Who do social media accounts belong to?

20Dec09

Lately I’ve been working on establishing branding guidelines (actually more like suggestions) for AAPA employees who are using social media for work purposes. It got me thinking… These guidelines can’t be mandatory because so much of the individual is tied into these accounts.

If I ever chose to leave the association I would surrender my Twitter account because of all the work oriented things I have done (building Twitter lists, digging up PAs & following them, favoriting, etc.), yet I would not surrender my Facebook account. My Facebook account has admin privileges to all of the AAPA Facebook outposts (2 Groups & 3 Pages), but the connections I have made with individuals have been on a personal level. Not to say that my Twitter connections aren’t personal & engaging, in fact my dear colleague Elizabeth Engel showcased some of the work I have done, but it’s much easier to get Twitter followers to latch on to my personal account, then confuse individuals by starting to friend them with my *personal* facebook account.

Maybe some of this has to do with the finality of the Facebook username, while a Twitter account can change on a whim?

An important point to all this rambling though is I don’t know how kosher it is to mandate that employees brand their accounts. Social media accounts are personal, they are individuals (well at least in our case). I personally would feel more comfortable with offering suggestions as to how AAPA employees can brand their account, than mandating they do it.

What do you think? For those who work in social media, how would you feel if you were mandated to brand your account with your company’s brand? What interference do you see this having with your personal brand?

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