Anyone who has a company social media account knows the dilemma: How can I make my business personal without being too personal? And what is too personal, anyway?
First, it’s almost always a good idea to have separate social media accounts for your business and your personal life. Purely personal posts belong on your personal pages; and serious business posts belong on your business pages.
But then there’s that big old area in between. Things about your personal life that you want your customers and clients to know about: Your involvement in your community, how you balance work and play, your hobbies and your pets. All of that has its place on your business social media, and it in fact can go a long way to humanize and personalize your company, as well as connect with people.
People like to know that there’s a person or people behind a business. And social media allows you to show off your business’s personal side. Spotlighting members of your team, showing appreciation for customers, and showing that there are real people behind your business’s personality.
Small business consultant Kedm Ought says that social media is always personal. “You need to convey your persona.”
But there is a balance to be had.
Social media pages that are flippantly overly personal cause an imbalance that comes down to missed opportunities. Visitors to your business social media pages sometimes only spend a few seconds there. (Research shows that people can spend less than 2.5 seconds on a page before making a decision to leave or dig deeper.) Before they click off, what are they going to know about your business? What impression are they going to get? That your son scored a goal at his soccer game? That you went to your high school reunion last weekend? Or that you’re choosing new pieces for your Fall sale?
Your business page content – as well as your cover photo, bio and profile – should be carefully crafted to give a glimpse of the person and personality behind the business, but no need to overdo it.
While helping a client promote her skin care line on social media, I suggested she show her own face more. Her skin is so beautiful, she is the best “spokesmodel” for her products. For her to tell her customers about her own morning skincare regime could do more for sales than anything else.
Another client, a personal stylist, posts on Facebook every Monday morning a photo of her and her husband at social events. She talks about where they went and who was there, but she always shows her outfit with comments on dressing for the event.
If you’re seeking balance on your business social media, find someone who’s doing it right and remember – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Find someone in your line of work or in a related field who is doing it right, and try out some new posts. If revealing more about yourself is uncomfortable for you, give yourself some time to get used to the idea. Before you know it, you’ll have the perfect balance that will show the personal side of your business.
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Diane Laney Fitzpatrick of Digital Content and Services helps small businesses DIY their social media and digital media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.