and other social sites. We coach them to interact heavily with the goal of becoming experts and influencers in our industry.