Do multiple social media accounts help or hinder your audience reach?
June 12, 2014: Creating multiple online personalities has become a must for many brands. For brands that have huge followings and multiple causes and cultures, to have just one account on a social media platform would cause confusing messages, the need for constant updating , the clogging of feeds, and an overwhelming job for a social media coordinator.
Unlike websites, where content can be easily and logically divided into meaningful sections (for example, into “articles,” “news,” and “about” areas), social media channels don’t naturally lend themselves to such segmentation. The solution is to create a different account, and many brands have done exactly this; in fact, according to a survey done by Mashable, 63% of the world’s top brands have multiple Twitter accounts.
Starbucks Coffee Company is a great example of a company that has successfully segmented its business into multiple social media outposts. The company maintains quite a few Twitter handles: @Starbucks, @StarbucksNews, @starbucksgold (for reward card holders), @StarbucksJobs, and even a handle for its popular Frappuccino drink (@frappuccino). While the brand’s main Twitter handle (@Starbucks) allows them to broadcast general information, the smaller and more specific handles let the brand share information that only some fans may be interested in, such as careers or specials on their favorite drink. This kind of segmentation allows fans to pick and choose the news presented on their home feeds.
There are, of course, negatives to splitting your brand’s online personalities. Many users may not appreciate having to follow multiple accounts from the same brand unless they gain something from the added effort. Here are a few tips to follow when considering splitting:
Do you have the numbers? “Numbers” refer to two different sets of numbers: your follower count and the number of people on your team. If you don’t have a large number of followers, splitting may make your online presence look even more feeble. Do you have a social media team? If you only have one person wearing many hats, will this person be able to manage even more feeds? (Probably not.)
Does you brand have multiple audiences? Maybe you can reach difference demographics, or different parts of the world that your company is based in. Perhaps you produce multiple products/ services that warrant different types of social posts. For example, Coca- Cola created new Twitter handles to interact with Coke Zero and Diet Coke fans.
Will multiple accounts confuse your audience? If your new handle doesn’t match the values, appearance, and general “personality” of your core brand, then maybe it’s not a good idea to split. While you may be trying to reach a new audience, your brand needs to have one cohesive message that syncs among your handles.
Do your customers gain from another account? If your multiple accounts can offer promotions, information, or opportunities that your main account can’t provide, then splitting could be the solution. For example, if you receive requests for job postings regularly, you could create a “Careers” handle that posts jobs at your company.
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