“My tweets are my own and not that of my employer”
Have you ever seen a statement like that in anyone’s Twitter profile?
I see it a lot. Usually it’s someone who runs a Twitter account for their business, and then they have their own personal account. I’ve seen this situation from everyone from the owner of a business to an employee who is in charge of marketing or social media for that business. Their point is that their business account is business, and their personal account is their own, and has no bearing on the business. I’ve even seen people using their business account profile to say:
“Tweets provided by @personalusername”
Which lets you know who is actually doing the tweeting. Then if you check out their personal profile, this is where you’ll find:
“I also tweet for @NameOfBusiness, though my tweets here are my own and not that of my employer.”
I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. It doesn’t work that way, especially from a local or small business point of view.
The moment people make the connection between the two, you ARE your business. The things you say on your personal account WILL color how people think about your business.
If you keep your business account all business, that’s one thing, but if you use your personal account to talk about politics or religion, or tell off-color jokes, or even just be generally nasty or whiny, people won’t separate the two. How you behave on your personal account will have an effect on how others view your business.
Here’s another way of looking at it:
Think of a celebrity or athlete whom you just can’t stand. Now, if you saw that person promoting a product, how would you feel about the product?
Better yet, think of a “regular” person of whom you’re not very fond. When they recommend something to you, how do you react? Do you weigh that recommendation differently than if it came from a trusted friend?
Who you are affects how we view your business. If we view you positively, that’s great and you have nothing to worry about. But if we view you negatively, we might view your business the same way.
I know that’s how it works with me. There are a few local businesses I’ve decided not to work with because the person handling their Twitter account rubs me the wrong way. (And I’m sure there are some who feel that way about me, but I am my business and I understand the risks).
So be careful, and don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that you can keep the two separate.
Do you think it’s possible to separate your feelings for a person from your feelings for their business? How do you manage this in your own business life?
- Twitter Etiquette Tips For Small Business Owners (businessbewareshow.com)
- Best of 2011: 18 Mistakes Businesses Make on Twitter (inklingmedia.net)
- How many Twitter accounts should you have? (businessesgrow.com)
- Small Business Tip Tuesday: Social Media’s Most Basic Proposition (inklingmedia.net)
- Best of 2011 – 10 Reasons Why I Won’t Tweet for You: The Problem of Outsourcing (inklingmedia.net)