From Corporate to Personal: A Breakdown Of The Four Types of Twitter Profiles

Brands often ask how they should position their persona on social media profiles and accounts, this guide should be a helpful breakdown.  This post is inspired by Michael Brito, one of Intel’s social media strategists who presented on this topic with me at Stanford a few weeks ago. There are different purposes for different needs, so my standard breakdown is designed for you to weigh out the pros and cons as you make your decision.

From Corporate to Personal: The Four Types of Twitter Profiles

1) Pure Corporate Brand
100% corporate branded with primarly corporate related content. These accounts, which are often sporting the proper brand name of a company are used often to provide corporate news, deals, and support.  There is no indicator of any individuals involved.
Example: Four Seasons corpoate or McAfee News feed which indicates it’s not an interactive feed.
Pros: This account can be managed by a team, and less risk of an individual being co-branded with the brand, as they may leave later.
Cons: This may be perceived as a just an extension of corporate PR or the corporate website with little human interaction.

2) Corporate With Persona
Estimated with about 80% corporate brand and 20% personal brand this account may be a corporate branded account, although it’s clear there’s an individual participating.
Example: ComcastCares, which shows the account is run by Frank Elliason, or CiscoNews, by John Earnhardt
Pros: This account maintains the face of the corporate side, yet shows a human element, building trust with the community.
Cons: The account may be limiting itself as the community may come to expect and rely on the individual person to participate.

3) Employee With Corporate Association
In a rough estimate this account consists of 20% corporate related content, and approximately 80% personal information.  Perhaps the most common account are the thousands or maybe millions of accounts my employees that may not explicitly represent a brand –but they represent their individualism and often indicate they’re an employee of a company.
Example: Take any personal account, which often indicates their name, they indicate they’re an employee, although may have disclaimers that their opinions are theirs alone. Bert Dumars of Rubbermaid.
Pros: These personal accounts are often organic and are a great way to build connections with a community.
Cons: Even if a disclaimer states that “these opinions only represent me, not my employer” they still are representatives of the brand.

4) Pure Personal Account
These accounts are 100% personal content and have no tie or mention of corporate or branded information. These personal accounts, either created by an individual that doesn’t want to be associated with their employer –or their employer won’t let them is void of any corporate ties.
Example:  There are various personal accounts, without any affiliations to brands.
Pros: This account has no tie or risk to a brand.
Cons: Although the risks are reduced, so are the opportunities. The chance to evangelize the brand with their community are lost.

Each Profile Type Serves A Different Purpose
Which type is right for your social media endeavors? It depends on the culture and goals of the organization. Expect many brands to have several of these accounts (For example, Cisco has types 1, 2, and 3) within their social arsenal). Type 1 may be useful for sharing facts, Type 2 may be helpful for support, Type 3 may have advantages in evangelism and type 4 may be helpful for employees that have little connection to the product or customers.

Having multiple types of profiles for your brand strategy is useful, play to the strenghts of each, however it’s important to note that having internal coordination with process and policy will also help to provide a common, high-quality experience to customers.

Love to hear from you, what profile types does your company use?  If you found this helpful, tweet out what kind of account you are, with this URL to this post http://bit.ly/3fZOHt