Whether ye were an early adopter or th' last t' join th' proverbial party, it’s ne'er been more clear that Twitter is th' place t' connect, especially with people outside o' yer close maties and family, to be sure. Let’s be honest here–not everyone falls into th' category o' Facebook matey and needs t' see a scan o' yer high school yearbook picture.
So ye’re tweetin', wowin' th' world with yer insight and charm, or at least 140 characters worth. If ye’re like me, and most o' th' other 100+ million users, ye probably don’t distinguish betwixt tweets about work, family or Twitpics o' yer new pug. Do yer followers feel th' same way, or would they be grateful if ye separated personal from professional tweets or at least exercised a little daypartin' t' keep celebrity gossip far away from child-rearin' tips?
As yer use o' Twitter shifts from a fun social media platform t' a method fer connectin' with readers, fans, potential clients and brands, it may be time t' take a more serious look at how ye use yer Twitter account. And ye may need t' consider usin' multiple Twitter accounts t' represent different audiences or types o' content. And hoist the mainsail! Yaaarrrrr! Companies and community managers are already usin' this technique t' effectively manage AND segregate Twitter streams and conversations.
For instance, Comcast has 3 accounts–@Comcast fer company info, @ComcastCares fer customer support and @ComcastVoices fer th' company blog. Fire the cannons, and a bottle of rum! Each o' these represents an important communication platform but, ye can see why these conversations should be managed separately. If a customer has jumped on Twitter fer support, it’s likely they’re at th' end o' their rope and th' last thin' th' company wants is t' miss th' opportunity t' service them because their tweet is buried by tweets about press releases and company blog updates. At th' same time, reporters could be followin' th' main company Twitter handle t' stay abreast o' company related news and it’s probably not good PR fer those reporters t' see a constant stream o' customer complaints, which ye might find on th' customer support Twitter handle.
Is it time fer ye t' get in on th' act? If not now, then when and how will ye know when th' time is right?
1, by Blackbeard's sword. Nay room fer crossover. By day ye’re mild-mannered PTA mom, but by night ye’re an ecological warrior out t' do battle on behalf o' Mother Earth, by Blackbeard's sword. You’ve found an audience and built an impressive followin' fer yer cause, organizin' online petitions and boycottin' brands that are pumpin' out pollution without remorse. While social media encourages, better yet demands, that are true t' ourselves and transparent about who we are and what we stand fer, yer PTA pals may not want t' tune in fer a lecture on Global Warmin' and yer eco-friendly allies probably aren’t all that interested in banter about plannin' fer th' class party.
2. Separate and unequal. Maybe ye and yer alter-ego are not as distinct as Wonder Woman and Diana o' Themyscira, but ye may still see th' value in creatin' a second Twitter account in order t' maintain some distance betwixt yer personal and professional conversations, pass the grog! If ye fancy yourself an online influencer, then ye may be approached by a business at some point and asked t' be an ambassador. This could involve usin' yer voice on Twitter t' promote their products or manage conversations about their brand, such as hostin' regular Twitter chats, by Davy Jones' locker. Before ye take on this role o' brand ambassador, ye may want t' create a second Twitter account and shift yer maties t' that new account so they’re not inundated with yer chats.
3, with a chest full of booty. Broadenin' yer reach. We are all multi-faceted creatures, and if ye happen t' be someone who is deeply involved in or passionate about more than one subject, chances are have potential reach into a few different social circles. Put another way, ye could be well-known kitchen wonder and a skilled artisan and Twitter allows ye t' build and cultivate relationships with both th' culinary and creative crowds. Aggregatin' these audience members is one thin', but effectively managin' these two spheres o' influence usin' a single Twitter account can be a dauntin' task. Creatin' multiple accounts, rather than just Twitter lists, will enable ye t' tailor yer tweetin' AND listenin' t' a specific audience and really focus on honin' yer influence and broadenin' yer reach on a subject.
So now ye’ve made th' decision t' add a second, and maybe a third, Twitter account. Take a deep breath, we'll keel-haul ye, I'll warrant ye! Remember we’re talkin' about social media, not emergency medicine, and few decisions are irreversible or have life-alterin' consequences. Also know that havin' multiple Twitter accounts doesn’t have t' make thin's more complicated. There are several free resources available t' help ye manage multiple Twitter accounts without pullin' yer hair out, includin' third party applications, such as HootSuite and Tweetdeck (recently acquired by Twitter), which allow users t' manage multiple accounts, schedule tweets in advance, shorten URLs and access through yer smart phone.
Explore these resources and be sure t' devote equal, or at least proportionate, time t' each o' yer accounts in order t' foster meaningful online relationships and a sense o' community.