This is one of the top questions I am asked by my clients. Here are some variations:
Social Media Objectives
Always the most important consideration, you must start at the beginning. Let’s use an example – a software company. Let’s say that this company has 5 different product lines; three of them are well established with strong recognition in the marketplace. But two of these products are new and it’s critical that you bring more attention to its benefits, as well as position your organization as a thought leader in these areas. Of these two product lines, one of them has a “cheerleader,” someone who is quite knowledgeable and loves to share her thoughts. The other product line, while very critical, has a very limited staff at the moment and it’s almost impossible to get their attention for content creation.
Clearly, the group with the thought leader provides the perfect opportunity to create and grow a thriving social media community. There is clear need with associated objectives and with someone at the helm who can serve as a content source.
So how about the group who desperately needs product recognition but has no one who can provide the necessary thought leadership? Here, a decision needs to be made; you can either locate someone in the organization who is at least well-versed in key trends in this area to find and curate content or outsource the content development. If neither of these is an option, you might consider just building content surrounding this group into your corporate Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account.
Key Insight: Do not create social media accounts that you cannot support.
Social Media Content
I already alluded to this above but you really need to let the content, coupled with audience need, drive the decision about how many/which accounts. The reality is that some topics will drive more interest than others. But if you position it correctly – by adding value and not just promoting a product/service – then you will likely find a niche.
It is always challenging to not only locate but also gain buy-in from thought leaders within any company to contribute to content. But keep in mind that if you establish clear objectives, articulate them and put forth a process by which you will gather and publish content, you are much more likely to receive a commitment to content development. If this is challenging for you, I recommend that you read my recent post, How to Make a Blog Happen, in which I discuss how to make content gathering as easy as possible for your stakeholders.
And don’t forget that social media is about publishing both original and curated content; in this way you establish thought leadership for your brand, provide value and build relationships with others.
At the end of the day, though, don’t create social media accounts just because you think you should have them. It’s a lot better to have one Twitter account, for example, with robust content than 4 with sporadic content. If you can only support one corporate account – or if your objectives lead you to one account – then that’s what you should build.
What do you think? What has your experience been with multiple social media accounts? I would love to hear your comments.
Renay M. Picard
The Take Root Marketing Blog is intended as a vehicle to assist and engage with marketers and social media addicts like myself - please share your thoughts, good, bad or otherwise. I'd love to hear from you!