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Where personal branding comes into play

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues. Paul Chaney, Internet marketing director for Bizzuka and member of the SmartBrief on Social Media Advisory Board, helps create the questions and analyzes the results. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter and feature Paul’s analysis on this blog.

Last week’s poll question: From a business-development perspective, how important is building a personal brand in social media?

  • Very important, 44%
  • Somewhat important, 33%
  • Personal branding is overrated, 14%
  • The company’s brand is what’s important, not the personal one, 8%

“As social media expert Jason Falls has pointed out that, people prefer to connect with other people —  not brands. Therefore, some element of personal branding is important. However, unless one is an independent consultant, the personal brand shouldn’t override the corporate.

“To cite another expert, Geoff Livingston: ‘Brand and reputation are not synonymous. Social media experts with huge personal brands and followers number in the tens of thousands may be well recognized, but often don’t have the reputation to match.’

“When a well-known person is tied to a corporate brand, the former should not exert hegemony over the latter. Rather, a balance should be struck in which the one leverages and adds strength to the other. It’s not either/or, but both/and that’s best.” –Paul Chaney