One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when you start using social media and participating in social networking is to choose your username.
It might seem like a simple question, but the username you decide on will be closely linked to your branding, how people perceive you, and your brand’s future worth.
Your final decision will depend on the answers you give to the following questions:
- Do you blog for fun or profit?
- Is your blog a hobby or a business?
- Are you building a personal brand or a business brand?
I’m sure you’re wondering which is best for your business.
The right answer may not be what you think
There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and there are benefits and disadvantages to both personal and business branding within the social media space.
I chose to register my primary social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) under my personal name.
I wanted to establish myself personally in my industry and niche, and position myself as the owner of a portfolio of online businesses. I didn’t want to tie my name to one business alone. My reputation is of the utmost importance to me—it’s my trust currency, and I want to leverage each of my business actions as much as possible.
What should you do?
I’ve launched three businesses using my personal brand. However, I’ve recently separated my womeninbusiness.com.au brand from my personal brand. One of the reasons I did this was so I could present extra value to potential advertisers by offering a more targeted social media audience. I was also conscious of my (eventual) exit plan.
My answer to the personal vs. business social media accounts question was to register—and maintain—both. I built my reputation on my personal account and created a new account for my blog once I had an audience that warranted the separation.
Of course, I have thousands more social media connections on my established personal brand account than I do on my business account, but like I said, I’m fond of leveraging my actions.
Next week, I’ll tell you about the best ways I’ve found to attract an audience to new social media accounts. In the meantime, let us know how you have handled the personal vs. business brand question in your social media accounts.