Why You Should Have a Secondary Twitter Account

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.

Update: A good friend of mine, Mark Drapeau, writes his feelings behind his secondary Twitter account here.

99 Comments

  • Joel Hughes says:

    Hi Tamar,
    that’s a great, thought provoking article. Thanks for posting.

    I’ve got two twitter accounts for very much the same reasons (@joel_hughes me, @jojet my company) however, I’ve not been as good as you as segregating where I spend my time. I’ve tended to “live” more in @joel_hughes which now gives a mish mash of social media, location based thoughts, cutting edge web tweets and a bit of personality.

    I have been thinking that I do need to shift some of the business topics back into @jojet and allow @joel_hughes to be a bit more free ranging.

    Interestingly, unlike you, I’m not too bothered about people knowing about these multiple accounts. It almost provides them with “channels” they can switch in (http://j.mp/n882U). Indeed I mention it on the Twitter background (for those who get to see that)

    Joel

  • Thanks for writing, Joel :)

    I don’t mind that people know about my multiple public accounts (e.g. @techipedia or @tamarweinberg, the latter of which I recently secured but still don’t know what to do with), but there are some other accounts that I use for a variety of purposes that I don’t necessarily want associated with my personal brand.

    I’m not saying they’re bad accounts at all, but perhaps the only fault I have in maintaining these accounts is that they’re a little less (or more, depending on who you ask) engaging than the public persona of @tamar that you’re used to seeing.

  • MoneyEnergy says:

    Good to hear this perspective. It would be interesting to know how you keep track of all these accounts and their passwords, emails, etc. I suppose it’s simple enough to just write it all down on one page, but it seems it would be hard to attend to them all equally, etc.

  • It’s just like maintaining the passwords to any other accounts, really. HootSuite puts all the accounts in one single interface (you can do the same with TweetDeck and Seesmic, I believe), but in terms of passwords, I usually use KeePass to store them with other relevant account information.

  • Ken Nicholas says:

    Hey Tamar,
    Your point makes total sense to me, and it’s the same conclusion I came to a couple of months back, as I have a Left Brain/Right Brain thing about me. One side writes [also] about Sales/Social Media, the other about music. After a while, they weren’t working in the same account. Then it just became: how do I manage this? I settled on Seesmic, which is pretty good.

    Of course, this blows people out, having two, for people that don’t even GET Twitter yet, but that’s a different post! Thanks, Ken

  • Saurav Rimal says:

    Interesting post.

    I have two twitter accounts currently one for business purpose and one for personal purpose.

    I have one question in regards to product promotion in Twitter.

    Some people create different profiles in regards to their key phrase/s (product names) do you think doing this will help reaching your targeted audience for the certain key phrases quicker than having one account which targets all of the keyphrases.

    I am a new starter – still learning and studying social media so any help would be great.

  • Kris says:

    What you’re saying makes perfect sense. In the “real” non-online world, we have different social circles that never or rarely intersect. We may be slightly different versions of ourself when with each of these different groups.

    So I think it only makes sense to find a way to separate our online social circles. I’ve done this too.

    Great article!

  • Michael D says:

    I like the idea of multiple personas. I registered the twitter profile for my last name quite some time ago but I haven’t been using it much until recently. My primary twitter account gets lots of followers from the chiropractic field, but they get confused when I’m talking SEO all the time. I created an additional account for people in that group. While it’s not as easy to maintain multiple accounts, I like having the options. Not doing much automation, mostly just added accounts to tweetdeck and use the one that’s most appropriate for the topic being tweeted.

    • Yup, you’re the perfect example for this, Michael. I’d get bored of your chiropractic tweets ;) but that’s kind of how I know you… which is a great story in and of itself.

  • Ken, very good point! I guess it works for those us immersed in the Twitter culture! :)

    Saurav, I think there’s no “one size fits all” answer for anything Twitter-related, really. The best recommendation I have for you is to just test and test again. I know it’s a time sink, but nobody said it was easy.

    Based on what I’ve written so far, though, I think you should try both: one account which targets all the key phrases, and another account that is more specific to one key phrase. Based on the engagement/followings you build across the accounts, you’ll see which one performs better. Then, focus your energy on the main account but don’t neglect the second account either.

    • Saurav Rimal says:

      Yeah that’s what I was looking to do, when one performs better I would concentrate on that account more than the second account and if I have time then why not make sure the second performs the same as the first.

      Thank you.

  • Daniel says:

    I will admit to owning six twitter accounts. I’m not recommending this approach, but this is what I did:

    1. Create multiple blogs based on multiple personal professional interests
    2. Create a unique twitter account for each blog
    3. Talk to my niche audience about stuff that they’re obviously interested in because they followed a topical Twitter profile.

    Topical profiles are what I’d call the new norm. I ran a sports site until just recently, and I LOVED to talk sports from that Twitter account. I refused to tweet more than once a day about sports on my @danielthepoet account, simply because most of my connections there are marketers or tech-obsessed folks (i.e. not so much sports fans).

    I do regret the fact that I can’t seem to tweet anything I want about any topic I want from one account without annoying a handful of people. But the truth is, I’ve always had more followers on my sports account than my personal because people know EXACTLY what they’re getting there. Sports!

    I have another account that is faith-based. My tech-friends seem to be mostly agnostic liberals, and my views – though wonderful once you hear them in detail :) – would cost me a solid fourth at least of my current followers. And that’s a shame, you know? I’m not just a business person. My #1 mistake was not creating a business blog and using THAT to connect with all the ORM, SEO, PPC, and SMM folks out there. I DO own one for ORM, but I’ve left it as a news feed.

    I am both bothered and intrigued by the tension of holistic vs. topical Twitter profiles. If you start off holistic, you have to accept the bad with the good, and know that some people who would care about a few of your thoughts/ideas will NOT encounter them because they are not willing to endure the majority of stuff they would call “fluff.”

    I feel like I need the following accounts just to express myself to my own satisfaction:

    1. Personal – family, random thoughts, humor, culture
    2. Business – link sharing and networking
    3. Sports – latest trades, rumors, and opinions
    4. Faith – God, prayers, struggles, encouragements

    I could “probably” get by with those four. And as much as I tweet, I have to seriously consider whether it’s worth being wholly me or diversifying and slicing up the Daniel pie.

    • Interesting, Daniel. Your approach makes a ton of sense, and your justification explains that well.

      I think a holistic approach can work for some, but at the same time, it’s a big turnoff for others (more often than not). It depends on why you’re following someone though.

      Let me use a good example that’s relevant to me: Facebook. On Facebook about a week ago, I wrote this:

      Facebook, to me, is others’ Twitters. I actually care about the answer to “What are you doing?” or “What’s happening?” here. On Twitter, not so much. Not always, at least.

      Perhaps it’s because I joined Twitter for “business” versus using Facebook for “family and friends” (see this post), but yeah, until I know you on a more personal basis, I’m not concerned about whether you had a turkey wrap for lunch or if you bought a bottle of water at your airport for $7.00.

      The reason why I bring this up is that I think it depends on WHY someone joins Twitter. Are they joining Twitter to connect with friends or to connect with marketers or customers? Once you can figure out these answers, you can figure out how best to use the network and your accounts.

      • Daniel says:

        This is why only a select group of people every Reply to me. When I joined Twitter back in May of ’07, no one I knew in person was using Twitter. I started following people who wrote or commented on the SEO blogs to develop my own Twitter community.

        Within a year, I got sick of talking business and posting links. It’s just not me. Communicating and getting to know people is WAY more important to me than impressing anyone or becoming known as an expert resource.

        As I made the switch, I lost some followers (and probably would’ve lost a lot more if some people weren’t afraid of offending by unfollowing).

        Here’s what I really want out of Twitter:

        1. To know people in my industry, but to talk about real life, humorous stuff
        2. To know other interesting people outside of my industry who share interesting details about themselves
        3. All the tech and search news I could possibly want through other people’s tweets
        4. To occasionally answer people’s questions and help them solve problems

        My Twitter is most people’s Facebook. Except I don’t talk as much with old school acquaintances because, honestly, most of them are boring. I want the level of familiarity Facebook typically brings with the tech savvy and quick witted types of people who use Twitter.

        That’s me in a nutshell. I think. At least for today.

        • I like your tweets, Daniel. That’s why you’re a person who rocks.

          Your tweets are thought provoking too. I’ve even replied to you one of my other personas!

          I also like your approach. It’s why I follow you on the list I pay more attention to lately ;)

  • Daniel says:

    The hard part is, I don’t actually care enough about talking business to operate a distinct Twitter account for that purpose. I want the links you guys share, but I don’t want you following me because you think I’ll talk interactive marketing.

    • Good point as well. It’s kind of why sometimes it’s hard to tweet on behalf of a company as a consultant. You can “engage” but you may not have much to talk about unless you’re immersed in their culture and understand it.

      So what do you do? You talk about other things around the people you want to influence. It’s difficult though!

  • Hello Tamar:
    I recently learned about your work thru an article that was translated into spanish and posted on http://bit.ly/1cPXQN about Facebook etiquette tips. I am new to the Facebook and Twitter phenomena and I decided after reading your article to follow your advice when requesting a friend on Facebook, so far I have been very successful with having high profile personalities accept my “friend request” thanks to your advice.
    On Facebook I am doing well in creating a network of family, old and new friends, peers and people I admire.
    On Twitter it is a bit more difficult for me. What advise can you give me on this? So far I only have one Twitter account and I would like to keep it that way. I use @miguelangeljuan to talk about my art form and my experience while doing humanitarian work abroad. I have good people that follow me but I get a lot of followers that I consider “spam” (Dating services, travel sites, ect.) How can I make my Twitter network grow with real followers and not “spam”?
    By the way; You have a big following among the Spanish community, your articles are translated and used by professionals daily, Thank you for your work!

    Miguel Angel Juan Llavat

  • Miguel, that’s very cool. Thanks for sharing :)

    I think that the best advice I can give is to engage with the people you’re interested in hearing about. I see your Tweets and they’re mostly broadcasts. Start conversing with the people you want to have follow you, and do it consistently.

    I personally don’t follow many on my Twitter account, but the people who I actually *want* to hear from are added to a list I check regularly. That’s just one way that works for me.

    I’m not sure what your goals are or the types of followers you’re aiming for, but I really do like Tweet Spinner for growing a following. Still, though, it requires a lot of work on your part to actually mingle with others and network with them.

    Good luck!

  • zane aveton says:

    Tamar, I love this perspective on the second name…I have several for various reasons…which didn’t include your suggests, so I love it.

    Also, loved the girls in the orange uniforms picture so much that I almost didn’t continue to scroll down and read the rest. Just being honest..and because now I want one of those cute outfits. :)

    Zane

  • Suzanne Vara says:

    Tamar

    I tried the 2nd twitter account and abandoned ship after a few days. I did it all wrong, just all wrong. I was still me. I had it for my NY METS buddies as we tend to have conversations that are lengthy which interferes with my twitter stream for biz but it was still me.

    The way that you and also Daniel are doing it is the right way and it makes the most sense. I can be the sports fan and while my closer friends know it is me the rest the twittersphere does not. that is what is important here. Will people care if I tweet under my @SuzanneVara about sport – no it it shows I have other interests but when I am carrying on and on for 3 hrs that is a bit much.

    Great insight here as to how to properly manage 2 accounts effectively.

    Thanks Tamar

    • It’s not a bad thing to revive your secondary account only when it’s needed — so hey, if it works for you during the baseball season or even when the Mets are playing, by all means, use it then. In your case, though, you don’t necessarily need to use it all the time. You only need to use it when you want to have lengthier conversations. It’s hard to do that on Twitter so your usage makes sense.

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Tamar,

    I’m trying to see if you can create two Twitter accounts under one email address. Do you or any of your readers know how to do this? With so many accounts, log ins and passwords, it starts to get a little too complicated sometimes. I’m always looking to streamline as much as possible.

    Thanks,
    Melissa

    If any knows you can reply to me @lunaserena

  • Ken Wohl says:

    Tamar, another great article and idea. At the end you mention how you should try and grow the secondary account more organically. I think there is SO MUCH value in people learning that process.

    So many times we get caught up trying to build our business account purely from a business standpoint. We spend so much time trying to strategically add the right people, strategically RT and Mention the influential people, and constantly building our follower base. All of that is perfectly find but there’s a lot of value in learning how to grow an account purely organic.

    I suggest people take their second accounts and follow only the people that truly interest them. Don’t worry so much about them following you back. Just follow them because you like what they Tweet. I also suggest people just let their account evolve naturally and organically like you said. Watch the beauty of twitter unfold on its own.

    I think people will learn a lot from running a secondary account that they actually will be able to implement into their business accounts. Changing perspectives and removing yourself from tunnel vision will open up many doors.

  • This is interesting, guess I struggle with the reference you make to “stepping out of your shell” and taking on another “persona”, I’d sure like to have a better understanding of your perspective of different “personas” as it doesn’t feel “authentic” to me.

    I am not suggesting that you aren’t “authentic” just that I struggle with the concept of carrying multiple “personas” and remaining authentic at the same time.

    Perhaps, multiple personas are just not something for me.
    What am I missing?

    What do others think & feel about this topic?

    • Greg, good comments. I think that’s what part of the discussion in the comments had touched upon.

      I’m totally authentic on these other accounts, but the difference is that I’ve set up the expectations on my @tamar account to deliver social media and small business news, whereas on my other accounts, I can talk about other interests (e.g. religion, friends, and even promote clients more freely). It’s not an issue of authenticity; it’s an issue of not wanting to ostracize followers who have come to a single account because they want certain news. Like Daniel mentions, we’re varied people and have varied interests. For some people, it’s hard to merge that persona in one single account without ostracizing people.

      I hope that makes sense.

      • Joel Hughes says:

        Hi Greg,
        perhaps if you change the word “personas” to “topics” it would help a bit more?

        You can be EXACTLY the same personality but you use a different Twitter account to talk on a different topic area…because you know that your audiences needs are different.

        I totally agree with Tamar that authenticity is the key

        Joel

        p.s. great article & great comments!

  • That totally helps, thanks for that clarification, I was previously unable to think past the “persona” puzzle.

  • Robert L says:

    Interesting idea – I have seen people doing this but some just spam out the same rubbish on each account. If you are going to do it then be unique on each account.

    • Very good point, and I should have had that in the article. That’s exactly what I do — if you’re going to assume another “persona,” there’s no point in mirroring the content across accounts.

      That said, typically no two people follow the same exact accounts, so I can see why spamming the same content (only when/where appropriate) makes sense — but at the same time, you still should be unique most of the time.

  • TimD says:

    Excellent article – I’d always considered the reasons against splitting personal and work…

    Funny thing is, now you’re going to have about 13 thousand people try to figure out your other account!

    (CC: from Buzz comment)

  • I have three Twitter accounts, simply because there are two activities I want to keep totally separate from my main @amabaie account. The problem is that it gets a lot to maintain, and I often find that one or the other gets ignored.

  • Danny Wong says:

    I agree that you need to have separate identities. It’s the same as having a professional face and a casual face. You need some separation. You’re professional with one account, casual with the other. You’re professional at work, casual at home and when you’re out with friends. You can’t try to be everything at once. It just doesn’t work out that way, and it causes a lot of confusion.

  • Hello, Tamar!

    Very interesting and useful view! Let me know if you ever have any questions on Seesmic apps and happy to stay in contact!

    Thanks,
    Alexandra

    • Hi Alexandra :)

      Actually, I’m a big fan of Seesmic for Windows. I have two Twitter clients (HootSuite and Seesmic) open simultaneously. But for managing multiple accounts, especially to *schedule* tweets, I use HootSuite.

