Recently, I’ve been involved in helping a client launch a new Twitter feed. This will be their sixth or seventh account on Twitter, all the previous of which are still active and serving specific functions. The process has sparked several discussions among the team — not for the first time — about a question we’ve all encountered: how many different Twitter feeds should a brand really have?
Unfortunately there is no universally applicable answer. Not only is every brand different, but the answer may differ for the same brand over time. What I can offer is a short list of questions you should ask when determining the ideal number of Twitter feeds for your brand:
Who will be tweeting?
It’s not always safe to assume that the time involved in moderating and posting to one account will scale effectively to multiple feeds, especially if you’re planning to monitor publish on a very different schedule for each. Conversely, if you’re planning on having different staffers manage each feed, you’ll want to consider how closely these people work together. Will you need to build an additional process for knowledge-sharing and ensuring brand consistency across each account? All of these factors will have an impact on the resources needed to maintain an additional Twitter feed.
What will you be tweeting?
Can you clearly articulate the difference in focus, scope, tone and content between each feed? Perhaps more importantly, can your community managers all do the same? Successfully managing multiple Twitter accounts while avoiding miscommunication will require you to delineate very clearly what the content and approach will be for each. What types of content will overlap between two or more feeds, and how do you plan to handle that (syndicating, re-tweeting or adapting)? What criteria and process will you use in cases where a follower starts a conversation with one of your accounts that should be handed off to a different account? These decisions may require more depth, detail and discussion than you have anticipated.
Who will be following you?
It’s important to consider the reasons your audience might benefit from you having several Twitter feeds, and not just your own reasons for having them. Even if all of your feeds are equally interesting and valuable, it’s possible that your followers won’t want to follow more than one of them. Some of the best cases for multiple Twitter feeds can be made for scenarios where the intended audiences for each are very distinct (customers vs. job seekers, for instance). But if you find yourself in a situation where the intended audiences for two of your feeds are nearly identical, you may want to hold off on launching that second account and instead consider expanding the scope of the current one.
These three questions are a great starting point for identifying some of the pros and cons you’ll need to weigh against each other depending on your brand’s situation, but they are by no means an exhaustive list. What are some other considerations you’d suggest for a company wondering if they should expand their Twitter footprint?
Twitter birds image via Scarletbits