The concept social media platforms use is faulty for business owners. Facebook, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and others require you to set up a personal profile before you can build a business page.
Whats wrong with that?
In marketing, we all tell people to identify their target market, demographics and how to provide solutions for the needs of various potential customers.
In many cases that means having multiple solutions to give our potential customers more choices or custom packages that fit their specific needs.
How does that apply to social networking platforms?
Let's use LinkedIn as an example. You have to create a personal profile. You are not allowed to use a logo or other image as your profile picture. It has to be a headshot. Those are the rules.
If you are looking for a job on LinkedIn, those rules make sense. If you are prospecting for clients or other business opportunities where you might actually meet with them in person, it makes sense. There are several other scenarios where that makes sense.
But what if you're here to promote your business, you never meet people in person and have no need to or you want your personal life to be separate from your business?
Another problem with this is when a CEO steps down from a company and the company's entire online presence here is tied to his or her personal account. There have been many problems associated with having personal profiles attached to the company at the hip.
Social Media Platforms should allow you to join as an individual or as a company separately.
A lot of companies that come to me for help do not understand why this can't be done. The first question they ask is "Why do I have to put all of my personal information in there when I just want to have a presence for my company?"
To create their profiles I have to have them fill out a huge form asking them where they went to school, what nonprofits they support, etc., and they do not really want to make all of that public.
They aren't looking for a job. They aren't looking for people they went to school with or to support more nonprofits than they have already chosen. But anything less than a complete profile is not a good approach.
I know. Someone is going to tell me about company pages are there for promoting the company, etc. etc. etc. The client is still required to put a lot of personal information online and attach that company page to their personal profile so it is not the same as being able to create profiles for companies.
People comment all the time on inappropriate profile pictures. Inappropriate for who? If you are there to represent the company and not yourself, a logo would be perfectly appropriate, but it is not allowed, because only individuals can have profiles.
As I wrote in the beginning of this post, in marketing, we try to anticipate the needs of different types of customers. We share content that appeals to each demographic or target group.
Why don't social media platforms do that as well? They have more than one target audience.
Have you had clients who were reluctant to tie their personal information to their company presence online?
Thanks for reading. Hope it leads to a discussion.
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