      I like Seesmic for Windows, but coming from Seesmic Desktop, there are some kinks (which I expressed months ago on the Seesmic Forum powered by UserVoice) that need to be worked out, such as the ability to copy and paste and the fact that Seesmic for Windows doesn’t have sounds. I also don’t know if a new version of Seesmic for Windows has been released (so far, only one version has been released to my knowledge — it doesn’t seem that the app automatically checks for updates?) so I normally download the same app again and again and reinstall it in hopes that these issues are resolved. Why isn’t the version number somewhere on the website?

      Also, there’s one huge bug that I experienced a few times. I’ve occasionally typed “d username” to send a DM and decided not to DM them. But it’s “registered” in your system, so the next tweet I send gets DM’d to the first person! If I clear the status box, this shouldn’t happen. But it does.

      That said, I’d love to see more consistent updates with Seesmic to keep the faith, and as you can tell, I use it pretty regularly. However, for the purposes of multiple account management, especially for clients, I use HootSuite. Seesmic for Windows isn’t bad, but it’s just not the ideal solution for me in this regard.

  • Hello, Tamar!

    We are working on updating Seesmic Windows and it will address a number of features that all Seesmic users have pointed out.

    Regarding any issue that you have with the application, you can mail me on alexandra[at]seesmic[dot]com and I’ll be happy to help out.

    So, please, stay close to us and when the update is released, we’d really like to hear your feedback!

    Thanks,
    Alexandra

  • Kimmy says:

    I know people use Twitter and Facebook pages for marketing and networking, but it comes a point that it seems every new follower has something they are selling, books, online courses, self help, cds. I am an IT recruiter, and you have just convinced me to post my job openings on a new twitter, not related to my personal twitter. I hate spam, and don’t want to be accused of it.

  • Tamar this is great blog post and you are a terrific writer. Funny enough I have a secondary account waiting in the wings that is going to have a more profressional tone to it. I started building my brand on Twitter while I was taking a long sabbatical and I think much of what I have built my primary account on is that free, human, anything goes kind of tweeting. I am however going back into a more corporate role now and I want to have a second Twitter account to reflect my thoughts there. I feel like it is a completely different part of me and that it would not necessarily appeal to my followers. So thanks for reaffirming my decision to do so!
    Perri @bethebutterfly

  • Kimmy – yup, you’d be surprised at how interested some people will be in the recruitment tweets versus everything else. I’m learning this too as I go along. :)

    Perri – you bet, anytime!

  • Funny Kimmy! The corporate position I was mentioning in my comment is Executive Search! I think there is a lot you can speak about as a recruiter without just sending out job postings. Interviewing tips, motivational quotes etc – you can create a mix. People really come to us for advice and guidance so I think there is a way to create a great brand for yourself around that. What is your twitter handle? I’d love to connect with you there :) Cheers Perri

  • Perri, thanks for the HUGE smile! I love helping build bridges for members of the community :)

  • Great post; I was glad to see someone else acknowledging how it’s actually OK to divide one’s personal and professional personas. I’ve had two Twitter accounts for over a year now. While my personal one is not “secret” per se, and even has the same avatar/photo as my professional one, I find it much more useful to compartmentalize, both for following others and being followed. I just don’t care to have extended dialogs about my kids, for example, amidst all my tweets about IT business practices.

    You didn’t really cover it, but I think this extends to Facebook. I don’t do work stuff via Facebook; it doesn’t make sense to me to extend my private life to employees, employers, vendors, casual business acquaintances. This stance has, on one occasion, elicited the amusing comment (from a 20-something) that they then promptly assume I have something to hide!

  • This is a very interesting idea. I have different e-mails for business and personal, and different blogs and websites. Why not a twitter account?
    very thought provoking!
    Thanks, Justin

  • Jason ON says:

    I found myself in this situation a few weeks ago and started a second account. My primary was connected to FB and I found I didn’t like my FB feed scrolling as fast as I twittered. So I reserved the original for things I didn’t mind my FB friends knowing and began another for random thoughts, quotes, more business/professional based type tweets. But I found, I didn’t care for having two; I barely used the second and having a moderately good amount of followers on the primary I wanted to make sure they got all the good news or the things I found of interest. Of course, I don’t “converse” on Twitter, I was never a fan of chat rooms or instant messaging and never really used IIRC (which is basically what Twitter is, for mainstream users). I re-tweet occasionally and reply upon occasion — call me a bad Twitter user but I put my message out there and you can either follow, read or not. It doesn’t matter to me.

