Do you understand the term user profiles? It is a bit unclear, “user”. Is the user a person, employee, business owner, or all in one? Let me share with you, user profiles are personal. Social media is all about being social, talking with other people in social networks, and connecting with these people. It’s all about making real conversations and relationships.
You become friends with people, not with companies. You connect with people, not with companies. You connect with people in the company not with the logo or building it selfitself. However; you may want to follow or “like” a company so you can receive updates from them.
On social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn you have the option to create a special page or profile for your company. This makes it odd that people use their company details and logo to create a ‘personal profile’ on these networks.
Keep the user profile personal
So keep your ‘user profile’ really personal. The profile should state your first and last name. Make sure you upload a picture of yourself into your profile and not your company logo. The profile details should be about you. This way people can know about you before they connect and build a relationship with you. You can more easily form real relationships.
Terms and Agreements
Let’s see what the official Terms and Agreements say about it. Most people don’t read the Terms and Agreements, so let me share this with you:
Don’t undertake the following: 5. Create a user profile for anyone other than a natural person;
4. Registration and Account Security
- Facebook users provide their real names and information
- You will not create more than one personal profile.
This means that Facebook and LinkedIn can (and will) at any moment decide to delete your non-personal profile.
“And what about Twitter”?, you ask. Twitter is not a social network, per say, it is a micro blogging system. Twitter can be personal but also just small blogposts of companies. The Terms of Twitter do not state that your profile needs to be either for personal or business use. However; I do think it is a lot nicer to understand who is sending these tweets on behalf of the company.
If you have a Twitter account for your company, and a personal twitter account, it is smart to show who is writing the status updates. For your business account, you can use a company logo as profile picture, use your company URL but also add a name of the person(s) doing all the work.
Examples of non-personal profiles
Bijzondermooi Dutchdesign in Facebook
Players for the Planet in LinkedIn
Here you see a personal name in the profile, but the completed profile is about the organization.
Example of personal profile and company page
Here you see the personal profile page of Eydie
And this is her professional page: Eydie’s Office
This is a great example of how you can make a personal page for yourself and create a page for your business on Facebook.
On her personal profile and the company page she is engaging with friends and fans. So on both profiles the conversation is personal, the best way to connect and develop real relationships.
My personal profile on LinkedIn and my company profile on LinkedIn. And as you send a connection invitation, please tell me why you want to add me to your network. That is another thing that I will write about another time, impersonal invitations to connect in Facebook or LinkedIn. Hate it when I get these. Makes me guess why you want to connect with me.
Lately I’ve received more friend requests and connections requests from non-personal profiles (business profiles). Talking to some of the people behind these profiles it has become clear to me that some people don’t get the idea of personal profiles, social networks, and relationships.
I found this great article by Tamar Weinberg – Dear Facebook Friends, You’re Doing it Wrong. In her article, Tamar talks about social media etiquette, and other online do’s and don’ts.
Do you connect with people in social networks personally, professionally or both?
Update: the text was edited to improve English reading with the help from Eydie.