branding “I have a lot of work to do today,” I sighed to my husband this morning.

“What, like go on Facebook and Pinterest?” He retorted derisively, as if it were anything but work.

In marketing, anything that builds brand awareness and creates opportunities for exposure of your brand to potential customers is work. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy said work but it is work nonetheless.

It’s a tricky balance, in a solo gig, to strike to right balance between work and personality.

My work and my personality are so intertwined that sometimes I find it difficult to distinguish the two. My work is what I do and a huge part of who I am. That doesn’t mean that who I am needs to necessarily be expressed in my work.

Take Pinterest for example. I love Pinterest and have several Pinterest accounts for my personal and professional selves.

But just because I love Lolcats doesn’t mean I’ll be pinning them willy nilly to my Jane McKay Communications “Typography” Pinterest board (the font is Impact, for the record). Nor, because I am slightly obsessed with Typography does it mean humourous graphic design posts will go on my personal Pinterest page.

The rules of the Lolcats example apply to Facebook as well.

When you are creating posts for your business’ social media (or delegating to someone else) be clear about “who” your organisation is and always bear in mind what you post is an expression of your brand.

Your brand isn’t who you want to be, it’s how you are being perceived right now. Edit: Source Katya Andresen

While it’s tempting and easy to combine the personal and professional in your social media I know that my customers, followers and audience care not for my love of Lolcats; just as they care not what your intern may choose to randomly post on your Facebook page.

Social media’s perception as “fun” often diminishes the gravity with which it is regarded.

Stop and think: you have spent years building your brand and reputation. This can be undone in one misfired Tweet and, because of its viral nature, things can blow up very quickly. If you need an example, hark your mind back to the #McDStories campaign McDonald’s restaurants ran last year.

Wouldn’t want to be that social media manager, would you?

Think carefully about every post, pin and tweet and how that is perceived by your audience: is it enhancing your brand? Is it how you want your brand to be perceived? Is it on target for your brand? Is it attracting the right type of audience? Does it have the right tone? Is it on message?

It’s fine to be fun and add personality but always think about how your audience will receive that information and how they will perceive your brand as a result of receiving that information.

Social media managers, copywriters and marketing professionals are paid the (not so) big bucks because they are professionals with years of hard-earned education, training and experience behind them. They take the time to understand a brand and ensure that the messaging is on target, on brand and on message.

Don’t leave it to amateurs (or  interns).

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