Social Media Question: Should I Create a Separate Account for X?
Oct 31 2014
This is a common social media question, especially for businesses trying to bring their strategy to life.
People often ask me, should I create a separate social media account for X purpose?
Maybe it is for each department. Maybe for each brand. Maybe for a different audience. For example, non-profits may want different social media accounts for their donors/volunteers vs. the audience they service. A company may want different social media accounts for recruiting vs. marketing.
There isn’t one answer to this question.
Considerations when creating multiple social media accounts:
Is the audience different: If the audience is very different you may want to create a different account. Different audiences may be best reached with different messages.
Is the message different: If the audience is different, but the message is the same, you may not need a second account. Multiple accounts all posting the same thing isn’t necessarily the best use of time and resources. Consider if the message you would share is really all that different.
Is there a customer need: If you already have one account think about your customers, not your organization. Many businesses are organized into silos (like banks for example) but that doesn’t mean that customers perceive your organization that way. For example, my bank has different marketing teams for business banking vs. personal banking but to me, they are just a bank. I wouldn’t think to search for the bank business banking, I would just search for the bank.
Is the focus audience large enough to generate positive ROI: If you are reaching a very specific group with sub-accounts, you want to make sure that the audience is large enough to get results. For example, if you recruit 1 person a month, it may not make sense to put effort into a recruiting account for your social media presence.
Are you already successful with what you have: You don’t want to be learning on multiple accounts at once. You should already be running a main account that is successful before you branch off. Build success and best practices with one account before you even think about adding new accounts.
Do you have the resources: 1 well managed account is better than 5 poorly managed accounts. Ignored accounts can make your organization look bad. While there is a lot of enthusiasm for accounts, the question is really one of resources. Do you have the resources?
My Best Advice:
Not knowing a specific situation, it is difficult to give advice. My initial answer would be “It depends”.
The answer is that if you aren’t running 1 social account well, you will probably run 2 worse. If you are kicking-butt on your primary account and notice a customer driven need for something more/different, you may want to consider creating additional accounts that are more specific. Most big brands started with one account, and once they learned best practices and were getting results, they used their learnings to create additional accounts.
Start with the customer and evaluate your resources.