Friend or Foe: Is Personal Branding Detrimental To Your Company?

With the launch of social networking sites – Twitter and Facebook – the public began to use the numerous new outlets for personal branding . The reason for this surge in personal branding is largely attributed to the fact that social networking sites give users a platform they can transform into their own personal space and share with anyone they choose. With 105,779,710 registered users on Twitter and more than 500 million active users on Facebook this year, it is almost impossible to not find someone online.

While personal branding is great for SEO, there are many people that are apprehensive about personal branding:

A recent post in HubSpot, addressed the growing discussion that a strong personal brand is detrimental to a company. On one side, business owners are concerned that the public will get the wrong impression about their company, for example a search showing an employee profile that presents a less than professional image. On the other side, employees feel that they should be free to represent themselves however they please on social networking sites.

According to Caroline Himmelman, author of the post in HubSpot, personal branding is actually beneficial to a company. Himmelman argues that when she interacts with a company, she wants to know that there is a “human on the other side of the keyboard” and not just a corporate policy. This is an important point as more and more companies struggle with creating a personalized feel for their businesses. Customers want to know who they are interacting with and personal branding is one solution.

Furthermore, most employees want to create a strong personal brand that is beneficial to their image. It would be detrimental to create a brand that would not be appropriate enough to be associated with a company. While there are extreme cases of employees putting inappropriate or offensive material on personal sites, this is usually addressed privately between management and the individual in question.

Fortunately, there is a happy medium. As a marketing specialist, you should educate your friends and/or peers on appropriate ways to build their personal brand. This way a company is not restricting but encouraging an employee’s right to create a personal brand and at the same time suggests how to create a personal brand that aligns with the company’s image.

For more information, check out these helpful resources:

5 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Personal Brand, via Mashable

Personal Branding 101, via Mashable

The Personal Branding Blog

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