Why Would You Have 50 Twitter Accounts For Your Company?

Twitter is maybe the best niche marketing tool ever invented although that was never the intention of its founders.

You will find that people will follow you on Twitter because your topic is in their area of interest and what you tweet is specific and relevant to that subject whether that be cars, football, digital marketing or social media and thousands of other topics.Why Would Your Company Need 50 Twitter Accounts

Many people and companies have just one Twitter account but they have several vertical markets and tweeting your message to an audience that is interested in another topic just doesn’t get the traction you need for retweets and engagement to really accelerate. So it is worth considering creating several Twitter accounts so you can communicate with focus and relevancy.

Here are some examples of both corporate and personal brands that do approach Twitter this way.

1. Whole Foods

Whole foods have their core Twitter account @wholefoods which currently has 1,850,552 follwers as their main account but they also have 50 other accounts that are in 3 categories that tweet and link to content that is relevant.

  1. Topical – this includes topics such as cheese which is managed by their cheese fanatic and global cheese buyer Cathy Strange under the Twitter handle @WFMCheese with an avid 3,391 cheese addicts as followers.
  2. Geographic region – An example of this is the New York location which has over 15,000 followers at @WholeFoodsnyc
  3. Store centric – The most popular shop Twitter account is the Nashville store under the Twitter name @WFM_Nashville

The strategy does produce a diminishing rate of return per account but it shows a targeted approach that is to be admired and can be emulated that displays the benefits of involving staff across the organisation to get involved with social media and helps keep their brand percolating on the web.

For more on this read Denis Hancocks insightful article “Exploring How Whole Foods Uses Twitter”

2. Guy Kawasaki

Guy @used to work for Apple but has since gone on to work in the Tech industry as a venture capitalist, author and entrepreneur. He is well known as the founder of Alltop which drives traffic on popular topics  that people find of interest and hopefully exclaim “Holy Kaw” (pronounced holy cow) because it is so interesting. He uses Twitter unashamedly to drive traffic to the blog to a variety of niche categories to monetize the traffic. Guy’s personal Twitter following is over 300,000 @GuyKawasaki So what are some of the Twitter accounts that target categories that Alltop has setup to drive traffic that are relevant to their wide ranging topics?

3. Robert Scoble

Robert is a well known tech blogger who used to work for Microsoft where he developed a cult following but has since moved to Rackspace the website hosting company.

What is his take on Twitter? …well here is his response “What is Twitter for? Pimping Your Blog!” … He then adds “Hey, it works for TechCrunch and Mashable, why not you?

So Robert has created multiple Twitter accounts that send out Tweets that are for 4 separate categories

Multiple Twitter accounts can help you monitor, engage and communicate with the appropriate audience that are targeted and audience centric.

Does your brand need a multiple Twitter account strategy and what other Twitter accounts would you create for your brand?

More Resources On Twitter

Image by Creative Tools

Comments

  • http://blog.esimplestudios.com Gabriele Maidecchi

    I think it mainly comes down to having or not the necessary critical mass of users to justify the presence of more than one account.
    Is it useful for a small business? Hardly so, it’ll just dilute the user base.
    The cases you mention are all “big shots”, so I think for them it makes sense.

  • http://womeninbusinessradio.com Michele Price

    Well Gabriele I can disagree politely. Even my company uses more than one account and when I shift forward I will doing more. It helps you to talk to specific audiences. This dialogue went around before (in the early days of twitter) and we had to look at where we were and what made sense.

    Today to gain traction you need to be able to tweet from account that is not talking from too many areas. So for example I tweet about my radio show Women IN Business Radio from @Prosperitygal, yet I see value in having separate account and need to devote using that twitter account to grow the audience with specific tweets to that audience and less from my other brand.

    Great use of brand separation.

    So we thought about dilution before and in reality it allows for better engagement for our consumers to know they are talking to radio show VS me. Now to put it in to more consistent practice (I see intern in the works).

