As we know, Twitter is an incredibly powerful platform and enables businesses and individuals to build strong relationships with customers and peers. I, too, find that Twitter has been incredibly powerful for me to connect with real life colleagues, readers of Techipedia, family, and everyone in between.
I consider my current @tamar network, though, either quite knowledgeable or clueless and inactive (as in the case of my family — I still love them but they’re not the target audience for my Twitter account, which is rather social-media focused). I’m not sure there’s much “in-between.”
I’m also something of a Twitter purist. My only questionable tweets are actually about business projects (yes, I am NameCheap’s new marketing consultant as Michelle Greer moves onto bigger and better things). I try to limit the types of tweets that I send and keep them professional or relevant to my audience. However, there are times when I actually want to step outside my shell and assume the other parts of my identity I don’t often display under the @tamar persona.
Enter a second Twitter account. In this account, one of several “secondary” accounts I maintain, I actually utilize Twitter retweets on a fairly consistent basis, share informative tidbits, and let my hair down a little more. I tweet more frequently too, using HootSuite (my favorite Twitter application by far) to schedule tweets down the road. I promote good content. I promote new people. I promote friends. I even enter contests. I’m a little more free in terms of my approach. Since I’m a bit more reserved as @tamar, I can easily say that I have a little more fun.
I won’t be providing the username of this Twitter account here, nor can you find it under a search for Tamar Weinberg. My point for keeping it separate is to leave my regular network and to build up relationships with people who would otherwise not know me by @tamar. With Twitter being so incredibly large and vast, there are different types of mini-communities. Call them cliques if you will. Many don’t overlap. Taking advantage of those has been a great opportunity for me.
There are good reasons why you should consider a less focused approach, perhaps by letting it all hang out and being more casual.
New eyeballs based on a less-than-laser focus
I started my secondary Twitter account completely from scratch. I did not tell anyone about it. That was the point. I didn’t want the same network to be following me, nor did I follow the same people I normally would follow. I wanted to potentially reach people who would otherwise not know who I was.
Takeaways: When you’re a new Twitter business account trying to build up followers and fans, you might want to be a bit inventive to find new prospective customers. Using multiple accounts is a good way to do that. In your primary account, you might want to strictly use it to empower your customers and share business opportunities. This account might be more on the conservative side (like my use of @tamar), offering only professional tweets and a sprinkle of personal tweets (or none at all). In another secondary account, you can attempt to vary your Tweets with a broader reach, highlighting other related non-competitive businesses and information that may be relevant to your business goals. Some prospective followers might have an interest in the primary account; others might have an interest in the secondary account. People who might not even find your primary account might stumble upon your secondary account and vice versa. Have a broader presence via multiple accounts can help extend your reach. Better yet, having multiple employees at your company engage in Twitter can also help further your company goals. It’s why Zappos is always the big Twitter brand awareness case study.
Networking opportunities based on growing out a secondary persona
One of the biggest questions I face in my consulting role is the question on whether to combine business and pleasure on Twitter. (The answer for that is: “it depends.”) The @tamar Twitter account is my personal brand and what I love to do above all else, but it’s business account with just a bit of personal stuff. Having a second account lets me branch out even further to other potential followers without ostracizing my current followers who have come to expect 1-2 daily tweets related to social media. Having a second account lets me network with like-minded individuals who are interested in different things outside the standard “social media” persona (but even so, I still do tweet about social media).
Takeaways: Give people the opportunity to learn about the other facets of your business personality. As a business, you might be incredibly involved in a big charity project, but if you tweeted about that all the time on one account, you might lose potential followers on that account. You may opt to dedicate another account to talk about side projects and other opportunities.
As an example, if you’re a business who predominantly focuses on IT infrastructure solutions but recently was involved in a tremendous Thanksgiving initiative through your local food bank, you certainly are within your right (and should) tell people about it. You might use the primary account to talk introduce the initaitve but you might opt to be more specific and provide more frequent updates in a secondary account. People looking to follow your involvement in the Thanksgiving charity effort might choose to follow the secondary account. At the same time, people might discover you as a business through that secondary account — and they may be your biggest fans or champions.
How does this relate to real life marketing?
A good marketer knows that marketing outside your network is important. Building secondary and tertiary networks is a good way to maximize your exposure and to get additional eyeballs to your service offerings and products. It’s not enough to be insular and focus on your groups of friends. You may find people who are surfing outside your social circle who might be potentially interested in your products. Sometimes it’s most effective to venture outside your cocoon. At business networking events, try to get to know people outside your group of trusted colleagues. You never know who you might meet.
What’s the catch?
This strategy of trying multiple accounts won’t work for everyone. There are a few obstacles you will face if you engage in this tactic, but they’re nothing too difficult to address.
- The issue of time. It’s hard enough to manage one Twitter account, so how could you possibly handle a second one? Scheduling relevant Tweets in advance should help take the burden off of your shoulders. For your secondary account, though, don’t spend a significant chunk of your time building that account. Devoting a mere 15-30 minutes every day to keep the content fresh and engaging should be sufficient. Always focus on your primary account. The second account is intended to be a lower priority but one that you should still not neglect.
- Ghost writing. You may have all your eggs in one basket — your primary Twitter account — and that’s just fine. Some people might not be able to assume a “secondary personality” on a second account. You don’t really have to “ghost write” at all. Just try not to have this secondary account mirror the first one. Your goal should be to capture more eyeballs by varying your tweets across more than one account.
- Transparency. You might also ask, “if this secondary account represents a company, how should I identify myself in the interest of being transparent?” The answer is: “do what makes you comfortable, and be transparent if it feels right!” If you represent a business, you probably want to make it known. If not, then it’s your call. My personal desire not to associate my second account with “Tamar Weinberg” is simply a personal choice as the account doesn’t represent anything but a mishmash of thoughts and ideas. I think that your goals should be clear, though.
- How do I get more followers? You can build followers to these accounts through Twitter tools such as Tweet Spinner. Using varied keyword targeting lists per username might be a good idea; that way, you’re likely to get a diverse following.
If you want to test out other personas (one where you can be more “human” versus one that is “strictly business”), you might find a lot of success with this strategy of assuming different identities and branching out to find prospective customers using varied methods. Just don’t tell people where and how to find you. Let new prospects find you organically based on your messages and reap the rewards.