Should you tell the story?
You’re sitting at your computer ready to embark on a serious Twitter rant when you remember, “I represent a company.”
You slouch in your chair, heave a deep sigh, and wonder where a professional like you can go to vent. Can you rant on what you think is your private Facebook page? Can you use your personal Twitter account where your thoughts are your own and not reflective of your company? Can you say everything you want to say, deleting it immediately afterwards?
Despite their superhuman skin thickness and ability to anticipate customers’ needs at a moment’s notice, Community Managers are still people. The world and, by extension, the people in it can get us down. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have spun off into opportunities for companies to establish their brands among their users, pushing transparency and authenticity to the forefront. Companies are both encouraged to be human and are admonished for committing blunders.
A balance is needed. Recently, Robert Scoble was very human in his response to a comment on his Google+ page. Read the full story, or see the picture below.
“You have no family and you have no friends.”
Did he tarnish his brand by choosing to respond in this manner? It remains to be seen.
Has Charlie Sheen tarnished his brand by ranting the way he did? The public seems to be encouraging his bad behavior.
What is more important? Is it more important for you to represent your company or to be the star to whom everyone flocks for entertainment? If your personal brand overshadows your company’s brand, are you still benefitting the company?
This site’s co-founder, Jenn Pedde, said,
“I think of creative ways to say something without really saying anything. After all that thinking I realize – if I’m thinking this much about posting something on a social network, it’s best not to post it at all. That’s when I go to email.”
How do you vent when you’re having a bad day? Where do you go?
Chanelle Schneider is the Founder and Moderator of #GenYChat where the traditional online focus group is modernized, discussing a range of topics among Generation Y, Generation X and Baby Boomers on Twitter. She is often traveling to and from marketing or blogger conferences and is never without her ‘Droid. Chanelle has served as Social Media Strategist on the Honda Civic Study Break event and the Teach Newark campaign while guest blogging and designing WordPress sites and marketing collateral for clients. Find her on Twitter @WriterChanelle and @GenYChat, on LinkedIn, and inquire about her services.