I get this question a lot: When using Twitter for business, is it better to use a person’s name or the company’s name as your handle?
Research articles (or just common sense and spending a bit of time on Twitter) will tell you, accurately, that people tend to engage more with personal accounts. Makes sense. We like to know with whom we’re speaking. Names are also a better fit in the syntax of some tweets: “Discussing Twitter for business with @morgansiem.”
Having a company account is important for branding purposes like building awareness and increasing share of voice. However, if you have a small or local business, people usually want to know who YOU are. You might consider having both a brand AND a personal account. For instance, If I’m tweeting about a local business, I want to be able to @mention the business name in a tweet, but I also want to know who I’m talking to.
The people behind small brands are incredibly important.
If, on the other hand, you are a large, recognized brand, people care less about with whom they are speaking and more about getting their question answered (or maybe they’re just “checking in” or giving props).
These are perfect examples of when it’s important (and better) to have a branded account. These customers want to interact with a brand and are less concerned about what person they reach. In the first example, Charlotte might even be worried if a response comes from a person’s name rather than the company’s name.
Another example I can give comes from my experience this morning. One of the trending topics on Twitter was “Times Square bomb.” I clicked the topic to get a quick update on the case (what’s the news since the failed bomb attempt last night?). There were hundreds of tweets, mostly repetitive, and I found myself scrolling, eyes scanning, for recognized branded accounts. I skipped faces and scanned for logos. I stopped on “trusted” news sources and read.
My own behavior was interesting to me, because I typically do the opposite (when skimming through my Twitter feed, I tend to skip logos and scan for faces).
So, to answer the question, it depends. There is value in both. Know your business, know your audience. This is part of having a strategic plan in place for your social media efforts. It’s not one-size-fits-all.