    If I am wanting to find niched info from scoble on video I go to his media account, makes it better use of my time then reading through other tweets that do not pertain to my point of use and reference.

    Learning to be more flexible and experiment allows us to see how it serves us by looking back at data and engagement. Not answer for everyone, yet a good opportunity to see what it delivers.

  • Trevor

    There is no longer the need to have muliple twitter accounts. Our company has developed a system that allows you to segment your information. The product is called Pulse. Pulse is a communications sytem that facilitates more effective messaging between brands and consumers through facebook, twitter, email, SMS and RSS.  
    Brands make information available and give consumers choice and control over what they receive and where they receive it.  
    By sending only relevant information through relevant channels, Pulse increases effectiveness, engagement and response to communications through email, social media and mobile.

  • Trevor

    I forgot to post the link for more information regarding big time Pulse. http://bigtimedesign.ca/pulse

  • http://twitter.com/StrategicGuru Strategic Guru

    It makes sense for larger companies with diverse product offerings and range of buyers/users. But for a mom-and-pop or medium sized business, I agree that it’s likely unnecessary.

  • http://www.healthyatuhg.com/ Heather Polivka

    Jeff – appreciated your post and it helped my team understand why we use a number of twitter accounts to connect with different groups of people!

  • http://twitter.com/deb_lavoy deb louison lavoy

    I agree with Michele – one of the points about social is that you’re making the barriers between the customer and the company more permeable. If there’s only one account, then you’re making it harder for employees to engage with people. One account for official announcements, perhaps. Others to allow for engagement.

  • Anonymous

    Great post!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/DanOnBranding Dan Gershenson

    I understand the concept of having more than one, but I think it can potentially dilute the brand overall. You’re talking about the “top of the top” names on Twitter that can afford to employ this strategy, but it may be more challenging to develop meaningful relationships across multiple accounts when your base is much smaller. This is particularly so when there’s a number of people who haven’t tweeted in over 30 days, bots and other assorted folks who are “following” you who aren’t really following you. Guy Kawasaki can afford to have those kinds of people and be spread across many accounts but the average person really can’t.

  • Guest

    When we started up on Twitter, our biggest question was if our Twitter account should be in the voice of the brand or of the spokes character we have. We looked into brands that had the same situation (i.e. Progressive and M&Ms) and in the end we decided to have our Twitter account be in the brands voice and to have our character pop in now and then and sign his tweets when it is him. We figured this would be the best way to handle our consumer response comments and questions.

    We opted to not do separate accounts because we didn’t want to split up the fans we had / had yet to receive. We also didn’t have a large following at the time, and figured it would be best to focus on building up one community rather than focusing on building two being that it would take more time and effort to write and create content for both accounts… meaning spending more money.

    Having two accounts in the future is not out of the question though. We will revisit the idea once we have a large enough following on our first account and if we feel our character is recognizable by consumers. I like to follow the idea, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” You have to strategize what makes the most sense for your brand/ client.

    Thanks for the post.

  • http://twitter.com/GABIWINKS Gabi (Gesch) Winkels

    When we started up on Twitter, our biggest question was if our Twitter account should be in the voice of the brand or of the spokes character we have. We looked into brands that had the same situation (i.e. Progressive and M&Ms) and in the end we decided to have our Twitter account be in the brands voice and to have our character pop in now and then and sign his tweets when it is him. We figured this would be the best way to handle our consumer response comments and questions.

    We opted to not do separate accounts because we didn’t want to split up the fans we had / had yet to receive. We also didn’t have a large following at the time, and figured it would be best to focus on building up one community rather than focusing on building two being that it would take more time and effort to write and create content for both accounts… meaning spending more money.

    Having two accounts in the future is not out of the question though. We will revisit the idea once we have a large enough following on our first account and if we feel our character is recognizable by consumers. I like to follow the idea, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” You have to strategize what makes the most sense for your brand/ client.

    Thanks for the post.