As a business owner, branding decisions are often one of the most overlooked aspects. More specifically, how does the business owner interact with his/her brand? Should the brand be centered around the company or the individual? The answer depends on a few factors: target audience, your ideal client, the platform being used and ultimately the comfort level of the business owner.
One of the most important exercises a business owner can go through is defining your ideal client and target audience. For a B2C (Business to Consumer) company, defining your ideal client needs to be specific: who are they, what do they do, how do I start a conversation with this person? For businesses who are B2B (or any other variance that results in the business’ ideal client being another business), the ideal client is based more around numbers, measurables and company culture than specifics such as interests or age.
Based upon this ideal client, your brand should interact differently. If your ideal client is an individual, the ability to connect on a personal level becomes paramount. That’s why you see prevalent terms such as “family owned”, “local”, or “x generation”. The goal is to integrate yourself, the business owner, into the brand to better communicate with prospective customers. A good example of this is the late Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-A. Mr. Cathy was heavily involved in the branding of his company and helped his brand connect with their ideal client—families with kids—because of his close engagement. However, if your ideal client is a business, the business owner is faced with a decision: Do I better position myself as an industry expert through my company or as myself? The answer to this question depends on the platform being used to communicate.
As mentioned previously, the primary objective is to establish the brand as an expert in the field. Different social platforms give the business different opportunities to engage with customers. In general, Facebook generates better results through business pages than fan pages or personal pages. As a rule of thumb, one should always have a business Facebook page, even if they are a sole proprietor or the business namesake.
Twitter; however, provides a completely different opportunity. While business accounts on Twitter can provide results, Twitter is primarily used as a medium for news, information, etc. from a specific individual or entity rather than social engagement. Because of this, oftentimes the business owner can increase their results by establishing themselves as the expert and a crucial element of their brand.
LinkedIn is more of a mix of the two. While LinkedIn provides a social media page around the individual, the professional elements of LinkedIn are extremely conducive to building out a business page. Similar to Facebook, every business should control their LinkedIn business page, regardless of whether or not the brand is centered around the individual or business. However, B2B companies are better served creating a page centered around their business and the testimonials of their business rather than the expertise of the owner or founder. Because of that, even for sole proprietorships, it still makes sense to focus on disseminating information from the company rather than the individual.
How involved should you be in your brand? The answer depends on several factors: the target audience, the platform being used, and ultimately how comfortable the business owner feels positioning themselves as the expert in their company. While the answer is different for each company and even differentiates in certain situations, evaluating your involvement with your brand through these lenses will help you boost engagement and ultimately ROI. For more information about setting up social media pages, social media packages or consulting services, contact us today!