Teams Bring Together Personal Branding and Company Branding.
Participating in social media as a team can help alleviate two issues that have been discussed by many:
– personal vs company branding
– scalability and productivity
Whether you are a freelancer, a small business owner, or an employee, you have a brand online (crumbs of it are on LinkedIn, Facebook and everywhere you dare to leave your social footprint).
In the first two cases, it’s simple to manage: You and your business brand overlap quite a bit. Your personal branding is roughly you business branding and the other way around.
In the third case, two interesting issues are: 1) what affect does employees personal branding have upon the brand of the company they work for 2) can one individual represent the brand in social media?
As Geoff pointed out, they’re risks for enterprises in having their employees develop strong personal brands in the vacuum.
A big part of my day is about reading blogs, and I see quite a bit of people working in big enterprises having professional work-related blogs where one can read in the about section: “The material that you see on this site is what I do in my spare time”…”The content and opinions on xyz are my own and not my employer’s”…Nothing wrong about it because social media is OPEN.
However, each time I read those, it makes me wonder: “where can I find his/her employer opinion?”, “Is there one?”
There’s no question that social media makes it vital for enterprises to open up and have “real people” participating in conversations and bringing value in their target communities. Already, many corporate employees engage in social media (quite often the employer doesn’t even know about it). They connect with customers and social media influencers and learn from these exchanges. Perfect, that’s what we want.
But it’s as important for enterprises to have their brand established in their target communities. So, how can both goals be achieved?
As Geoff pointed out, one answer is team social media. Enterprises are organized around teams and it’s established that a well functioning team is worth more than the sum of its parts (try a group brainstorming and compare with your own ideas). This is true for social media too. The enterprise social media team will not always map to the enterprise org chart but it will exists. No one can do it all and the brand’s voice has to be in so many places at the same time. If you’re a company in computer security, there’re 1000+ blogs out there on this niche posting an aggregate of +500 posts per day, there’re hundreds of twit on ‘spyware’ everyday and the list goes on….engaging is time consuming.
Examples exist of enterprises’ teams that have felt compelled to carry the brand in social media and have successfully done it, to better serve their market as individual but for the brand benefit too.
I’m happy to say that, from the very start, eCairn Conversation(tm) has been designed following the principle that teams of employees will engage in social media and our platform makes it productive for them: