Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance Magazine Fall 2019 - Page 20

SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR PERSONAL + PROFESSIONAL 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 one. I 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. 20 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 “curation.”) 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 larger organization. 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 recently: 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: