“Should I have separate Twitter accounts for personal and professional?” I’m often asked that when I conduct my “CEO of You” personal branding talks. It’s a great question, because there are so many opinions. There’s one camp that says 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 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. I 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. 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. An important aspect of personal branding is giving people a good idea of who you are and what you do. If you have two accounts, which 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; it only clouds your brand. • Transparency. I’ve stressed in many of my talks to students and professionals that 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. 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. The presence of 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 like a stalker. 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 might 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 further in strengthening your personal brand.
Focusing on your personal brand can be very difficult. The more honest you are with yourself and your audience, the better for your brand, and the better for your career as well.
What are your thoughts on multiple Twitter accounts? Let us know in the comments, please. Jason Mollica is the president of JRM Comm, a public relations and social media marketing consultancy. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @JasMollica. A version of this story originally appeared on the his blog.