I know what you’re thinking…WWE?

As in the steel chair wielding, pile driving, power bombing, World Wrestling Entertainment?  Yep, you read correctly…that WWE!

I attended a session at SXSW this past weekend about how WWE is “crushing” social media. (I couldn’t help myself… the nostalgia of sitting on my couch as a young boy watching Hulk Hogan power slam Andre the Giant was just too hard to resist.)

Submitting to a social brand

The panel featured pro wrestler John Cena and he discussed the important role that social media has played in developing his personal brand. He said that his on-screen character is how he has made his living and it is critical for him to connect with his fans as that character/brand. He also noted that it is really important for him, and the brand he has created, to be responsible for himself. In other words, his tweets and posts are his tweets and posts.

That authenticity and commitment to his personal brand on social media has resulted in Cena being the seventh most followed athlete in the world, third in the U.S. behind Michael Jordan and LeBron James, with more than 17 million followers on Facebook and Twitter combined.

Your brand + the business’ brand = a winning tag team

As I was listening to Cena speak, I couldn’t help but think about how a small business owner’s personal brand is really synonymous with the brand of the business. Think about that for a minute…how many of your customers know you personally? How many of your customers come through the door expecting you to help them make purchasing decisions?

Customers want that personal connection with a small business owner, just like Cena’s fans want that connection with him. That personal connection can not only drive repeat business, but also spread word-of-mouth referrals that we know small businesses crave.

Grappling with what comes next!

So quite simply, be yourself while also being your brand! Your customers want to know you and your business on a personal level, so let them in. Be yourself on Twitter or Pinterest. Be a personality on Facebook or LinkedIn, not just a small business brand. This authentic and personal touch can go a long way with customers and make them feel like they know both you and your small business on a personal level.

So next time you think about the importance of building your business’ brand I urge you to channel your inner John Cena (no, don’t clothesline the next customer that comes through the door!). Remember that your personal brand can drive business success!

How do you show your inner John Cena/personality through social media?