If you use one Twitter account for both personal and professional reasons listen up. There is no reason, with the technology we have at our fingertips, to have just one account. In fact, it can be downright inappropriate.
Let me give you an example: I follow a woman who works in economic development. She is an acquaintance of mine and I follow her because of who she is professionally because it pertains to my job as the editor of a regional magazine. While she tweets about the goings-on in her city in a professional manner, she also tweets about her personal life. And nothing bothers me more.
While I am happy to learn about new businesses moving to the area and community initiatives, I am not interested in hearing about her children, the party she is going to this weekend, or how much she hates it when her friends call her on her cell phone in the middle of the day while she’s at work. These personal tweets are taking away from her professional ones and, honestly, causing me to tune out and “unfollow”.
If she would just have two separate accounts—one to use as a PR tool for the city she works for and one to rant and rave about her personal life—this love/hate relationship I have with her online persona would disappear.
You might think that having more than one Twitter account is annoying—having to always sign in and out of Twitter each time you want to switch. It’s time consuming and annoying. Yeah, I did that for a while too, but then I found something better, something marvelous. That thing is called Seesmic.
Seesmic is one of those applications that helps you manage multiple accounts at once and saves you time doing it.
I manage three different Twitter accounts for the three different magazines my business creates. Becoming overwhelmed with the process of managing them all I sought a way to become more productive. There’s a great article on Mashable published about a year ago citing 25 Twitter apps to manage multiple accounts. I tried out a couple and ended up using Seesmic.
Why Seesmic? Well, it has the cutest little raccoon icon—but that’s not the most important reason. I found it to be the easiest to download and figure out how to use. There’s nothing worse than an application that boasts that it’s going to save you time that takes a manual to figure out how to use. The easier the better for someone as busy as I am.
Here are some others that you might like better:
TweetDeck works for Windows and Mac users. It connects you across many social media sits like Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare, and LinkedIn to name a few.
This is for you Mac users out there who want the same look and feel as OSX. It’s also good if you are interested in Twitter trends, filters, and groups. It looks to me to have a lot of bells and whistles that some people find fascinating.
Another Mac app that has a nice look that wont hurt your eyes. It has a single column view and keyboard shortcuts. And if you’re one of those people who have conversations via Twitter there is a feature called direct message threading. It looks like an instant messaging window with the photo and talk bubbles.
Choosing an application to manage your Twitter accounts really comes down to your preference—what you find appealing. Also, if you have a smartphone (like the iPhone) or an iPad, you’ll want to find an app that works across all the platforms you intend to use it on.
But I beg you—no matter what you use, be sure to use it. The combination of professional and personal posts not only turn your followers off, it’s hurting the brand you are trying to create. There’s nothing wrong with separate – but equal – when it comes to your tweets.
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What you’ve said here is one of the reasons I have two Twitter accounts, and also to separate subject matter so that followers get what they are there for.
I used Seesmic for awhile, and Tweetdeck, but I find Hootsuite to be the best. Not only can I have various twitter accounts that sync with Hootsuite on my iPhone, but I also can add my facebook account and facebook page (professional) and other social media accounts. Great way to manage them all in one place. Not to mention, it allows tweet scheduling which is incredibly helpful for those who cannot be on Twitter all day or even very often. It’s a great program, and in my opinion after using various clients, the best. For Mac users (like myself) you need a program called Fluid to use Hootsuite as a desktop client.
I have multiple Twitter accounts, and though I started using PeopleBrowsr, then like Ashley above, I tried Seesmic and Tweetdeck, only to find Hootsuite to be the best.
Although PeopleBrowsr offers the most features, but because it takes a lot of memory and slows down your computer, you need a really fast, top of the line computer, and my computer is just average.
For somebody with a Core 2, Windows 7, supercomputer, I suggest you at least try out PeopleBrowsr.com and see if you like it. If not, check out Hootsuite.
Hey Ashley! Im a Hootsuite user too. Ive used all the other softwares you mentioned and I agree Hootsuite is the best.
I have to disagree to an extent.
I think that it brings a human touch to the Twitter account, and yes sometimes you don’t want to hear everything and anything, but that’s what Twitter is for.
If you don’t want personal tweets then follow company Twitter accounts.
I’m inclined to agree with Alan here. Frankly, if you’re the type of person who only wants to follow my Twitter feed for professional reasons only, then I suggest you not follow me at all. My personal and professional life are not wholly separate at all times (e.g., when I talk about my kids or the last film I saw in the breakroom or prior to the start of a meeting). This is particularly true if you’re a freelancer.
The notion that our lives are divided in such a military fashion is fallacious, and, honestly, the author sounds like someone I would have no interest following at all.
I agree. Why completely shape oneself for what you think the world wants from you? Each side should make a compromise.
When looking at the people with multiple twitter accounts, this usually involves people that are quite active in social media at large, not just twitter. For that reason, Seesmic and Tweetdeck are probably more appealing, as they also integrate well with Facebook, Linkedin in and Foursquare for instance.
I tried them all, but must say that in regard of user-friendliness, they did not do the trick for me.
Since a few months I use HootSuite, which offers a very pleasant tabbed user interface within your browser window and allows for both targeted and multi-directional postings.
Still, I shift every now and then to other apps that seem to grasp it all… Am happy with HootSuite, only miss the integration of an RSS reader!
You forgot about CoTweet?! Crucial for multiple business twitter accounts, and more importantly, multiple users of those accounts. We’ve been using it for 6 of our twitter accounts, and don’t think we’d be able to live without it.
