I came across a company recently that was excited about getting launching itself into Twitter; so excited, in fact, that it talked about having multiple Twitter accounts: one for corporate activity and others for products and services.
My advice was this was ill-advised because it would dilute its efforts by splitting activity between different accounts. Instead, I recommend the company focused on a single account out of the gate, and then roll out new accounts once it had gained some traction and got some experience in using Twitter.
On the surface, this seemed like a good recommendation. But was it the right advice? We are talking about a major company with lots of products and millions of customers. Despite its inexperience with Twitter and social media, the company does deal with a variety of audiences that could be served from multiple Twitter accounts.
My reluctance to suggest a multi-pronged approach was mostly due to the lack of available resources. The last thing I wanted to see was the company blast out with several Twitter accounts, only to see its efforts fail due to poor content or a lack of activity and engagement.
It does raise the question about how many Twitter accounts a company should or could have. Dell, for example, has more than 80 Twitter accounts. The big issue is there are enough audiences to justify multiple Twitter accounts and, as important, the resources available to support them.
At the end of the day, having multiple Twitter accounts can work as long as each account serves a specific purpose. For example, it may make sense to have a corporate account, an account for specific products, and an account for customer service. And, of course, you need people to power these accounts.
That said, most companies should probably walk before they run on Twitter by starting with a single account. It gives a company with first-hand experience on what’s involved, the content it should be providing, and the audiences it wants to serve.
Armed with this knowledge, a company can then determine whether having another account makes sense, and what audiences it needs to serve next.
(Mark Evans is director of communications for Sysomos Inc.)