Never use your brand name to sign comments. You are a person, not a brand.
How do you want to be perceived?
As a person?
Or as “advertising-disguised-as-conversation”?
There’s nothing wrong with representing a brand. You can even sign “Judy Smith (MyGreatBrand)” if it’s important to you — but be aware that it will make you sound like a commentor-for-hire or a “community manager” (note the quotes and the lowercase, not to be confused with the Community Manager, reserved for people who “get it” and usually occupy a senior position).
Signing with your brand name is also the surest way of being identified as spam — whether you really are spam or not.
You don’t want to make things difficult for the blogger who is deciding whether to approve or trash your comment: identify yourself clearly as a human being. Whether you use a name or a stable, recognizable nickname is not a big issue (at least for me). But using your brand as your nickname is so… cheesy.
And also impolite. You know who I am. Your comment is an open door to a conversation. Why would I not be allowed to know who you are? Even the robots who answer the phone in the worst of customer service call centres tell you their name.
Don’t be a ghost, hiding under the big white sheet of your brand.
Please do not sign comments with your brand name. Be a human being. Give me a name.
I’m toying the idea of replacing brand names with something witty (“Insert Brand Name Here”, or preferably something better I’ll think of under the shower tomorrow morning) and making them link to this article when people try signing comments with them. What do you think?
- FOWA: Customer Service is the New Marketing (Lane Becker & Thor Muller) [en] (2007)
- More on coComment Advertising [en] (2008)
- Against Threaded Conversations on Blogs [en] (2008)
- Who Owns Your Comments? [en] (2006)
- Lift11: Sabine Hauert, Robotics today [en] (2011)
- On Being Hacked [en] (2011)
- Conversation in Comments vs. Conversation in Twitter [en] (2009)
- Blogging 4 Business: part 2 [en] (2007)
- Tumblr to Capture Comments? [en] (2008)
- WordCamp 2007: Lorelle VanFossen, Kicking Ass Content Connections [en] (2007)