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.
I’m a business owner, though I wasn’t when I joined The Twitter in 2011. There is an @thesidelobby account in existence, but it’s not yet active. For now, it’s just my own personal account.
I joined because 1. My then-interns made me do it. and 2. It was a great way to get to know my geographic community (Capitol Hill) better. I started by following people and businesses on #caphilldc, and then folks in the #dctheatre community of which I used to be a big part. It became a great way to keep a foot in that world. Entering the community of #eventprofs, my professional work, came last. I tweet about my neighborhood, Nationals baseball, food, theatre, and special events. I often worry that in tweeting about one (live tweeting the Tony Awards) that I will alienate another (baseball people who are like “Tony Who?”) and vice versa. At the same time, I think it shows who I am as a person and in turn will attract and keep folks who are “perfect clients” — I’m like you, Bree — my personal brand is a huge part of my company brand — I think potential clients can be drawn to someone through seeing their personal side just as much as they can be put off — but it helps them decide if you’re the right fit for them.
I say “Keep on tweeting as YOU!” — and I look forward to our twitter-selves meeting in person sometime :)
this. everything about this! Also I love the Tonys and baseball ;) thanks for sharing Sarah!!!
Opposite view. I have unfollowed photography websites that are too “personal.” I came to see wedding pictures-not hear personal rantings on an unrelated topic. The “ugly” for me is when wedding vendors use their social media to put others down. For example, I stopped following my own wedding photographer because she kept posting about how she doesn’t like children. That was her personal opinion, but it’s very off putting.
Sue – thanks for sharing!! I can completely agree with this side of it too. I have also unfollowed people for similar reasons (however contradicting that is). I think you need to be aware of what your tweets say/who they are reaching for sure.
Great post Bree! I too, have struggled with this issue. I do have separate handles, there is a lot I say on my personal twitter that I will never post on my business twitter. While I run a business, I still have a life…that my business associates need know nothing of.
At the same time, what I have done is push the envelope a bit and add value by discussing topics that face the lgbt community. Weddings and marriage is great, but the community has other issues and challenges that need to be addressed. I feel if I didn’t, I would be doing a disservice. LGBT weddings are great, but I still live in a state where my gf can be fired because of her sexuality…I would be remiss not to talk about issues like this. And of course, my personal viewpoints are also expressed. I do it in a tasteful manner, if someone disagrees the unfollow button is there for that exact reason. Some may just not be interested in the substance and only the fluff…and for those people my brand may not be a fit for the and I’m OK with that.
Another thing is, I have a stalker…that is another business. I am convinced this lady is batcrap crazy and needs medication. Somehow they found my personal account and sent a follow request. Every time I declined the follow, the request kept popping back up until I had to block them! They’ve done other crazy things that makes me happy my personal persona isn’t tied up in my business persona.
Overall, I do like to see tweets that let me know there is a person behind the screen. But every business owner should do what is best for them.
Tammy – think you nailed it! It depends on the biz owner (and probably business type) – whatever works for them!
There are several throries on how Twitter/Social Media content should be split. I aim for 60% sharing Industry Relevant Info (retweeting, linking, etc.) 20% sharing Original Content (posting to your own blog, featured posts, etc.) and 20% engaging in conversation with others and showing your “human” side.
thanks for breaking down the numbers Jess – I agree that that is needs to be a mix of things and can’t be heavy handed either way!
Sounds like a familiar convo from yesterday :)
haha Brynne! Very true <3
Great post! I think any use of social media is about balance in connecting. And I try to use the 80/20 rule in the following way. On my Facebook business page and Twitter page, it’s approximately 80% business and 20% personal. On my personal Facebook page, it’s the opposite. This way, I’m still connecting to people who want to connect to me for whatever reason hooked them, but I’m not overbearing my fans/followers/friends with things that might not interest them. At the same time, I’m showing them a side of me they might not know.
And I should note, when I say “personal” I’m certainly not putting anything out there that I wouldn’t feel comfortable if Nana saw.
Just my thoughts though!
thanks for sharing Danielle!! Totally agree with the nana-proof theory for sure! And for some reason I keep my Facebook business page at 80/20, but Twitter is probably more like 50/50. I feel like they have different audiences? Not really sure though!
I completely agree with Sarah (and also desperately want to meet her now, because anyone who live tweets the Tonys is a friend of mine). I only have one twitter account and though every now and then I self-edit myself when considering my clients or potential clients, I think by being me, it helps attract the people I’d want to work with (see me wanting to hang with Sarah based on her Tony tweets, above).
I put a lot of thought into my marketing and branding (hate that word, but there you go) and decided to completely be myself so that I could thereby attract people who I’d want to work with and vice versa.
Katie – this is exactly where I fall too! I want like-minded clients and people that hire me should feel comfortable with ME. Not sure they can get that through a website…and so through my Twitter I hope they do! Personally I just find it easier to be myself, but obviously there needs to be thoughts with each tweet posted. Happy you found Sarah through this post too – she is awesome!
I’m definitely a fan of wedding vendors that use Twitter for a persona/business front. I feel I get to know them as a friend rather than someone just “working for me.”