If you take a look at some of the major brands like Nike or The New York Times, you’ll notice that they have multiple, specialized Twitter handles. Nike has its main account, but also separate ones for different sports; golf, football, soccer. The New York Times has individual accounts for arts, books, music, and travel, to name a few. Other companies separate their feeds by department; sales, marketing, customer service, etc.
Why do they do this? The standard answer is that it provides relevant content to their followers. Someone who likes European football (soccer), probably doesn’t care which shoes Peyton Manning wears. Likewise, someone who enjoys the New York Times Book Review might not be interested in all the political commentary on their main account.
So what about your small business or individual brand? Should you employ a similar strategy to speak to targeted audiences on a more personal, niched-down level? It’s certainly worth considering. Let’s look at some pros and cons.
- More targeted conversations and content feed. You don’t want to bore your followers with a lot of irrelevant information coming from your account to their feed. If your message is relevant to them, they’re much more likely to engage.
- Increased reach with multiple accounts. Specialized accounts tend to draw more followers than generic ones. By having more than one account, you can appeal to multiple demographics. Even though you might have some “duplicate” followers, the sum total of all your followers across multiple accounts will be greater.
- Multiple touch points with same customers. On the other hand, with “duplicate” followers you’ll have more opportunities to engage. The time-sensitive nature of Twitter prevents followers from seeing our tweets if they’re not online at the moment. With multiple accounts, you can stagger your tweets throughout the day to make contact more likely.
- It’s time consuming, even with Hootsuite. Many of us have a real love/hate relationship with social media. We love it on our terms, but we hate being a slave to its demands. Having multiple Twitter accounts compounds the time-sucking nature of social media engagement.
- It’s confusing, even with TweetDeck. Yes, you sort of have to switch personalities a bit every time that you switch accounts. Once in a while, you might forget which “voice” you’re using and say the wrong thing to the wrong follower. Or might simply forget what the conversation is all about. It happens.
- Appearance of being too aggressive. If people follow you on one account, and they later discover that you have multiple accounts in their feed, they might think that you’re trying to spam them. This isn’t the impression that you want to give. If someone calls you out on it, don’t deny it, just give a brief and honest explanation of your “multiple personality disorder.”
So should you or shouldn’t you?
What’s the takeaway here? Is it best to stick with one Twitter account or are multiple accounts a good idea?
The short answer: if you have a fairly large and diverse brand, then yes, you should probably curate multiple accounts providing you have the time and resources. You might even outsource your Twitter account management to a social media specialist if it’s in your budget. If that’s too expensive for you at this point, consider subscribing to a retweeting service that will automatically engage with all of your tweets on a daily basis.
If nothing else, you should at least separate your personal account from your business account. That way your friends don’t have to read your boring business details, and your business contacts aren’t subjected to any of your inappropriate jokes.