SMB Social Media: Should You Promote Yourself or Your Business?

smb market yourself

If we asked you to name the founders of Microsoft, Apple and Amazon, you’d likely reel off “Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos” without blinking an eye. Love them or hate them, they have all done a fine job of presenting themselves as the face of their brand.

If we asked you to name the founders of Samsung or Rolex, however, odds are that you’d have to do a bit of Googling to come up with the correct answers. These brands are no less famous; they just chose to promote the brand rather than the face behind it.

Billion-dollar corporations with multimillion-dollar marketing budgets can promote their businesses and all the faces they want right alongside with them on their social media channels and elsewhere.

Small and midsize businesses like yours, however, often have to choose: Promote yourself, or promote your business.

Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you come to the right decision for your business.

Should You Be the Spokesperson? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

How Important Am I to the Business?

Obviously, as the business owner, the answer to the question is “Pretty darn important, indeed.” But on the marketing level, you need to look at it a bit differently. Is making yourself the face of your brand likely to increase trust, loyalty and sales, or does it have the potential to be a distraction from the business as a whole?

Do My Business and I Complement Each Other?

Everyone should live their lives the way they choose, but by promoting yourself rather than your brand, you’re putting those choices on public display and linking them to your business. Are you a happy, smiley person who loves to crack jokes? Great! If you manage an auto dealership, it might be effective to market yourself. If you manage a funeral and cremation service … well, it might not be, and you might want to keep the business itself front and center.

Am I Comfortable Becoming a Public Figure?

Becoming the face of your brand is naturally going to lead to people recognizing you out in public. And while you (probably) won’t be catapulted to Tom Cruise-level fame, more people than normal are going to feel entitled to your time, even when you’re just on a grocery run or eating out with your family. As a public figure, there’s a lot of pressure to be always “on” – and for some, it can feel like they never really stop working.

Do I Have a Good Reason?

There are plenty of good reasons for a business owner to become the spokesperson for the brand. It instills customer trust, gives the business a personality, helps you stand out from the competition, and shows your audience that you’re not just some corporate machine. But if it’s done for the wrong reasons (or no reason at all), you run the risk of coming off as disingenuous at best and downright narcissistic at worst. Do you have a good reason to promote yourself rather than the business?

Do I Have a Story to Tell?

Every business has a story, but some are better than others. An attorney who put herself through law school after her father spent most of her childhood wrongly incarcerated and made it her life’s work to ensure other kids don’t grow up the way she did? That’s a fantastic story. A guy who became a mechanic because he liked auto shop in high school isn’t quite as compelling. If you’re promoting yourself instead of your brand, you need a good story.

Are You Center Stage or Backstage?

As a small- to mid-size business owner, you can’t afford to throw your hat in every ring. That means you need to make a choice about whether to promote yourself or your brand on social media. When you ask yourself some hard questions, the answer becomes clearer!

Not sure if you belong in the spotlight or the shadows? Let Mischa Communications help you decide! Get started here.