Companies have a company brand and people have personal brands, right? Well, that used to be true before the age of Twitter and Facebook, but social media has painted a face on every company that interacts with its customers. Every company has a personal brand as well as a company brand now and the sweet spot to social media marketing and business-to-customer relationships is making the two be one and the same. Dissonance between the company and the persona is the last thing you want, and the best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to make your company values shine in both of your brands.
The Importance of a Personal Brand
Values are an integral part of your personal brand. That’s right, personal brand. Personal brands are not exclusive to job seekers anymore—in the age of Social Media every company has a personal brand. The fact that you can interact with customers one-on-one or one-on-many in real time at any time automatically gives your company a personal brand along with a company one. That’s why you have to make sure your brand is in line with your company values and vice-versa.
A personal brand is a trust you develop with your client base. As such, you don’t want to be leading your clients on by promoting yourself as one kind of business when really you’re something else entirely. This is what leads to bad reviews and ultimately a nearly irreparable smudge on your personal brand. Understand the values you follow as a company through your business plan and make every part of your company show them, especially your personal brand. After all, it’s the first thing people see when doing their research.
Promote Your Values
A little self-promoting isn’t a bad thing. Customers like to see that you’re true to your word, so if you ever do something that actively displays your values as a company then by all means let people know. If you just donated 10% of your annual profits to a charity, then let people know you’re philanthropic. If you’ve decided to stop providing a product or service, then give a little update to your readers to let them know what your thought process is. Even if they don’t like the change, letting them into the inner workings paints a picture of what kind of business you are. Simply updating your readers on what you’ve got cooking in the works is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to paint your brand the same shade as your values.
People don’t like being lied to, and pushing a personal brand that doesn’t align with your company values is a sure-fire way to get on people’s bad sides. Maybe it isn’t the biggest breach of trust, but it makes a dissonance between public perception and actual experience and that’s a dissonance no company wants. Find a way to build your brand around your company values, and if you are having trouble figuring out just how to go about it then just be honest. Honesty is the best (and easiest) policy when it comes to reflecting your company values.