Are You Using the Right Personal Pronoun for Your Brand?

Letters

By Casey Danton

When taking the helm of your brand’s voice on social media, social media marketers need to make an important decision. Do you address your fans and customers using the pronoun ‘I’ or ‘we?' There are strengths and weaknesses in both scenarios. 

Using the Personal Pronoun 'I'

Pros

Using the pronoun ‘I’ may be the best decision for your company voice.  It assists in building repertoire, and interacting on a first-name basis, both from the corporate level and from the customer's perspective, can create a stronger connection. When responding this way, some representatives choose to sign using a name, which allows customers to directly identify who they are speaking with. Some customers have been known to come back to the brand asking for the first representative who spoke to them by name, since they already have a relationship with this individual.  First-person perspective can assist readers in feeling like a participant in the conversation as opposed to being spoken at. 

Cons

Some customers may not delight in being on a first name basis with a brand. First-person regard connotes truth, intimacy and authenticity. While some may appreciate this, it may turn others away. If there are only a few people working on your brand and responding to the majority of fans and customers, this can be seen as negative. Customers may assume there isn’t enough support on the brand side and become frustrated.  Some legal considerations can prohibit getting more personal in copy or identifying individuals. 

Using the Personal Pronoun 'We'

Pros

When responding on behalf of your brand, the right decision may be to use the language ‘we.’ Responding in an overarching way like this is more authoritative. When making announcements on social media or delivering big news or apologies, it should more likely come from the brand overall as opposed to a specific individual or person. 

Cons

Using this language is more distant. The focus can be brought away from personal experience and linger more on business. Fans can start to feel like their individual complaints or thoughts are not important to the brand, and they may start to feel like they aren't being heard. 

Using Both "I" and "We" Together

Perhaps your brand would feel best if there was a mix of both, as some brands have done in the past. For customer service concerns, names can be given, but for more official announcements, language with ‘we’ is used. Overall, the goal should be to make your customers feel comfortable and informed.

Ultimately, there is no wrong or right way to address your fans. You'll have to find the best voice for your brand based on your personal message and product offering.

Which personal pronoun do you prefer to use? Share your thoughts with the Likeable Media team in the comments below, and subscribe to our newsletter!