Everyone’s trying to figure out personal branding and Twitter. Twitter is everywhere in the news right now – just yesterday the Wall Street Journal published How To Twitter:
“But I have to admit I didn’t understand the appeal of Twitter when I joined, at the prodding of friends, in November. One answer that explains its popularity: It’s not about chatting with your friends — it’s about promoting yourself”, says author Julia Angwin.
Brand yourself or brand your business?
Last week I was a guest lecturer at Karl Kasca’s New Media Marketing class at the UCLA Extension. After my presentation on the power of social media in branding, a student asked me this question,” I’m a business owner. I want to use social media and especially Twitter to drive growth and revenue. Should I brand myself or my business?”
Great question, and one that many are asking. Entrepreneurship seems to rise during hard times. People naturally take the opportunity to “cast their fate to the wind” and launch that business they’ve always dreamed of. Whether that’s a plumbing business, a PR firm, or an online marketing endeavor – we’re seeing a rash of new businesses springing up all around us. Add that to the popularity and even necessity of using social media tools in marketing and promotion and more and more folks are looking to develop a strategy around using platforms like Twitter.
Twitter is a dynamic communications tool
Many companies are looking for guidance with branding on Twitter. To begin with, they need to know how to use Twitter, what it’s all about, who should handle Twitter (marketing sales, PR,) who to follow, etc.
Then to the question: Should the CEO or business owner also have a Twitter profile? This is a great question and one that takes some time and thought. Good social media consultants will tell you that social media marketing requires a strategy – and it’s not necessarily the type of “boiler plate” marketing strategy companies may be used to.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com is a highly visible CEO on Twitter right now and his profile is Zappos.com CEO. This strategy blends the brand. This is definitely a trend we’ll be seeing more of. Tony even posted a Beginner’s Guide that can be helpful to business owners and entrepreneurs
Richard Branson brands himself on Twitter; and Virgin has its own profile. Clearly, Richard Branson has a well-established personal brand and he’s maintaining and building that on Twitter. He does tweet about Virgin as well, so this is a great example of leveraging and cross-branding.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear from you on this topic.
- Should you brand yourself and your company?
- What’s your company’s strategy?
- Who’s doing it right?
Whatever strategy you adopt, it is important to know that while good personal branding involves self-promotion, there’s more to it. The social media world is all about “Give to Get” and engaging in two-way conversations.
Rodney says, “However, the value comes from not what you are DOING; rather it comes from what you are THINKING and SHARING. is about CONVERSATIONS, building relationships and sharing; not hard sell marketing, broadcasting or ego-driven tweets. Twitter is a communications channel; how you choose to use it is up to you.”