I was viewing my list of Twitter followers the other day and noticed that there’s a category of Twitter users who choose to link their brand name with that of their company. Now I suppose if you work for a big company, like Apple, calling yourself “AppleMark” might help get you more followers and a bigger Klout score than if you called yourself “MarkSmith235″.”
More Twitter followers and a higher Klout score aren’t the reason you engage in social media, however. I hope you actually do it to share your art. You engage in social media to contribute to the community, and those contributions form a virtuous circle. It’s not about the score or the number of followers.
Also, what happens when you or the brand decide to change the terms of the engagement? Either you or the brand might decide to part ways. And you may wish to no longer be associated with that brand.
I saw a lot of that when I worked at a big three letter Internet company a few years back. Many employees had linked their entire online and offline persona–and, more importantly, their personal brand–to the company. When the company began imploding and laying people off by the thousands, people were no longer associated with the formerly winning brand. Their online brand now labeled them as an ex-[COMPANY] person. Not a great place to be from a branding perspective–you’ve got to define what you are and not what you used to be.
Takeaway: Think about your online persona and decide if you want to control your own destiny or link your own brand to somebody else’s