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Can Being Yourself on Social Media Really Be A Competitive Advantage?

Can Being Yourself on Social Media Really Be A Competitive Advantage?

Richard Branson, Marissa Mayer, and even Tim Cook have all been praised for using their personal social media engagement to boost their brands’ profiles. Being authentic, opinionated, and real-time responsive can be a great strategy for the top-level CEO – but does it work for the typical small business owner?

The answer to that question is “Yes,” with some caveats. Small businesses are generally even more dependent on their leaders’ personality as a key component of their brands’ identity: think of the restauranteur that greets all her regulars by name, or the community jeweler that has such a bubbly, infectious personality that simply being around them makes everyone smile. Expressing that personality via social media is a way to extend your appeal over a greater distance. Today’s customer has a well-established tendency to want to bond with the face behind the brand. Putting yourself out there makes it easier for that to happen.

Social media also provides a great platform for small business owners to share their expertise. Sharing your opinions and insights about your industry or field can help your customers make more informed decisions; more importantly than that, it helps the public learn to recognize you as an authority in your field. Part of the reason people follow Richard Branson and similar leaders is to gain insights into how these successful people think about the world.

[Tweet “Today’s customers want to bond with the face behind the brand. “]

Now about those caveats. While it’s good to be yourself on social media, it’s also important to remember you’re still a business owner. Successful CEOs on social media tend to be positive in their messaging, even if they’re being critical: they seek always to add value to the conversation. You’ll see very little complaining for the sake of complaining. If you’re having a rough day or find yourself very emotionally involved in a controversial conversation, it may be a good idea to step away and let the internet do its thing without you for a little while. One can be both authentic and strategic at the same time.

In the same line, most CEOs limit the type of information they’ll share about their loved ones; you may want to do the same. Finding the right mix of approachability and privacy protection is a balancing act. Being yourself comes with some limits to keep everyone safe and happy. It’s a good idea to have a second set of eyes available to you: delegate a trusted, sensible employee or peer to give your social media periodic reviews to make sure you’re balancing authenticity, safety, and brand identity concerns well.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office