Twitter: Multiple Personality Management (without medication)

Multiple Twitter accounts…how do you manage them? It can bite you in the ass-a-rooney if you’re not careful. People often ask me how I manage my own account alongside those I run for my clients.

Do you ever tweet something from the wrong account?

Oh yes…yes, I have. Oh. My. God. Delete, DELEEEEEETE!

Do you ever reveal the companies you’re tweeting for?

No. Unless I’m being paid to be myself (see @DearRedhead), then it’s zipped lips till the grave.

There are some tricks I’ve learned over the past few years when it comes to “ghost tweeting” and best practices for managing multiple personalities without going the lithium route. I hope you find them of use and additionally, if you have any tips of your own you’d like to share – chime in! My readers would love to hear about them…as would I. Enjoy the following tips, blunders, and best practices for keeping your Twitter personalities out of the looney bin.

Twitter Tip #1: Full Disclosure

When managing multiple Twitter accounts, I’ve found it best to adopt a full disclosure policy to my clients. It includes the following details:

  • I actively manage more than just your account.
  • While there is tremendous benefit to that for each of my clients, information will ever be shared between accounts if it compromises the brand values and integrity of your account.
  • I do not disclose the companies for whom I “ghost tweet.”
  • My own personalities on Twitter (@DearRedhead and @RedheadWriting) are uncensored and often contain adult language and content. When using those accounts to share your company’s content, it will be done with integrity and with protection of your brand in mind.

If you’re simply using your personal account to pimp your client’s cyber ride, it’s douchy. Really, really douchy. If a client decides to not retain my services because my personal accounts’ collective tones, we probably weren’t a good fit anywhoo…ease on down the road.

Twitter Tip #2: Keep it Separated

I have personally found HootSuite to be my favorite multiple Twitter account management tool thus far. After having several “OH MY GOD!” moments with Seesmic and doing a lot of laundry from the pant crapping that ensued, here’s why I like HootSuite:

  • Scheduling Tweets: For client accounts, I can schedule tweets to broadcast while I am in meetings or working on other projects.
  • Idiot-Proof: It does kickass things like ask me “Do you really want to do that NOW?” It also reminds you to select an account to tweet from (ensuring I click the right damn one, thankyouverymuch).
  • Built-in URL Shortener & Link Tracking: You can drop links into the toolbar and it shortens them to an ow.ly link. HOWEVER, here are some cool and not-so-cool things about that feature:
    • HootSuite’s reporting only tracks click traffic on links shortened using ow.ly
    • When you use ow.ly links, you lose SEO juice. This is important if you’re trying to drive traffic to a client’s site or even your own.
    • Thus, I use ow.ly/HootSuite trackable links for links I’m sharing to sites other than my own or my clients. I use bit.ly for links to client blogs, their websites, and my sites as bit.ly redirects and still gives SEO juice. Bit.ly has it’s own tracking software and you can even install a widget on your toolbar to shorten from any website and tweet directly from the Twitter account of your choice.
  • Web-based Platform: Seesmic and Tweetdeck, while I do love their interfaces, are big ass memory hogs. HootSuite is web-based and doesn’t kill the speed of my already slow-ass Windows OS. We won’t discuss my dreams of Mac ownership at this juncture.
  • Reporting: I provide my clients with very comprehensive monthly reporting. HootSuite provides attractive and detailed reporting with fully customizable date and time ranges and allows you to drill-down on a tweet by tweet level if you’re into that. The customizable time range is a pretty killer feature, especially if you’re tracking a particular initiative.

There is no worse feeling (for me, at least) then having sent an f-bomb laden tweet from the worst account possible: the WRONG ONE. If anyone has experiences with other multiple account management tools, I’d love to hear your perspective.

Twitter Tip #3: Don’t Forget to Communicate

Successful brands on Twitter are built via communication, not broadcasting. This means that you can’t just push news and links and forget why your clients are having you manage their accounts in the first place. Nothing pisses me off more than when I’m trying to communicate with a brand on Twitter and come to realize it’s an unmonitored account.

Stop. Read. Listen. It’s great to be able to schedule tweets to go out while you’re in a meeting, but if you don’t remember to go back and check your feeds and be a human being, you’re going to do your clients more harm than good.

Twitter Tip #4: Don’t Forget to Purge

Your job when managing a Twitter account for a client is to help that brand become a trusted presence. An authority in their space. And most of all, a human being with a personality and sense of ethics. Unless you’re @DearRedhead, you’re not looking for a collection of adult film stars and pornbots in your follower lists. @DearRedhead doesn’t care – she’s a sex advice columnist on an adult toy review website.

Review your client account follower lists at LEAST once a week. Before I follow brands on Twitter, I troll through their follower lists. If I see a bunch of crap, it tells me that they’re more interested than numbers than communication. Help keep your clients from the same stigma by actively managing followers on every account under your control.

***

Managing multiple accounts on Twitter doesn’t have to be a headache but it’s not a task to take lightly. Just like you shouldn’t friend your boss on Facebook, you should also understand the value of separating your personal brand from those of your clients. As well, understanding how to co-mingle those brands and how to do it without being a retweet-bot douchebag. I’d love to hear from any of you out there who manage multiple accounts and how YOU keep it separated without medication. While some days are easier than others, I have yet to require medication for my multiple accounts.


3 comments
The Redhead
The Redhead

Holy crap - I can't believe my response to you never posted. HootSuite is the schiz when it comes to managing multiple online personalities across FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and FB Fan Pages as well!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Holy crap - I can't believe my response to you never posted. HootSuite is the schiz when it comes to managing multiple online personalities across FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and FB Fan Pages as well!

MikeMac
MikeMac

Hey RHW - any intel on an app that serves as a dashboard for multiple Twitter, FB and Gmail accounts?TX - MM

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