Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 20
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE?
BY: ANN HANDLEY
Why? Simply: I enjoyed it. (There’s nothing
quite like it.) And it’s worked for us. And
now, I’m pretty sure MarketingProfs is one
of very few major business-to-business
brands whose Twitter account is run solely
by a shareholder. (Do you know of another?
Let me know.)
A SUBTLE BUT IMPORTANT SHIFT
As Twitter grew in influence as both a
social platform and a communication
channel for companies, and as the
MarketingProfs account has climbed to
almost 500K followers, I’ve realized I had
recalibrated the way I interact with people
there, almost by accident.
It’s been a subtle shift, but an important
Why the second account? I guess the easiest
answer is that it seemed… I don’t know,
time? Because Twitter itself had shifted.
In 2007, when I started on Twitter, things
felt a bit quieter. A bit under the radar. I
started and assumed the Profs Twitter
account first on a lark (let’s see what this is
all about, shall we?) and then as it grew… I
just kept at it.
COMMUNITY TRUMPS CURATION.
At both of my Twitter accounts, this
is the approach that guides my effort:
Connecting with others in a kind of loose
community and finding the interesting
and relevant amidst the abundance. (The
But at the @MarketingProfs account, I tend
to emphasize community over curation
even more—because I feel a responsibility
to represent and respond both to
complaints and to kudos on behalf of the
BUSINESS CASUAL VERSUS BAR CASUAL.
How do you balance the professional-you
with the personal-you on social media
networks? In both of my accounts, I am who I am:
My “bigger story” on both accounts is that
I’m waging a war on content mediocrity,
and I truly want to find the interesting
and relevant. It’s in both my bios. But I do
that with more brand-centric perspective
@marketingprofs; on @annhandley, I tend
to have a broader view.
In the moment, I advocated for a blending
of the two. At its heart, that’s the real
opportunity of social media, isn’t it? People
do business with people—not faceless,
soulless edifices. Don’t you want your
prospects and customers online to have
an opportunity to get to know you, just as
your friends, colleagues and contacts in
real life do? And I’m a bit looser at the account
with my name on it, too, sharing
my Instagram photos and personal
perspectives that I might not share from
MarketingProfs. It’s not that what I do on
@annhandley wouldn’t be appropriate on
@marketingprofs—just using that word
makes me feel like an old-school librarian
shushing rowdy patrons. Eww.
However, since that event, I’ve given the
subtleties of the matter and my own
behavior a little more thought. It would, of course. It’s just that it seems
more—I don’t know… fitting? —sharing
them with a smaller group of contacts.
So, how do you balance these two sides of
your online identity? Is it one over the other
for you? Or are they one and the same? What about you? You might be the owner
of a cupcake truck. But your bigger story
could be that you are passionate about
This idea was on my mind when a question
came up at a business event where I spoke
started on Twitter in 2007 as
@MarketingProfs, sharing headlines
from the site and representing the
brand there. Then five years later
I resuscitated @AnnHandley on
Twitter as a personal ID—a handle I’d been
squatting on for years but never used.
Here’s how I approach it: