Small Business Social Media: Some OKs and NOT OKs

When I first started my business I created a web site, started a Twitter account, made a Facebook page, and began writing blog posts. It was hard though; I agonized over every piece of information I released under my business name. I was obsessed with how it would be perceived by those I wanted to impress.

A slight compulsion for perfection is good in order to avoid public mistakes, but I took it to a sleepless level.  As a result, I suppressed my personality and churned out the same old stuff that everyone else was posting. I had this idea that in order to be a “proper businesswoman” I had to be, well, proper. It was only after I started letting the real me come out that I started to enjoy the work I was doing and others started to take notice of my business.

You see, it’s much easier to write if the stuff coming from your fingers is the stuff that’s really in your head. As a bonus, blog posts and Twitter feed is more interesting to your readers if you entertain them with your wit rather than bore them with tips.

How much “personality” is too much? You certainly don’t want to have Tweets on your business handle that detail a Girls Night Out, but you can tell your followers about the quirky waiter at the restaurant or how much you enjoyed the latest movie. A good rule of thumb might be: Is this post something you wouldn’t mind seeing shared tomorrow?

Here are a few more examples that should drive the point home:

  • OK: An Instagram of you and your partner toasting a new business contract.
  • Not OK: An Instagram of you with two bottles of wine in your hands and the contract in your teeth.



  • OK: A Tweet about your weekend plans to visit the beach.
  • Not OK: A Tweet about the new bikini (or speedo) you bought for the beach weekend.
  • OK: A blog post about your mishaps while trying to ship a client deliverable.
  • Not OK: A blog post blasting the shipping company.
  • OK: A Facebook share of a charity bike ride.
  • Not OK: A Facebook share of your neighbor’s political rant.
  • OK: Retweeting a funny quote from a favorite comedian.
  • Not OK: Retweeting a profane or negative quote from a comedian.

Truth is, most people like to be able to relate to others on a personal level. You are a real human with a real life that happens to have a business aspect to it. So as long as you remember to keep your posts tasteful, PG, and positive, adding some personality to the mix is OK.

by Michelle Windmoeller of Blue Cypress Solutions


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