Twitter Strategy with Multiple Accounts to Build a Competitve Advantage in Social Media

Photo Credit - Life in LDN

Photo Credit - Life in LDN

About a year ago, corporate leaders were asking “Should Twitter be a key part of my Social Media strategy?”  Management struggled to understand how the medium could help fulfill business objectives and therefore didn’t implement a successful program.  Expert bloggers like Chris Brogan helped create a tipping point for companies by pointing out all the different ways a company could use Twitter to further its business objectives.

Currently, having a well-run Twitter account is moving from strategic advantage to competitive necessity.  From Comcast’s customer service to Dell Outlet’s profitable sales channel, Twitter is proving that it is graduating from fad to tool.

Strategic Competitive Advantage Comes From Multiple Twitter Accounts

Most industries now have multiple competitors on Twitter battling it out for followers and share of mind.  This is great…until we remember that competitive strategy teaches us that more players means less value captured by any individual firm.  So how can you differentiate yourselves from competitors?

Having multiple Twitter accounts allows a company to create a strategic advantage in the following 4 ways:

  1. Improved focus on business objectives
  2. Develop employee skills and talent
  3. Test and refine multiple Social Media strategies
  4. More effectively attract the attention of a specific audience

Improved Focus on Business Objectives

The most important benefit to a company is the improved ability to accomplish multiple business objectives through better focus.  We’ve seen Twitter prove its value across a variety of business functions, but with one account serving many purposes, it’s hard successfully achieve results.

Consider the following 4 areas where Twitter has provided business benefit:

Many companies try to accomplish all the objectives of these business functions across one account.  Imagine if your boss asked you to do the job of 4 functions…something would have to give!  Stretching a single resource across all these functions will likely dilute your content and prevent you from reaching your objectives.

Develop Employee Skills and Talent

Developing employee talent and skills through “learning by doing” is an often overlooked, yet extremely critical benefit from using multiple Twitter accounts.  Many  companies have multiple employees tweeting, which is great…but this can be expanded even further by taking it across the organization.  Multiple people writing multiple tweets across multiple functions.

Social Media should not be confined to Marketing, Strategy, or Communications.  Train employees on Twitter and allow them to Tweet on their own to give them first-hand experience of how the medium works.

Test and Refine Multiple Social Media Strategies

A strategy is simply a well-thought out approach to a business problem.  The thing about strategy is that it needs to change the minute that execution becomes reality.  The best strategic organizations are ones that test a strategy in the real world, study the results, and then refine and revise it.  Learn, Fix, Apply.

Having accounts focused on specific and defined strategies allows a company to better assess the efforts and make adjustments based on real-world execution.  With just one account testing multiple strategies, results can be skewed by the multiple variables involved.  Additionally, if you need to make a change, it’s hard to do so without affecting other components of the strategy.

Attract the Attention of a Specific Audience Segment

Twitter uses the follower system to allow users to share with people that have the same interests.  If you’re using Twitter for customer service, you likely have a base of followers who are already customers of your product.  Providing recruiting content to your loyal and committed customers is likely to annoy them.  Best to separate the two and allow users to follow as many or as few as they wish.

3 Responses to “Twitter Strategy with Multiple Accounts to Build a Competitve Advantage in Social Media”

  1. Brad Shorr - July 28, 2009

    Very interesting post. One thing that makes Twitter a challenging medium for writers is that it requires versatility. Although I agree wholeheartedly that a Twitter identity should have a clear focus, mixing up Tweets seems to attract a greater number of engaged followers than hammering away on one type of Tweet.

  2. benphoster - July 29, 2009

    @Brad = Agreed. That's one of the great things about the URL shorteners is that you can test how mixing up the Tweets is actually working in terms of tweets and number of followers gained.

  3. benphoster - July 29, 2009

    @Brad = Agreed. That's one of the great things about the URL shorteners is that you can test how mixing up the Tweets is actually working in terms of tweets and number of followers gained.

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