Personal vs. Professional Pt. #2: How Successful Brands Communicate on Facebook

Are you a brand that is struggling to find the balance between professional and personal communication on Facebook?

.

.

..

Maybe you are thinking…

Should I post as my brand? As myself?

Will I lose customers if I connect with them on a personal level?

How many times should I post personal information?

What if my posts are too personal?

 .

Navigating the boundaries between professional and personal communication has eluded businesses for the last six to seven years ever since the thrust of social media occurred. Many companies are still focused on “traditional” communication strategies and have no idea how to reach customers on Facebook.

My first word of advice? Relax…

Social media brings a more relaxed atmosphere conducive to relationship building. It’s not that serious. If you are stressed, you will come off as more robotic and you will miss the real purpose behind social media marketing.

 .

Social is a form of personal marketing. It has less to do with direct advertising and more to do with connecting with your audience so when it comes time to buy, they know you are the one to choose.

Here are 3 tips that will help you find the balance with your Facebook communication:

.

1. Should I post as my brand or under my real name?

Here are three strategies:

Post as your brand: If you post as your brand, inject enough personality into your posts so that your audience can connect and relate with you. Add a signature at the end of your posts to help users connect with the different people and personalities running your establishment.

 .

Social Media Examiner uses this strategy and their fans enjoy it.

.

Social Media Examiner..

Social Media Examiner

.

Post as your brand with a personal touch: If you run a business, but you are branding yourself along with your company, use your company name in the title of your page but include your personal picture as your profile.

.

Hugh Briss of Social Identities demonstrates this brilliantly. His audience knows him by his first name (establishes connection) but he is still branding his company:

.

Social Identities

 

Personal Branding: If your name is your brand, consider a more personal strategy. Mari Smith, author and Facebook expert, uses her name as her brand and also has a distinct personality you won’t find anywhere else. She is a valuable example of brands communicate with a strong balance between personal and professional.

.

Mari Smith

2. Don’t try to copy other brands

Be yourself and the people you want to follow you will be right behind you. If you try to mimic what you think works, you will be missing out on opportunities to connect and make it more difficult to strike that perfect balance between personal and professional. The most successful brands know who they are and they are not afraid to show it.

3. How personal is TOO personal?

I talked about this in my recent post on personal vs. professional communication in blogging. Even though blogging is a form of social media, sites like Facebook are conducive to an even more personal experience for users.

.

MYTH: People don’t want to know how I spent my Monday.

On the contrary, they do. Social users desire to find commonalities with brands. They want to feel important and by opening up some of your personal life to them, they will not feel like you exist in some hierarchy where you sit at the top. Meet them where they are. (We are all human)

 .

What are some personal topics you can share?

Do you have a family?

Hobbies?

Favorite books?

Favorite movies?

Favorite foods?

What makes you unique?

.

The list goes on and on…

.

Can it get TOO personal? Yes, it can. For my clients, I personally stay away from anything religious or political and I often ask for recommendations from fans when posting. (TIP: People love to offer advice!)

Important: Your posts can seem boring, if not written correctly.

Here is an example:

I had fish and mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. (Boring, and who cares?)

.

By changing up the wording, it becomes more interesting…

I am on a health kick lately and decided to try some fish for dinner. Trying to be good! What other healthy foods can you recommend?

The second example gets people involved, interested and connected. It shows them you are human because you struggle with eating healthy, and further shows your humility because you are asking for recommendations.

 .

TIP: Show your imperfections so people can relate to you. Be confident in your products and services but don’t forget to show people you are human.

 ,

This won’t work for every brand, however. You won’t see Coca-Cola posting as “I” since it is a larger organization. But, the point is to include a bit of personality and “real life” to your social posts.

 .

Your audience wants to know you are real so they can connect with you which will make them feel more comfortable buying from you. When you can establish that unique connection, you will amass loyal fans, clients and customers.

There are many more strategies for brands to consider regarding effective Facebook communication. Do you have any more recommendations for our readers?