I found myself thinking more and more about the personalities that we as social media and community managers develop for the brands we create and manage online. In part, a good social campaign creates a voice, a personal voice with which we engage the community. Part of developing that voice is developing a brand personality. However, when we create that brand persona we add a little bit of ourselves to it. Whether that little bit is our own voice, our history, loves, likes, style of writing or whatever; a small part of ourselves exists within the brand personality we use to engage users.
Now, if you are a social media or community manager, chances are you already have your own personal brand established and your own personal voice. Day to day, you switch between your work voice and your personal voice with a little bit of an overlap. Some might say, a good social media manager can separate these two; that’s a little bit naive. We aren’t built to separate personalities. No matter how hard you try, there will be a little bit of yourself in your online persona whether it be personal or professional.
A duality then exists inside of your head. You are two separate people, yet the same person; day-to-day. A question develops: How do you manage multiple personalities? You are an extension of your online persona. You are two different people, maybe three. Sometimes it maybe difficult to differentiate the two. If it becomes difficult manage, you start to notice overlap or become somebody completely different; in which you lose your sense of personality. Then where are you?
I’m not saying it’s a superhero mentality; one minute Clark Kent and the other Superman. What I am saying is one minute you are General Electric and the next yourself.
I wonder if the back and forth of persona is healthy.
I wonder if, in the long term, it changes the way we effectively manage our brands and ourselves.
I wonder if, in the long term, this duality can become a disorder where you completely lose your sense of self.
Or maybe, your sense of self is a duality?
At what point to you become the voice you established for the brand you manage? Or, does any of this matter?