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Company persona: Improve online communication w/ Jemima Gibbons

Written by: on  February 2, 2011

If you are starting to use twitter or blogs as part of your business strategy, this post is for you. Often people new to these communication tools will struggle to find their personal touch.

Have you defined your company culture regarding online communication? If so, how does it fit into your overall business strategy?

For some help we interviewed Jemima Gibbons, author of social media guide: “Monkeys with Typewriters” and digital communications consultant to The RSA.

Common company online communication issues discussed in the video:
1. If any, which employee(s) should communicate online on behalf of the company?
2. How formal should your online persona be?
3. Should you talk about a few topics or just one?

Best Practice: Jemima recommends that above all else you stay consistent; be natural, be yourself. If you are a great CEO but an awful writer, perhaps you should find someone else to do the company blogging/tweeting. Just don’t find an intern to do the job as it needs to be someone who is deeply connected with the company or it will not be a natural persona.

Case Study: Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford. He tweets on the official @Ford account by adding his initials SM to each tweet he sends; his personal twitter account is listed in the bio. It is NOT a good idea to tweet from a company name without letting people know who is doing the tweeting. Notice their how their company culture comes through their tweets:

Ford Twitter Scott MontyThen let’s look at his personal account where he tweets about his professional life in a personal manner. With his great persona it’s not surprising to see he has more followers on his personal account than on Ford – yet he is clearly representing Ford on both accounts. I know I like talking to people, not faceless companies:

Scott Monty on twitterMy take: I’m guilty of being two personas. On my twitter account I usually tweet about philosophy but sometimes I start tweeting about digital strategy, a totally different niche. The majority of my followers are around since I am active in the philosophy community; how do you think they feel when I start tweeting about some geek digital tool I’m excited about? Or what about the few that follow me since they are interested in digital tools? This got me thinking, is anyone out there in twitter tweeting about both?

"Twitter Venn Diagram"Twitter Venn Diagram from Neoformix

Notice the tiny purple dot in between the two twitter venn diagrams? Really looks like nobody is tweeting about digital stuff and philosophy. Hmmm. Perhaps I should keep my LinkedIn for all things digital or start tweeting from the @EnviableWorkplc twitter account so that the niches don’t mix.

If you like Jemima’s tips, why not follow her on twitter: @JemimaG.

In the comment section: What are your main struggles with online communication in your workplace? Does your company culture allow for active online communication?



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