Where Business and Personal Meet in Social Media

Over the past few years, online marketing, and especially social media, has developed into a situation where there is less “businessy” talk, and more real human interaction between businesses and customers. Spouting slogans and pasting logos everywhere is no longer the best way to get customers – you have to have actual conversations with the people you are marketing to, and let them know that they’re dealing with real humans, not some corporate machine.

That said, as a business owner, you still want to draw a line between who you are in your private time, and who you are as the social media face of your business. If you have someone else managing your business social media accounts, you want that person to come across as personally open, without dragging the sordid details of their private life onto your company’s Twitter stream. Finding that balance is important, not only in terms of appealing to your audience, but also in order to avoid scandals and getting attention for all the wrong reasons.

Today’s consumer audience is a lot more tolerant and even expecting of a very personal approach to online marketing than the audience of five years ago. These days it’s okay to talk to people on your Facebook page as if you were talking to a friend. People understand that there’s a real human typing the words in, and they expect you to speak to them like humans. Whereas before you might have restricted social media content to company promotions and essential information, now it’s okay to talk to people about how beautiful the weather is or how much you’re enjoying an event that’s happening in your city.

It’s important not to go too far, though. While your customers want to know you’re a real person, they don’t need to hear about your digestive issues or your frustrations with the in-laws. Keep any personal talk light and on the surface. Think chit-chat more than a heart-to-heart. Don’t forget to mix any personal observations in with at least an equal amount of company-related updates – it is a business account, after all. But of course you can keep the tone of the business updates quite personal, to remind your audience that it’s all part of the same package. Once you find the balance of personal and business that works well for your company, stick with it and watch your social media following grow.