Smirking to myself, I typed onto twitter a response to a girlfriends tweet about whether or not I would be going on extended travel after a business conference in Instanbul, Turkey.

In no time, I responded. "Depends on whether I am married and have other plans" or something to this effect.
How Personal Is Too Personal On Social Media?

Her reply: "You have to spill, we really have to catch up!"

Now, if that was really what I was thinking, I would pick up the telephone. But I sent it, for the whole world to see, as a 'tongue in cheek' comment.

Then, the next half hour my phone rung off the hook and I was inundated with emails and texts. "Is it true?"

So, it got me thinking. How personal is too personal on social media? This comment was meant to be a laugh but others took it seriously. Actually, some of my family members took it seriously - which is quite disturbing really considering my current relationship status.

On Twitter, I continually find people sharing too much information and that is fine, if they don't belong to a 'brand' per se and that's how they personally want to be positioned. However, if you want to be seen as serious, the amount of personal information hitting the tweet box needs to be managed very carefully.

One thing I have learnt about social media is that Facebook is for friends and stalkers and the only real business benefit is for consumer based products and services as well as promoting events or links to viral marketing.

You can share what you want on it, as long as you know the audience and they know you, or you are managing your own profile out there on your facebook account.

With Twitter, it is more business orientated. As I have mentioned before, Marketing Eye achieves sales each week from our twitter account. Combined with the company website and blog, we probably get around 70% of our clients through this medium with the other 30% through referrals. We cannot handle the number of leads we receive each week which is a dilema that we are working on right now.

Reading the book about "Small Giants" is helpful in ascertaining what we want to achieve right here in Australia. Overseas is a different matter.

With Twitter, I try to talk about brands that I am exposed to and respond where possible to people who retweet our Marketing Eye tweets - afterall, this is what gets yoru brand really out there.

Occasionally, I may say something personal, but never too personal. Nothing like "I just broke up with someone", or "I had a fight with my marketing manager". That would be daft.

I may say, "I just had dinner at Fog... food was fabulous".

The Marketing Eye blog is a different story. The more personal the blog is, the more people who read it. In fact, since we have changed from being generic and more business orientated to discussing real life experiences and emotions, the blog has quadripled. The purpose of the blog is to communicate to small businesses and engage them long enough for them to build loyalty to our brand. By reading the Marketing Eye blog, people think they personally know me. That I am sitting down and having a cup of coffee with them. That I share the same business experiences as they do. Quite often, small businesses ring Marketing Eye, ask to speak to me and they don't want a proposal, they just want a contract to sign. They know me and the Marketing Eye brand already. They are sold.

For a marketing consultancy firm, that is music to our ears, let me tell you!

We keep the blog real and share real life experiences. Sometimes, a conversation with a friend or family member triggers something in my mind and I go back to the office and write a blog based on some element of that conversation. It gives people a better understanding of how life as an entrpreneur really works.

When we just write blogs on marketing and business with no particular personalised story, our blog would have 1000 or 2000 people per week and that is all. Big difference and if you are going to invest in spending time writing a blog each day like I do, you have to make sure that there is a ROI. Don't you?

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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