C&T Q&A ~ Should I use social media under my name, my brand name – or both?

social media conundrum - me or my brand - create and thrive

Today’s question is from Emma, who asks:

I am looking into creating pinterest and blog accounts (following your free ebook advice) but I have two separate businesses under different branding, one offers products the other services. Do you think it is best to create separate accounts for both or create one under my personal name to encompass both?

This is an issue that confronts so many creative business owners – because we often have more than one business or project on the go at the one time!

How do we separate them? Do we separate them? How do we manage innumerable social media channels/blogs/emails?

It’s certainly something I’ve struggled with. This blog, for example, came after years of combining my crafty biz posts with my jewellery and other crafty posts over on Epheriell Designs. I finally took the leap to creating a separate site and brand for this info when I decided I could do more with a distinctive brand.

Of course, I made this decision fully aware that it meant I wouldn’t be able to devote as much time to the Epheriell Designs blog as I had been previously – and that was okay. It meant I changed the direction of that blog, and made it more about my jewellery business and less about handmade in general. When you multiply your channels you multiply your work – and something’s gotta give somewhere.

The only social media channel I have that is dedicated to my distinct brands is Facebook – where I have an Epheriell page and a Create & Thrive page. All my other social media – twitter, instagram, Pinterest, G+ etc, is under my own name, rather than a brand.

Why?

Because I think different social media call for different approaches. For example – on twitter and instagram, I am me – I share stuff from my life, my work, and my travels. I think people are on those channels because they want to connect with people (or news, in the case of twitter). So, I feel it’s more effective to just be myself, and be active – rather than trying to juggle multiple logins/handles and keep them all active and growing. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have the TIME to do that!

Facebook, however, is a little different. If people want to connect with me personally, they’d be my friend. If they want to connect with my brand, they’ll like my page. This is why I’ve separated off the brands on FB. It’s easier to build up a fan base (or, more technically, a ‘liker’ base, but I hate how that sounds) and to be more on-message.

Pinterest is a tricky one – I think it comes down to how you use it. If you – like me – aren’t terribly strategic, you might just want to be on there under your name, and have boards that relate to your separate brands, like I do. I do it this way because I’m also on Pinterest purely for my own enjoyment – so I pin a lot of stuff that is just for me, personally – like paleo recipes, workouts, home designs, fashion, art etc. Sure, some of this ties into my businesses, and some of it ties into my overall ‘lifestyle’ brand – but some of it doesn’t and I don’t care. It’s for me.

Also – I think the handmade niche, in particular, is quite forgiving of this approach – because a big part of a handmade business is the personal touch. People are buying handmade for a reason – often because of that personal connection to the maker.

I do, of course, have my various websites in my blurb across all of these social media – in fact, I pretty much have the same blub (and the same photo) across twitter, IG, Pinterest and G+. That way, I keep personal brand consistency, remain a real human being, but still make it easy for people to check out what I do for a living.

Emma, to come back to your specific question – I think, in your case, I would say do what I’ve done. Have one Pinterest and have different boards illustrating your different businesses. I say this largely because I think your two businesses are complimentary – in that they support each other and might have a cross-pollination of customers. If you had two widely different businesses, my advice might be different… but, in the end, it comes down to personal preferences, and this question:

How many social media channels can I manage, and manage effectively, while delivering awesome content and impact?

Because it’s better to have just one channel chockers full of fabulous content than multiple channels that are mostly neglected due to overwhelm.

I’d love to know what you think – how do you manage this issue?

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