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'
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.
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'
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.
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.