Friday, October 23, 2009

Ban the Ban?

From the MarketingTech Blog:

Chris Lucas

businessman_in_a_bowler_hat.jpgEvery now and again I come across posts talking about how people don’t want to “engage” with brands on social media and that your brand shouldn’t be there, it should be people, etc., etc.

The latest was a post from Mike Seidle, a local blogger and business person who runs Professional Blog Service. I want to preface that I don’t know Mike and I have nothing against him. I follow him on Twitter and I think he generally has some good thoughts about business blogging and social media, however I still disagree with Mike on this point.

It is OK for your brand to be on Twitter – to be on Facebook – to be active in social media. It really is, and for a couple of reasons.

  1. It gives your customers one point to gather news and information about your company.
  2. It allows you to monitor the conversation.
  3. It allows you to connect with other brands and possibly forge relationships and parterneships based on their interactions in social media.

Mike points out that people want to engage with other people. Yes, this is true, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out a space for your brand as well. Here are some effective ways to do this:

  1. Acknowledge who tweets/updates Facebook etc. on your company’s behalf: By providing some real faces it helps humanize your brand. FreshBooks does a good job of this on their Twitter page.
  2. Allow your employees to interact on social media on a personal level AND on behalf of your company: I manage our twitter account as well as our Facebook page but I also have my own personal accounts. Many of FormSpring’s customers don’t want to follow me, because well, sometimes I like to talk about sports, or my kids or whatever else is going on.So, much of what I have to say is not great for them. But I also am an advocate and an evangelist for FormSpring, and when it makes sense, I talk about the cool stuff we are doing on my personal accounts. It gives insight to people who follow me on what I do for a living and helps expose them to FormSpring. Empower your brand and employees and it will pay off.
  3. Have personality. If you are going to engage as your brand on social media show a bit of personality. We know that brands are not humans, but the more “life” you are able to give your brand on social media the more value you will derive from interacting through the multiple mediums.
Agree? Disagree? Have other ideas on how to use your brand across social media, let me know in the comments!

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