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I’ve been ruminating on a communications / social media dilemma that has the potential to be either a major problem or major opportunity depending on how it’s handled. It’s a bit complicated and is going to take several paragraphs to explain, but there’s a pretty good chance you’re facing the same dilemma, so I hope you’ll bear with me…
You, the “Brand Evangelist”
Since you’re reading this post, there’s a pretty good chance that you are the primary communicator or “brand evangelist” for your organization.
- You’re the CEO or communications director for your company
- You’re the pastor or communications director for your church
- You’re the principal or communications director for your school
- You’re the director or communications director for your ministry or nonprofit
If you believe in the value and power of social media, you probably have social media profiles for both your organization and yourself on Facebook and Twitter, perhaps Google+ and YouTube, and perhaps even others like Pinterest, Instagram
As the primary communicator and brand evangelist, you probably find yourself sharing your organization’s content on your own social media profiles in addition to your organization’s. You’d be wise to do so. Your shares and tweets expand the reach of your organization to more people and can lead to better search rankings. Plus research has shown people are much more likely to connect in social media with other people than organizations, especially if you compare individuals who use an image of themselves for their profile pic vs organizations that use a logo. (Link?)
This interaction between organization and personal branding is a tricky dance prone to missteps
If you personally retweet/share everything your organization posts, you may undermine the need for anyone to connect with your organization. Why would someone follow your org if they know they’ll get the same info from you?
Even worse, if you personally tweet/share your organization at the same time your organization does, people who follow both of you would get back to back identical posts, which is annoying and appears to be self-promotional. The end result is you could actually damage your reputation and cause some people to stop engaging with both you and your organization.
This post is already pretty long as it is, and I don’t want to jump in and start offering solutions yet. So, let’s just get the conversation started..
- Are you the primary communicator / brand evangelist for your organization?
- Do you share your organization’s content/announcements on your personal social media profiles?
- Are you concerned at all about the potential pitfalls of sharing your organization’s content described above?
- What if anything are you doing to ensure that what you do personally with social media creates engagement with your organization rather than undermining it?
Stay tuned as I’ll follow this with another post to discuss potential solutions.