One of your colleagues recently asked:
For social media profiles, should I focus on my personal or company profiles?
A lot of my followers ask me this very question. What I find is that most people want to focus on their company profiles.
After all, you’re worried about your company getting leads – not yourself. And you often want to build a brand that lasts beyond just you.
But I differ from the norm. I firmly believe that you should start with your own personal profile.
5 Reasons to Focus on Personal Social Media Profiles
1. Trust is the #1 Factor in Closing Sales
LinkedIn’s State of Sales report found that the leading factor in closing deals (40%) is trust and credibility. Consumers want someone who understands their pain points to sell them a solution. Ask yourself: do you trust brands or people?
Most people trust people more than brands.
Yes, you may trust Nike and don’t have a clue who owns it. But the company has been building its brand since 1964 and is one of the most well-known in the world. Initial sales started with personal relationships, face-to-face sales meetings, and trust that founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman had a solution to consumer problems.
You can resonate with your followers better than your brand can because you can:
- Share experiences
- Share personal stories
- Relate to the person you’re trying to sell to now or in the future
Direct communication as a personal profile is very powerful, leading right into my next point.
2. Personal Communication and Authenticity
Personal profiles are more intimate and authentic than business profiles. You can use your personal profile to:
- Have two-way conversations
- Speak directly to your target audience
- Showcase your interests, views, and passion
- Create a transparent image of who you are and what you’re doing
Take a moment and think about the last time you interacted with a person on social media. Now, think about the last time you interacted with a brand. And when was the last time a brand responded?
Personal profiles have immense company branding potential. Why?
- Personal branding is a crucial component of company branding.
- Referrals and sales from personal branding will help a company grow and fill its sales pipeline.
- You can tell a story and control the narrative
Ultimately, your firm’s brand is the sum of the brands of the firm’s people. If your “people” have strong brands, it will help your firm grow. Otherwise, weak personal branding in a firm can make growth much more challenging.
Give your firm the upper hand by focusing on your personal social profiles.
3. Algorithmic Advantage
If you’re on social media, you deal with algorithms every time you log into your account and make a post. I’m going to share a little tidbit that I’ve witnessed myself and across many of the accounts we help manage:
- Individual profiles have their content prioritized
- Platforms want businesses to spend money on visibility
When compared to posts by your business profile, your personal profile’s posts are far more likely to appear on your target audience’s feeds unless you pay for sponsored posts.
Give your firm an algorithm advantage by focusing on your personal brand and profile.
4. Influence Others and Become a Thought Leader
Conferences and industry events feature people. You may be Joe, CEO of XYZ Corp, but you’re on stage because of your influence. You should be focusing on your own social profiles if you want to be seen as a:
- Thought leader
- Industry expert
When you become a thought leader by sharing tips, expert advice and insights, you’ll find that people will reach out to you for speaking engagements, to be on podcasts, or to guest post on their blogs.
5. Personal Profiles Have Less Restrictions
Company profiles must be on-brand and follow internal posting guidelines. Many brands post neutral content because they don’t want to look unprofessional. You never want your personal brand to do any of these things, but you will find that you have more of what I call “content freedom.”
Content freedom allows you to:
- Post with fewer restrictions
- Share an “aha” moment while on a fishing trip
- Experiment more with your posts and content types
However, there is a fine line between running a business account and running a personal account. Let me explain.
A Balancing Act
So, Katie, you said, “focus on your personal profile.” And while I stand firm with my advice, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon your company profiles entirely. It’s going to be a balancing act.
Maintain engagement by posting updates, testimonials, and reviews on your firm’s account.
You should also share content from your personal account and the personal accounts of others in the firm on your firm’s account when it makes sense.
When possible, ditch the idea of a single spokesperson and have multiple people involved. Every partner (and other people in your firm, for that matter) can be involved, helping create content and build their own personal brand in the process. They can also be involved with sharing content on your company’s page.
Social media is a major commitment, but it’s one that does get easier and becomes more fruitful over time.
Not sure what to create for your next social media post? Find out how to generate ideas for endless social media content.
And, that’s a wrap on this Dear Katie question.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you have a question?
Until next time, cheers to your success!