I recently came across a compelling article about when to use your individual Twitter account versus company account for B2B relationship building. There are a few takes on what approach is the most beneficial, but ultimately, it’s an individual choice. A choice that should be made after some serious consideration.
Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Twitter, in most cases, is not about a constant distribution of information with the hope for a bite or a retweet, and Twitter is most certainly not a one-sided approach. Twitter, in fact, is about engagement and maintaining active, compelling dialogue. Remember, you can’t cultivate relationships without listening and responding. So, how should you begin this process? For starters, ask yourself this:
Who do I want to represent? What am I trying to achieve? With whom do I want to connect?
The ‘what’ and ‘with whom’ can be easily answered. Odds are, you want to achieve more relationships and grow your business. The with whom is your target audience, which most likely has already been determined. And hopefully, a target audience that is actively participating on Twitter!
After these steps, you know ‘who’ you want to include when engaging with prospects. For the next step, I gathered three approaches. Align yourself, and take your pick.
1. Your brand is you. If your brand can stand-alone and is recognizable to the public (including your target audience), you should rely on and maintain that strong brand association. Odds are, they’re more comfortable with your brand than the individual behind it. If that’s how your audience views you, keep it that way.
2. You are your brand. Picture this: your Twitter avatar may be your company’s logo, your profile describes your company, but your personal name is clearly represented on the account. In this way, you’re promoting yourself personally and professionally. This is a common approach for C-suite executives and high-management positions. Here, you can safely blend your company culture and personality. If you’re trying to calibrate your personal reputation to what you’re selling, this kind of account can be highly effective.
Example: @unmarketing (Scott Stratten)
3. You are you. This is the most casual approach to B2B relationship building. The content shared can be demonstrative of your personality, your take on the industry, current events, etc. There is transparency to this approach because it allows current (and potential) followers an opportunity to decide whether they’d like to do business with you, often times up front. You’re offering authenticity, prior to formal handshakes and pitches. Although, it is imperative to remember that in taking this ‘you are you’ approach, you are still representing a higher entity. People are always watching and listening. You must find that appropriate balance between transparency and accountability. But when executed with a thoughtful and witty demeanor, you may actually garner more genuine relationships.
The takeaway here is deciding how you portray yourself and your company’s identity, because the two are so closely linked. Decipher what your overall purpose is and how you can safely engage in that manner. And of course, don’t forget that invaluable mentality to relationship building – engagement.