Twitter / Blog / Facebook – Should you use the Royal ‘We’ or ‘I’

This is a tricky one which I come across a lot of the time and thought it was worth a discussion.

When sending out tweets / facebook – should you use ‘we’ or ‘I’.
For instance if someone tweeted in saying they had a issue on your products / services – would you respond back ‘we are looking into this’ or ‘I have picked this up and are looking into it’. Which ones sounds more like you are serious and someone is actually doing something to sort out of the problem?

The use of ‘we’ puts a whitewash across the whole thing – making it impersonal and is poor customer service.

The point of social media is to make it personal
It needs to come across that there’s a real person behind the tweets. That there’s a person taking ownership of my problem, is going to sort it out and that someone really does care. The point of social media is that it’s person to person in a conversation. You can’t use ‘we’ as that’s not personal, it’s the real ‘we’ of the company.

So where do you draw the line?
On Friday a client was on twitter and was asked ‘So who are you supporting in the World Cup?’ Tricky one huh?! Do you answer that personally or ‘we are supporting….’ The answer is that it needs to stay personal. This is where the lines on company vs personal start blurring.

So how do you handle those blurry lines?
You need to ensure that your social media company policy (such as the IBM social media policy) is clear on personal interaction online. You need to ensure this document is kept up to date with any developments or learnings.

Furthermore, you need to ensure your social media manager has support. In terms of a sound board – someone available to support them when tricky questions or situations arise. Ensure that there are weekly meetings with the team to discuss any ideas / learnings /issues but ensure it’s an open forum.

Ensure that any learnings are documented in a knowledge base such as a Wiki, so should the situation arises again then, you can refer back to the information.

How have you handled these situations – what learnings did you take from them.

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