As you can see I follow Todd Defren’s blog. He always has great posts that are informational and thought provoking. A post he created recently was “Twitter Branding 101: Logo Or ‘Face?’” It is a conversation that his senior staff had that is impressive not only because of the content but also because it occurred in seven minutes.
The post is about whether company-run Twitter handles should have an image of the employee writing on the Twitter profile or should they use the company logo? In the end it seemed the senior staff concluded on a lets-be-done-with-this answer.
The answer depends on the situation.
I think the key for companies should be to have consistency throughout their online presence. If they choose to have a picture of the employee writing the posts, all the images should be of the writers. If companies use their logo, all pictures should be of the logo.
The book “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath helped me decide that using logos is the best strategy for developing brand recognition in social media. Simplicity and concreteness of the image for the consumer increases recognition. If a follower recognizes the image as the company’s Twitter handle they are more likely to continue following the conversation.
This brings me to my final decision about this question.
Companies should only use their logos as the image for their online presence.
The first major reason I think companies should use the logo is because when searching for a company on Twitter, for example, you look for the logo. If you find an average Joe or Jane picture it is likely to be a fake Twitter profile. Using the company logo increases credibility for the social media page.
A quote from “Made to Stick” chapter three fits this situation perfectly:
“Concreteness makes targets transparent.”
Seeing a logo rather than a face is concrete because the consumer will know that the company site is actually the company-run website. This increases transparency because the viewer realizes the voice of the page is an employee displaying the views of the company and not the opinion of the employee. This brings up the issue of humanizing the social media page.
If a company uses an image of an employee, it may bring a humanized image to match the voice. People want to talk to real people. However, if a company has an experienced enough writer composing Tweets, the humanized presence will show through the Twitter post.
Having a logo instead of a face, as stated by Defren’s senior staff, would make it easier for the company and the consumer in case an employee leaves the company. The Gravatar image would have to change, and the image recognition of the followers would have to be rebuilt.
Another situation was discussed in Defren’s post involving larger companies that have many Twitter handles to divide the conversation. My answer to this is to have one Twitter handle and create hashtags to take the place of the different Twitter handles. For instance, have a Twitter hashtag directed toward customer service and one toward promotions. To have the Twitter followers find the different hashtags related to their need, the company could post the hashtags periodically on its page and have the hashtags on its about section.
Although it is up to the company, I think there are more benefits to a company using its logo rather than a face on its online presence. For consistency, recognition and simplicity for consumers, companies should use the logo instead of a face.
Well. What do you think? Please comment!