3 Reasons You Should Use Separate Twitter Accounts

Tech columnist Hajj Flemings answers the new-age question of whether or not employees should have more than one social media account

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Nowadays, it’s rare you’ll see press outlets or media moguls without a call-to-action message urging loyal clients and prospective business partners to follow them on Twitter. It’s even commonplace to find individual Twitter handles in bylines and presentations, as well as on business cards and conference websites. With more employees merging their personal and professional identities online, it is important for workers to ensure they’re making the right decision when it comes to engaging on social media. You might ask: Why would one want to separate his/her personal and business accounts on Twitter? For starters, if you’re expected to serve as a corporate ambassador using a branded Twitter account, then you might want to consider having an alternate account.

Corporate ambassadors balance representing an organization and their own identity. Like corporate ambassadors, most of the U.S. workforce wears two hats— on one hand, representing a company in some capacity and on the other, managing their personal brand. Corporate Twitter accounts are owned and managed by businesses and corporations. If your job requires you to upkeep a co-branded corporate profile, you have specific obligations, which include posting company-related content to that account.  These accounts can be pure branded or co-branded corporate accounts like @BlackEnterprise, @Dell, @Nike and @RichardatDell. Professional/personal branded Twitter accounts are owned and managed by you. I’d advise anyone who joins the Twitterverse to setup a personal branded account, even if you’re responsible for generating content for a corporate branded Twitter account.

A professional/personal Twitter account is owned and managed by you.  Each person that’s decided to be active on Twitter should have a personal branded account even if you are responsible for generating content for a corporate branded Twitter account. Take a look at @RohitBhargava and @ScottMonty ‘s profiles for strong examples.

With lines being blurred far too many times than people would like to admit, here are 3 reasons corporate and personal Twitter accounts should remain separate:

Establishing your digital footprint is important: “Owning your identity” is a misnomer.  On social networks like Twitter, individuals and companies are renting space. They do not own the social network they are posting content to.  To counter that, you want to secure the vanity—customized URL—to begin establishing your digital footprint.  If your Twitter identity is only linked to a corporate account that you manage, but don’t own, you are building social capital for someone else’s brand, not your own.

Your Twitter account needs to be portable: My recommendation is that you should have your own http://twitter.com/yourname (@yourname) Twitter handle so that your Twitter account is portable, and it will move with you when you change jobs or career paths. Remember:  Change is inevitable.

You want to build your network before you need it: Twitter has a very strong and vibrant business community. It is a great platform to build a geographically diverse network of business connections.

Regardless of whether you’re posting personal or corporate content, you are the same person, so make sure you are consistent and don’t undermine your professional growth or opportunities because of poor judgment. Making personal statements or posting contents after business hours can still impact your job so it is important to silo your personal and corporate content.

Let me know how you manage your corporate and personal presence on Twitter in the comment section.

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