One brand, one social media account.
That should be the goal – right? After all, you don’t want to have to force your audience to follow a bunch of separate accounts to get them the information you’d like to provide.
But what if, for whatever reason, that’s just not possible? Sometimes, setting up a separate social media account will not only be necessary – it will actually make you better able to organize your content and reach the people that matter to your brand.
Here are three times when it makes sense to divide up your social media accounts:
When you are communicating in two different languages
This is one that I’m sure many of us (or at least those of us in a country like Canada) have come across before. In regions where a brand is trying to reach audiences who predominantly speak more than one language, it just makes sense to separate out your social media accounts into those different languages.
A common example: Many Government of Canada departments (Health Canada’s English and French language accounts for example) operate separate Twitter accounts for English- and French-language speakers. That allows their audiences to choose the language they use the most (or even just prefer to use) for engaging with them.
Separate social media accounts by language won’t always be necessary. Brands usually have just one account on LinkedIn for example, while others prefer to send out separate tweets with the same information in different languages from the same account.
But in most cases simply creating separate social media accounts for each language is the way to go.
When you have a significant separate campaign
Most campaigns aren’t big enough to warrant a separate social media account. But occasionally something comes along that’s significant enough to warrant setting something else up.
That’s what the Canadian Internet Registration Authority – a not-for-profit organization that exists to support Canada’s internet community – did with its presence on Twitter. It has a main Twitter account, @CIRAnews, which discusses policies and other larger concerns about Canada’s internet.
But one of its main goals, as the manager of the .CA internet domain, is to encourage people to sign up for .ca websites.
That’s why it also @dotCAvoice, which provides content about website management, development and creation – all with an eye towards encouraging Canadians to sign up for a .CA instead of a .COM.
When you want to separate out your customer service responses
For certain organizations – such as consumer service providers and retailers – customer service is a significant part of the brand. In some cases, it’s so important that it requires its own separate social media account.
Separate customer service accounts provide a few advantages:
- They move complaints to a separate channel where they can do less damage to the overall brand and where users expect customer service discussions to be taking place.
- They allow social managers to engage in discussions with less-than-happy consumers without drawing as much attention to it.
- They free up the main brand account to focus on awareness and other goals.
That frees up its main account, @Xbox, to focus on brand-building.
Operating separate social media accounts can be a pain. But sometimes it’s the best way for connecting with your audience.
Use this guide to determine when setting up a separate social media account is right for your brand.
Mark Brownlee is a digital marketing strategist in Ottawa, Canada.