Taking the ‘I’ Out of Business Posts on Facebook

By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|June 9, 2011

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always advised companies with blogs and Facebook and Twitter accounts that there is no “I” in business. When speaking on behalf of a business, brand, product or service over a Facebook status update, tweet or blog post, I advise them to always use “we” (or some derivation thereof) to communicate more effectively on behalf of the business or brand.

Let’s say, for example, you manage the Facebook account for a business that distributes running shorts and the company is about to exhibit during a local road race. You’d want to post something such as: “We’ll be exhibiting at the health expo later this week. Stop by and see us in Booth No. 1315 in the convention center.” What you wouldn’t want to post is, “I am exhibiting at this weekend’s health expo at the convention center. Stop by and see me in Booth No. 1315.

The reason I bring this is up is because businesses on Facebook are increasingly using “I” statements in their status updates, messages, notes and other places. And they’re doing it directly in the line of sight of their customers and prospects — often without ever identifying who “I” is.

Take for example the photo from Abe’s Marketplace – a company whose page I like on Facebook. It contains the items cited in the following caption, which showed up in my Facebook Newsfeed just yesterday morning:

Here is my breakfast: Greek yogurt, honey, lemon, mint and fresh strawberries! Send your nompics and recipes!

Aside from having no idea what a “nompic” is, I also have no idea who “my” refers to, and since I have to think about it, the fact that it exists as part of the caption takes the focus away from the picture, message and call-to-action.

When I asked Abe’s Market about posting in the first person narrative, Lisa Frame, who is Abe’s community manager, answered thusly:

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