Company vs Personal Twitter


3 min read

One of the most bread and butter situations in devrel is the tactical decision on whether to announce something on company vs personal accounts. You can of course do both and just roll with whatever wins, but let's assume you want to be more intentional/analytical than that.

What are we maximizing?

First thing to consider is what game we are playing. Usually the choice boils down to:

  • Do you want to try to maximize the long term value of the company?

  • Do you want to maximize the chances that this announcement gets in front of the most eyeballs today?

Sometimes the two are correlated ("any impactful announcement maximizes the long term value", "increasing personal followership contributes to longterm company value anyway"), sometimes they are not. Most central conflicts in devrel vs management arise when there are unresolved disagreements in the correlation.

Relevant considerations to going personal (PRO) vs going corpo (CON):

  • PRO: "People follow people, not companies" - there is inherent bias toward following people and against companies on social media

    • CON: this is generally true, but there are very often exceptions, and the exceptions really stand out as the top tier of companies that suggest that this belief is mostly cope for people who suck at corporate personality

    • NEUTRAL-PRO: the reality is people follow interesting accounts wherever they are and probably most people know how to play the personal account game better (bc of skin in the game and bc of code switch when speaking for the corporate voice)

  • CON: Companies are more valuable when they are not too strongly tied to the personal brand of any particular founder/employee

    • CON: so that they can be bought for their corporate brand

    • CON: so that missteps/cancellation or departure of any one founder/employee doesnt damage the company

  • NEUTRAL: "Followership" is less and less valuable on social media as they are all incentivized to diminish social graph in place of engagementmaxxing feed algos that only barely register your follow decisions in their decision making

    • NEUTRAL-PRO: so maybe dont even look at followership, the only valid game is winning today's game, tomorrow may not exist so screw long term thinking

    • CON: but it does have nonzero weight, and is still valuable "currency" as hard-to-obtain-legitimately social proof

Net net, this is obviously not a clear cut story given the pros/cons I lay out above but as a company owner I believe building sellable assets long term is the path to liquidity over vanity, and so while I will indulge the personal authenticity especially as an early stage boost, I would communicate clearly that the north star is to build a company brand and voice that is greater than any of its parts.

A: If you chose Personal

The default tactic here is the hands-on project member with the largest followers tweet the announcement, tagging the company. Company can then quote tweet if they wish but it won't really matter since we are choosing the person as the face of the announcement.

If you don't have any project members with decent followership already, go home and work on that, meanwhile for the announcement, go to B.

B: If you chose Company

The default tactic here is to put the announcement on the company twitter, then have employees all quote tweet that tweet to tell personal take. Which ever personal take works will have the company twitter prominently featured, and hopefully enough people click through to the base company tweet so that it accumulates the most likes. This has a 50-50% chance of working depending on the personal influence of your employees vs your company.

to be continued...

These were just initial quick thoughts dashed off for a founder friend who asked for my thoughts.