A brief musing on personal branding versus personal life…
There’s been a large amount of chatter recently surrounding the concept of ‘personal brands’. Specifically with regards to social media, it has been said that building a personal brand is an important aspect of achieving success in the industry. This is something I’ve been contemplating recently, as I’d like to further my success in this space, but at the same time I don’t wish to alienate any real life friends with tailored tweets intended to build my personal brand professionally.
The problem, it seems to me, is that a drive towards building my own personal brand would likely conflict with the authenticity of my personal voice in the social media spaces. Building a brand would mean more work centric posts, causing a reduced following (or at least less of a reach) with my present audience of real-life friends with whom I connect via social media outlets to stay in touch on a personal if not slightly passive level. So, which is greater? Authenticity or branding?
Or, perhaps, I am thinking about this all wrongly…. since I am more focused (professionally speaking) on using social media in a -support- context, maybe the centralized account I currently maintain is more appropriate than an individual account with personal branding. After all, few of my personal followers really care about support material coming out of my work space. While some of my followers -are- interested in support content, that isn’t the reason they are following -ME-. Perhaps the answer I am looking for here is to build my brand based on my own authenticity, and drive visibility to the other channels while maintaining my own voice in my own space. One account working to help the other, or more specifically, working in tandem.
I think when it comes to support contexts, personal branding is irrelevant unless you are an SME (subject matter expert) within a very particular space. In the larger scope of providing another direct channel to locate timely information, centralized accounts are going to be the best best as clearing houses of content. As my role is within Knowledge Management, my subject matter expertise runs at a higher level than what a single client may be looking for in terms of product support, therefore negating any need for a client to follow me specifically, and more of a need for that same client to follow our centralized support account to stay informed.
Hmmm. I think I just talked my way through continuing to do what I/we have been doing already