Recently I started a discussion called “The Ten Do’s of Using Twitter To Promote Your Business” on the LinkedIn group, “Business Knowledge Share — powered by American Express”. My 4th tip is to be consistent about your social media presence. I talk about creating your Gravatar and registering the same username across all social media platforms. (The rest of the post includes nine more tips on promoting your business with Twitter but I’m here today to talk about the branding aspect of choosing your username.)
Does Your Social Media Username Represents Your Brand?
What I did not go into in any depth in that article was how you should go about actually choosing your username. That is, not until one of the group members, Melinda Delisle-Clark, posted this comment:
Ok, I have a question for you social media experts. I am in the process of starting up a new business for creating informational web/mobile apps in a specific niche. Because of the market we will be pursuing, I definitely want to engage in more social media interaction, but I want to be sure to set up with the best username. Should I use my existing personal accounts, focus on an account under the business name, or focus on an account with the name of our flagship product?
Your Brand: You, Your Business or Your Product?
Melinda’s question could easily start a discussion thread of its own. I was surprised that it didn’t. So far, the only response to Melinda is what I wrote (along with the short follow-up discussion between the two of us):
Melinda, I believe that’s a branding question. My opinion is that it comes down to whether you’re branding yourself or your business. Thinking ahead, if someday you were to sell this business, that Twitter account could be seen as an asset (especially if you’ve built a loyal following and have used it to build relationships with your customers). For that reason alone, you may want to create a username that relates to your business or flagship product.
As for choosing between branding your business name or branding your flagship product, would branding a specific product limit you? Would you be better off branding your business name? That way, you could build awareness of all of your products with the same Twitter account. (I recently posted part 2 of this discussion, “How To Convert Tweets Into Sales For Your Business” and I talk about how companies like Dell use Twitter. They branded their account with their company name not a specific product.)
What Are Your Thoughts?
What advice would you offer to Melinda? Is your username part of your overall business strategy? Would you do things differently now than when you first started? We’d love to hear from you.
(Please feel free to join the conversation on the “Business Knowledge Share” LinkedIn group and offer Melinda your thoughts. You need to be member of the group to access it but it will be worth it. 🙂 )