Oh, also, (trying this out), follow me on twitter @goobimama
Oh I am in love with CoTweet as well, I even wrote about it ( http://t.co/bwJ29bP ). Couldn’t really manage my stuff without it at this point, curious to see what kind of price tag it’s going to have in the future 🙂
Great post. I’m a newbie to twitter and try to figure out how to manage it all. I heard of TweetDeck but not seesmic and the others. I’ll check them all out.
I used HootSuite when updating my social networking accounts. It’s kind of like TweetDeck where you can update Facebook, Twitter, Myspace… but I hear a lot of people like it more than TweetDeck.
I like hootsuite, too, although they just changed to monthly subscription versions for organizations. It’s web-based, which is awesome.
I don’t completely agree on strictly separating personal from business Twitter, or better, I agree that one shouldn’t (or at least I wouldn’t) tweet too much about his personal life and everyday fuss, but giving a human touch to a corporate account is just what makes people engage better with a brand.
I have two accounts, @maidoesimple being my personal one and @esimplestudios being the corporate one of my company, I try to separate the use of them giving to my personal one a more personal touch (without exaggerating since I consider it a work account as well) and giving a human touch also to the corporate one, engaging on different topics on each of them, segmenting my interests a bit to focus more on what my company does.
I think one more “personal” tweet every 10 or so isn’t going to hurt anyone, is it?
And then there was Seesmic Desktop 2… Kind of “Yes, it can do all, is free and plugin extensible…”
This is a great perspective, I two have been using 2 twitter accounts and find that with this strategy I am better able to provide good relevant content to my followers. I also find that I to can follow people more related to the account I am using so I am getting good tweets related to my personal interests and my professional interests.
And if interested follow me
Just wanted to mention Metrotwit, the most sexy twitter app I’ve ever used 🙂
MetroTwit sux and here’s why.
You can’t manage multiple twitter accounts unless you upgrade. FAIL.
If you had control over your own business, you wouldn’t be trying to control other people’s where it’s not your place. Any real professional knows that. You also missed the meaning of the word “social” in this diatribe. I am not on there to get business, although I have had one for 25 yrs, and I swat amateurs like you off twitter like flies.
With an attitude like that, I’d be surprised if you had any followers.
I’ve been pretty happy with Threadsy for a multi-account Twitter/Facebook/Email client.
An acquaintance of mine recently mentioned that he likes a midpoint between the “company” account and the “personal” one. He prefers Twitter accounts that are e.g. BobFromSomeCo. So it still has a personal touch to it, but it’s associated with the company.
Wow, a twitter user for 25 years? That’s from back when tweets were communicated by actual trained parakeets!
Can I just “like” this post?
I’ve been tweeting for fun for a while now, but I have my full name reserved as a twitter name. I was advised the other day that it’s about time I start using it to build my brand, so I’m looking for an app that will let me use multiple accounts.
I use twitter almost entirely from my iphone, so I’ll need to use the one optimized for that.
Since you look like Jesus Chris, I’m going to say it, Jesus Hussein Chris, learn to read. The guy said he has his business for 25+ years, not twitted for 25+ years.
I use multiple Twitter accounts because I cater to two completely different audiences. What started as my personal account has gone nearly all politics, while my business account has stayed business. I do throw in some “personal” tweets, but I choose where I want to send them (generally both accounts) in Seesmic. My target market doesn’t want to hear about my politics.
Even on Facebook, I manage two pages of my own in addition to my profile – one for my business and the other for my political blog.
i think the best way to decide is your opinions of other people who you think are “doing it wrong”.
case in point: someone who tweets on behalf of his audio production company. 80% of tweets are about startup politics and the rest is a little bit about audio. it’s glaringly obvious he needs a second account for his interest in business.
Great post and thanks to Melanie for writing an outline on various Twitter clients. Thanks also to @ashley & @thomas for your comments and advice with regards to Hootsuite. I’ve been using Seesamic and Tweetdeck so far but we’ve not tried Hootsuite yet. Thanks!
Great information. i have several twitter accounts also and was trying to determine to best way to manage them. Thanks for the article.
I’m not too big on twitter but I can appreciate the annoyance. I don’t mix professional with personal on social media sites. Just like the suggestions to simplify the process of separation above, I suggest FB for personal and http://www.studentgenius.com or LinkedIn as professional pages.
how to find out common follower of two twitter profiles. please give some online tools.
I agree with the comment that you’re missing the “social” part if your only tweeting business. I have one account where I tweet 20% business and 80% personal. I like to get to know people and for them to get to know me, otherwise we could just exchange company newsletters.
Seesmic is better, others are too slow / boring / trash
Perfect ! Exactly the kind of post I was looking for.
Thanks for sharing.
Good piece Melanie – and I’m sure you’re not really too bothered by the occasional personal tweet as one or two have suggested in the comments. It’s when the balance changes that it becomes an irritation, and that’s fair enough.
I’m actually looking at starting 3 Twitter accounts – one for my existing freelance career, one for a slightly different hobby/career that I’m pursuing separately, and a third for my personal stuff including politics, philosophy, etc. I think if I attempted to combine any two of those, I would irritate two sets of followers with irrelevant tweets.
And definitely when it comes to matters of politics and religion, it’s best to keep it separate from your career account (unless you’re a politician or a priest, of course!)
For some reason in the new Tweetdeck I cannot find how to switch between the profiles on my PC (dowload – not chrome app). Have hootsuite on my I phone but that crashes when I favourite a post.
Maybe I will have to mix and match – unless I can find out how to add columns for the various twitter accounts (not just default account) to tweetdeck.