    I am a fan of Buzz although it does need some tweaking and like the more personal manner of it: longer posts, pictures, videos, integrated blogs, etc.

    • Yup, that’s the catch. It might be easier, but it also might be harder. :)

      Either way, the thing about Twitter that’s great is that you don’t have to be ALWAYS engaged. Therefore, a secondary stagnant account isn’t a bad thing.

  • Harry Hoover says:

    Excellent piece, Tamar. I’ve done the same thing. I built the @MyCreativeTeam Twitter account initially but felt somewhat constrained to be fairly businesslike for the company brand. So, I split my persona and developed another account. I, too, have kept that one relatively off the radar a a means of building a unique following there.

  • natasha musa says:

    Hi Tamar,

    Really good article. I also have two twitter account as well. One which is more personal to meet new friends through my book review blogging activity. The other is an account which I’ve just created as a professional account to highlight my opinions on marketing and social media. I know some people who are comfortable in having one twitter account to combine the two but I wasn’t too comfortable. Anyway, thanks for the useful tips on how to manage the accounts. Hope to read more great articles from you.
    Natasha

    • Yup, Natasha, that’s the exact reason why I opted to do this. It’s an easy way to align with people who are interested in one part of you versus the whole picture, which usually doesn’t suit *everyone* (as much as we’d love for them to!)

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Paul Gailey says:

    It´s a fascinating dilemma and one that becomes even more vexed when, like me you have biz/personal accounts and also tweet bilingually to different language/cultures.

    I personally find it more rewarding to see a non biz side of people on twitter but i try to limit the casual tweets to more out of hours periods inline with natural activity offline. That is to say that tweets late at night and weekends are less pure biz like which tends to match the mood of my stream at that time.

    As to the language, I find most people are OK with mixing multiple languages if they know beforehand and not all tweets are repeated in each language with their translation. If they want a more personal side they can receive that in other channels such as FB where a judicious use of lists allows for granular separation of biz v family life.

    • That’s a really good point, Paul. The language issue is a confusing one. There are some people I follow who tweet in foreign languages, and while some like me might unfollow, I just watch. But that’s odd. Clearly these are *usually* individuals who cater to two entirely different groups. Shouldn’t they have two accounts?

      • Paul Gailey says:

        I discarded the notion of separate accounts for each language as i already split myself into biz/company, plus 7 more for clients and I´m not an octupus. Many bilingual peers (but not all) have similar and I do mix up tweets in languages. I note more people at least on twitter are bilingual to some degree or accepting of it as they tend to be open minded souls (dare I say ´liberal´ in the correct sense?).

        The enforced brevity of 140 chars makes you naturally select meaningful words anyway. I will typically @ reply in the language of the person and I do aim at using keywords that are also easily international. Language in web marketing is also somewhat fuzzy at least in Iberian Spanish with lots of anglicisms and shared acronyms.

  • Multiple twitter accounts just make sense. I started using twitter under a pseudonym/nick-name, then a business name (@deepr_creative) but really I use @DarrinSearancke for the majority of my tweets. I may occasionally use bad language/grammar/humor but it represents me – not my business. And that’s very liberating. On the other hand – my business account is factual, representative of the design/web industry and contains many relevant re-tweets. With any luck this provides some information and tips for my followers, current & potential clients. As for my personal account – I have made some very good friends (locally) whom I socialize with regularly – at (Sushi) Tweet-ups of course – via @twushi !

    • Yup! That’s my point. @tamar is kind of the “perfect schoolgirl” but I don’t have to be like that all the time. The humor/language on my secondary accounts are vastly different. It’s fun to play that role!

      Thanks for commenting, Darrin!

