Women play many roles….
Women’s Enterprise Day Part 2
One of the questions posed to me at the Women’s Enterprise Day – part of Wandsworth Enterprise Week – was about the difficulty in reconciling two roles or two careers running concurrently on a Linkedin account, when one of these roles may not be palatable to the customers of the other role. The lady who asked the question did not reveal what her second role was, so I suggested an example of such a scenario, to help us work through the problem. For the sake of discretion, we agreed to say this lady was a corporate lawyer 9-5pm and a yoga teacher in her spare time – two careers which one can easily accept might cause this lady to be sensitive to the perception of one set of clients and contacts.
So how do we reconcile this on her Linkedin accounts? She has already started a second profile in order to keep the two careers separate, but there are difficulties with this strategy as not only will her face reveal she has duplicate accounts, but also – most significantly – her name. Her own suggestion for a solution was to omit her head shot / photo on her second Linkedin account. We always advise clients to use their own face as their profile photo – people have a relationship with YOU, not your logo. I fear that without a face to represent the personal Linkedin account, it will never gain trust from the audience – would you want to do business with a faceless representative?
Further, the workload involved in maintaining two separate Linkedin accounts, may out-weight any benefits received from this time investment. That said, this could be done via Hootsuite but then care would have to be taken in not mistakenly posting the same content to both accounts simultaneously, lest someone smell a rat.
That said, I’m not one to shy away from a challenging question when it comes to my chosen discipline and I pride myself on giving very direct answers to questions – who has time for woolly answers? Not me. So here are my recommendations for that lovely lady and anyone else facing the same question:
1) Use an alter-ego or character to represent the business. I would advise not only an image, but also name and even “voice” in order that anonymity can be guaranteed.
2) Present yourself via a team. Operate via a group of representatives working inside your organisation. You will have to declare this clearly on your Linkedin profile e.g. The team behind Project X, so other users know who they are talking to.
3) Choose Twitter. Twitter plays host to 1000s of accounts which are operated by multiple team members or alter-egos on behalf of brands and organisations, whereas on Linkedin this is not so prevalent and therefore not as accepted.
We teach and preach organic social media marketing at Gertrude & Ivy, urging attendees of our training courses to be authentic members of their online communities as this genuine approach will see the best response. That said, we understand how very often professionals work more than one role and sometimes a social media marketing agency has to come up with some creative solutions for the brands with whom we work.