Let me start of by admitting that I am not 100% sure where I want to go with this blog post. I have some thoughts (and obviously opinions) around wedding vendors running their own social media, particularly Twitter – but I am not sure whether this post will take on more of an op-ed formula or a rant. Hopefully I haven’t scared you off already.
Anyway, since I am mostly ingrained in the wedding vendor world on Twitter and because my account is part personal and part wedding-vendor related, I will specifically focus this post on those two aspects. So let’s get this going then, shall we?
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Running Your Own Twitter Handle
[Image: Val & Sarah]
When I first joined Twitter I made a decision that I wouldn’t have both a personal “bree” account AND a “capitol romance” account. I wanted my twitter handle to be a mix of business and pleasure (hey-o) and I wanted people to follow me for more reasons other than that I was a wedding blogger. Also, I was downright lazy and the thought of running TWO Twitter accounts just didn’t sound appealing to me. I initially connected only with other wedding vendors, but soon I started to connect with local businesses in my neighborhood and even some of my own neighbors! I learned the ins and outs of twitter and loved spending half the time posting personal items and the other half sharing links from the blog and eventually insight into my wedding coordination business.
The Good: So far, for me personally, this has worked fantastically. I made a business decision to have my ‘brand’ include ME and I don’t regret that at all. In fact, I like it so much that I tend to find I only enjoy following other wedding vendors that do the same. Since I am no longer planning my wedding, I really have no desire to read tweets from a vendor that are solely about their services. And nothing irritates me more when a handle tweets literally the same thing over and over, every few hours (probably via hoot-suite). Am I alone on this? Am I off-base because those vendors aren’t targeting me any way, they are targeting couples that are in the wedding-planning zone? Those accounts just feel so in-authentic to me. So flavorless.
Personally, I feel like if you aren’t connecting with others on Twitter at a more personal level, then you aren’t really making a lasting impact. You are just a 140-character line item that someone whizzes past on their touch screen, never looking to actually interact with you – which to me is the KEY to Twitter. The interactions. Thanks to twitter interactions, I’ve met countless vendors, found answers to questions I have had, got invited to sweet restaurant openings in my neighborhood, and even won an AWESOME dinner for 2 giveaway! All because I decided to connect with my followers and those I follow on a more personal level.
[Image: Val & Sarah]
The Bad: Now, though I prefer handles that are a bit on the personal side, I can also understand why some wedding vendors chose to keep their business handles free of personal tweets, and then have a personal handle for … well, more personal things. Your tweets are a reflection of you – and when you are tweeting your thoughts and opinions, you are creating an opportunity to alienate people, or worse, offend people! I know I am guilty of this – and every time I retweet politically or socially charged tweets and articles, I am rolling the dice, possibly alienating a potential client or blog reader. It’s a fine line to walk, choosing just HOW personal I want to get on my Twitter account. I want to be authentic and myself, but I don’t want to be mean or hurt people’s feelings. And what’s worse is that what I thought was once a “good” thing (letting people see the more personal side and connecting that with my business) could end up hurting my brand instead.
The Ugly: Do I really need to define this? The Ugly side of running your own Twitter is two-fold. First, it’s what happens when “The Bad” comes true – people start to dislike your brand, because of the things you put on Social Media/Twitter. I have unfollowed other wedding vendors and local business accounts that I once followed because their social and political views did not match mine. I try hard to keep an open mind – but sometimes (I feel) their balance is off, and their account is becoming a bit TOO personal/opinionated and that personal side is not something I care to be a part of (or read about).
The second is the time-suck involved in keeping up a robust Twitter account; remaining active, interacting, and authentic! <- this is easier said than done. I’ve gotten so ingrained in my account that I am probably classifiable as “addicted” to Twitter. It’s the first thing I check when I wake up in the morning, it’s pretty much open on my computer all day (hello distractions) and I have some insane anxiety over not catching everything that came up on my newsfeed. I am literally scared I might have missed some sort of information or tweet that was interesting or useful.
So at this point, I think I will wrap this up and ask the crowd your thoughts: Do you like following wedding vendors that use their Twitter for BOTH personal and professional tweets? And if you are a business owner, and you choose to be “Strictly Business” on your handle, I’d love to know why! Sound off below.