  • Tsegaye says:

    I really like the comments that support on having second Twitter account. My first account is on technology/social media tools which is in my 9-5 shop but I have other topics I’d like to dive into, let’s say fashion, art, travel and finance. Although this secondary topics are not part of my job but would like to get and share related resources on the topics. Do you think that I need more than two twitter accounts? What’s the best way to incorporate my world of topics into my twitter portfolio? may be a blog site and two twitter accounts combination?

    Would like to hear your comments.
    Thanks, Tsegaye

    • That’s a good question, and one that I say you should experiment with. Let’s just say this: I have more than two accounts. I think that you can try things out, but keep in mind two considerations:

      * How are your tweets received by your followers? At the end of the day, it’s what you’re comfortable with, but you might want to know about this just to tweak based on “feedback.”
      * How comfortable are you regularly maintaining these two accounts? That might be the deal breaker right there.

      I hope that helps a bit. The great thing is that there’s no right or wrong way to use Twitter. Just do what you’re comfortable with. :)

      • Tsegaye says:

        Thank you Tamar.

        The two approaches you described are essential. I am comfortable in managing two twitter accounts. I may start with this: The first one for only for biz (technology/social media etc.) and the second one, I may flow variety of topics and more personal things into the tweet garden whether people follow me or not on the second one.

  • Tamar,

    I think your article was great. I have multiple twitter accounts, five at last count. I do have to admit my main one, @sethgoldstein, is my primary and I tweet from it almost exclusively. My other accounts are for side projects and my business. They do in fact have different communities and follower.

    One thing I’m not into and it’s not passing judgement on you, is posing not as myself on social media. To be honest if you (the universal you) are not comfortable saying stuff as yourself maybe you shouldn’t say it at all. Things have a weird way of coming back to bite you in the butt even if you think you completely covered your tracks. But like I said it’s you’re own prerogative and it’s an ongoing debate with the Internet since the beginning.

    I do believe in having separate accounts for separate uses though. One is for my online social media blog (like mashable only better lol, j/k) @a2sm another one is for my business @goldsteinmedia and one is for the @phillytweetup. another one is more or less for posting networking events and isn’t used much and I have a few others that I just have… to well… have.

    Anyhow, great article. Love your book too btw.

    • Thanks Seth for your thoughts :) I think that it really depends on what you’re doing and what you’re saying. For example, I don’t really tweet much about my kid under my @tamar account, but let’s say hypothetically that I dedicated a more parent-focused Twitter feed. I think that would make more sense to tweet under my other persona rather than @tamar, since people come to follow @tamar for my business/social media insights. Changing focus is kind of wrong and misleading for my followers.

      People ask me to RT lots of things, and I’m even pitched for paid tweets every so often, but unless the content fits my audience, even if there was a high dollar amount on that retweet, I decline. I’ve done it many times.

      At the end of the day, I care about the community I’ve grown. I’m not about to shift gears. I’m assuming that others feel the same way. As far as biting me in the butt, I guess I don’t have to worry about that since I’m not uncomfortable sharing the content on the other feeds, but I just don’t want to go on a “tangent” under @tamar unless I have to.

      Hope that makes sense. :)

  • Fabricio says:

    It’s interesting… As stupid as it may sound it reminds me when I was a kid and my mom used to take me to cut my hair at her hairdresser on Mondays since that was the day he only cut hair to men (hey.. I was only 10). One day the place was full; the age of these clients ranged in the 30’s. Nothing was really bothering my mom (her being the only woman); it seemed a good crowd at this fancy salon but as respectful as these men tried to be the conversations and comments that filled the room were more casual and loose; not as reserved as when his clients were women. He was the same man, same hairdresser, same talent but his clients were different. Having this dedicated day was maybe an element that added to his success and a good tactic to interact accordingly with everyone.

