Egotistic oversharing wasn’t always top on the list of corporate job applicant criteria, but increasingly, online brand management is becoming a social endeavor. And emloyees that eat, sleep, and breathe the brand are becoming the indispensable moutpieces of big and small companies alike.

According to New York Times writer Laura M. Holson:

“Having a social media aficionado on staff is one way to create
conversation about a brand, the same way hip-hop record executives in
the 1990s used urban street teams to promote new musicians. And it is a
rare example these days of a growth industry: Forrester Research, a
research and marketing firm, has 12 analysts advising more than 100
companies on how to use social networks to get customers to do things
like open bank accounts or buy more face cream.”

Services like Twitter presents potential pitfalls for brands because they straddle the line between work and play, but employees that Twitter in an engaging manner can help their employers tremendously. A corporate Twitter feed can have its benefits, but many companies are finding that they get the most traction when it’s clear that there’s a real live human typing at the keyboard.

And while media companies like The Wall Street Journal are struggling to control the way their writers portray the brand’s reputation in social media, brands that have a more playful image can really excel in the space.

Take for instance an exchange that Ms. Holson mentions between JetBlue customer Meaghan O’Connell and JetBlue employee Morgan Johnston that made it onto Gawker recently:

“I want to make love to the @jetblue terminal,” meaghano wrote.

“I hope you’ll at least buy the terminal dinner first!” Mr. Johnston quickly replied.