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Twitter practical tip – Mixing business and pleasure

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13 May 2010

Tweeting for your business? You have a personal Twitter account and you’re wondering ‘Should I use that?’

People that run Twitter accounts on behalf of brands often use their own usernames. Or a combination of both, like the pioneering RichardatDell, who was one of the first people worldwide to start using Twitter for his job.

Why do people take the personal approach? It is simply easier to engage with others as another person.

Also, there’s a deep psychological need in most of us to unite our different ‘selves’ if possible. To present to the world all we are. And if you are happy in your work, if your work is an expression of who you are as a person, you’re likely to be more inclined to combine your work and personal Tweets.

Being yourself on Twitter is easy (you don’t have to think too much) and has the added benefit of showing you as a more rounded, more real person.

But what if you move jobs?

Unlike many other online services (email, IM, etc), you can actually change your Twitter username and even your Twitter name. So you can use one account and adjust the name as you move between jobs.

What about the arguments that say you should have more than one Twitter account? One account for your professional and one for your personal life? Perhaps. We all have many different sides to our lives.

Twitter business

At one of our training courses, I met a marketing manager for a cosmetics brand who, in her spare time, ran a Twitter service dispensing sexual advice and tips. For her, having two separate accounts made absolute sense.

Luckily tools like Hootsuite now make it easy to manage many accounts (including Facebook & LinkedIn) at the same time. This is quite handy.

For me, Twitter is a firehose for all I have to say on media, South African politics and everything else. I’m on the wrong end of 30 and rarely do stupidly embarrassing stuff these days, so it’s ok. But still, Hootsuite allows me to direct more personal messages to Facebook, hard core business ones to LinkedIn.


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