  • Sascha says:

    The cool thing about your articles – and please don’t get me wrong, you’re doing a great job – are quite often the interesting and different comments (and your responses, of course). I really like reading through the comments. Some cool guys hang out over here ;-) But enough compliments :)

    In order to add something topic related. I do have multiple twitter accounts (and I used co-tweet for a while but somehow I’m not a huge fan of web based applications. but when thinking about it really would make sense to go back to hootsuite or sth. similar again. would save a lot of time) and experienced the following:

    my private account is stuck somewhere around 520 followers. depends on the mood i’m in. when talking a lot of SEO or Social Media (or even Sports) I usually gain followers, when talking a lot about what pisses me of (sorry for that ;-)) I usually lose some of the SEO folks but gain a few who like what I’m saying. Those mentioned last usually tend to be more loyal.

    On topic related twitter accounts I found it quite easy to gain a larger audience. For example an account tweeting about information about the canary islands reached quite fast a reasonable amount of followers. So did the SEO account, etc… so I think accounts focused on a niche make perfect sense but, as mentioned before by Daniel, don’t bring a lot of fun in terms of ‘you should follow me because of what i am and not because I am tweeting links, trending topics or whatever..’ – the guy (kawasaki) style ;-)

    I think a start for a good approach might be to not take things to personal. 140 characters might be enough to tell the world what you’re doing, but they are not enough to show the world who you are.

    Now I totally screwed up the comment I prepared – so to come back to where we started: great post! ;-)

    • Hi Sascha, thanks for the comment :) Techipedia has a great community! I’m happy you joined us.

      I have to admit, I took unfollowing pretty personal at first when Twitter was new. However, you’re absolutely right that you shouldn’t. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some, but you just can’t please everyone.

  • Ched says:

    Having multiple Twitter accounts is a lot of work, and I’m one of those delinquent Twitter users who really don’t enjoy it so much, but I’m afraid to admit that it has become as necessary as it is powerful. It can save on a lot of time and energy if you harness it well.

    Although I’m not a big fan of microblogging, I will admit that it has becoming more and more useful as the pace of technology and business becomes faster. I read this article about microblogging http://budurl.com/jqey, and although it has not made a fan out of me, it has opened my eyes to its wonders. It’s worth taking the time to understand.

    • I think microblogging has its benefits – you really can connect with people easily. The Dunbar number will always probably still hover around 150, but you can still connect with so many people very quickly. :)

  • Sonik Porwal says:

    Tamar,

    Agree with you on the need for two Twitter Accounts. I use my primary account (@IndianDiabetics) to educate people on Diabetes and precautions and reserach associated with it.
    My followers on this group definitely would not be interested in my political or societal views. And hence two accounts and been trying to manage them. While Primary account is specific to a topic, I am able to manage it with a set invetory of posts and the second is more on current affairs and hence is more spontaneous.

  • Hi Tamar,

    Just wanting to point out the photo of the traffic trails is mine – while I don’t have a problem with non-commercial use of my stuff, I do expect to be credited when it’s used (as per the requirements of the creative commons license – “attribution” means you should state that i own the copyright and give a reasonable method that i can be contacted (eg a link to the flickr page / my website) – could you update the photo accordingly?

    thanks,
    Rick.

    • Hey Rick – I quickly approved this because that’s a REALLY good point. Normally I link to the Flickr photo (as I’m sure you’ve seen in this article) but I switched over to a CDN and I’m not sure if that ate up the Flickr attribution but I’ll fix that right away! Sorry about that!

  • Lisa Key says:

    I would like to open a separate Twitter account. How do you do this? Tx

  • whfordham says:

    I am trying to open a second Twitter account but Twitter wont let me.
    I’ve tried it from a second e.mail address (same computer) but Twitter just recognises the original address and says I’m not allowed.

    Any ideas ?

    Thanks. whfordham

  • John Furness says:

    @Tamar, not sure if this will be useful to you or not about two Twitter accounts but thought I would share a handy tip for anyone using Gmail.

    I only use one email account, but needed to have two Twitters (one for personal use and another unrelated one for my business). Gmail allows you to have as many variations of your email as you like, as long as the words are the same. So, you can use things like “[email protected]” and “[email protected]” on Twitter as they are seen as being the same. Similarly, you can also change the domain to @googlemail.com and it works too. Hope it helps!

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