Personal Branding: One Twitter Account is Enough

One of the more popular questions I get during my CEO of You personal branding talks is: “Should I have separate Twitter accounts for personal and professional?” It’s a great question because there are so many opinions on this. There’s the camp that states it is absolutely necessary to have both because you do not want to confuse followers about your brand. A recent article on “The Savvy Intern” blog stressed the necessity to have a recreational account for topics that aren’t “on brand.”  Tip of the blog cap to Reganie Smith (@ReganiePR) for sharing the post on Twitter.

managing multiple social accountsI fall into the other camp: I don’t think it is necessary to have two Twitter accounts. On full disclosure, I do have two accounts. One is for my business, JRM Comm; the other is me, @JasMollica. The difference, though, is that I don’t feel it’s essential for staying “on brand” to have a second account for myself. My JRM Comm account is strictly business; my @JasMollica account is a mix of professional and personal. Here are my reasons why you should focus on just one Twitter account.

  • Time- Regardless of whether you know how to use Tweetdeck, HootSuite, or Twitter’s app, it’s not easy to juggle multiple accounts. Focus your time on making your personal account great and show people you are worth the follow.
  • Confusion- One of the more important aspects of personal branding is giving people a good idea of who you are and what you do. If you have two accounts, who should I follow? The real person or the other account that just tweets business/career information? Don’t fall into the trap of being confusing. That only makes your brand clouded.
  • Transparency- I’ve stressed in many of my talks to students and professionals that the need for openness and transparency are essential. To me, multiple Twitter accounts do not help. I want to know who you really are… and so do other pros and potential employers. And, frankly, if you put the more personal tweets on another account, people will still find it.
  • Noise- We’ve all heard folks complain about too many tweets. Two accounts from one person adds to the Twitter noise. We see people tweet the same information, at the same time, from multiple accounts. That adds to the noise. Tweeting information that is valuable to your followers from one account cuts down on noise and confusion, too.
  • Personality- I’m in the camp that wants to see your personal side and that’s not to sound stalkerish. Before I hit follow, I look at what you’ve tweeted about. It gives me -and others- a better idea of who you are and what you do. If you posted something about last night’s hockey game, that’s great. We don’t, however, need to see the posts about beer pong or being hung over.
  • Smarts- Twitter and many other social networks may be free to sign up for, but they all require responsibility. You can make your one Twitter account great by just displaying some smarts. Don’t be so quick to hit that tweet button. Take a moment to consider your audience and your brand. Displaying smarts on your one account will go farther in strengthening your personal brand.

Focusing on your personal brand can be very difficult. The more honest you are with yourself and your audience, is not only great for your brand, it will be great for your career as well.

What are your thoughts on multiple Twitter accounts? Let me know in the comments!

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About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on March 6, 2014, in Branding, Hot Topic, Personal Branding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Completely agreed. All great reasons, and I zeroed in on the “personality” bullet point. When choosing who to do business with, who to work for or hire, we’re not robots programmed only to utter on-brand comments.

    Assuming for the sake of conversation that you know enough not to Tweet questionable photos or inflammatory comments, a single personal Twitter account can help a prospective business contact or employer know more about the whole person.

    I for one am not just my job. I’m a dad, big fan of some movies and TV shows, enjoy editing home videos, consider the beach to be a slice of heaven, and so on. The sum of my parts *is* my brand, and I want to see that in someone else. It makes no difference if I share the interests, tastes, etc.–but it gives me a good clue that someone is well rounded in their own way. A mix of personalities is what makes for a collaborative, successful environment, at least in my humble opinion.

    • Chris,
      Thanks for your comment. I absolutely love this point you made, “The sum of my parts *is* my brand, and I want to see that in someone else.” Home run point and I hope others read that as well!

      Jason

  2. Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen)

    Hi Jason. When I tweeted you about this, I jokingly cc’d my other Twitter account. But I think in general one is sufficient. BUT it’s important to remember that not all employers are even happy that Twitter exists … and even worse if an employee talks about them on it. I’ve seen disciplinary action taken at an organization when an staff person on sick leave wrote a Facebook status that she was working on her side business at home. There are probably a bunch of questions that raises but … I think except for the blurry boundaries that exist between “what’s personal” and “what’s work,” one is fine. I know from having a second account that it’s easy to confuse myself when I favorite a RT of something account number 2 RT’d. Or something like that. :-)

    • Paula,
      You always make great points. I absolutely do see the reason for two accounts for the reason you mention. And I’m sure a smart employer will understand there was a reason for having two, especially in the point you mentioned.
      And I think it also behooves the person to be smart with their one Twitter/FB account.

      Thanks as always for giving your Green Pen approval! :)

  3. Hello and I agree. I have only one Twitter account. I have a heck of a time juggling more than one e-mail account, (one for professional & others for personal).

  4. Reblogged this on imPRez and commented:
    It’s very common to think you can “bypass” the HR guys/gals if you have two accounts, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or some other social media platform. In one of my initial pots I believed I talked about having two Facebook accounts and how that’s simply an “illusion” – SVP of Ruder Finn Emmanuel Tchividjian said that, not me. Internet is very tricky and a “double life” or double profile does not last long without intertwining at some point (may be your fault or a friend/follower in common). Therefore, I would not recommend having two profiles unless you have VERY distinctive uses and you are still YOU.
    Jason Mollica explains why having two Twitter profiles when unnecessary can instead of helping you grow your brand, cloud it and confuse those who follow you.

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