Posted on May 14, 2012 ยท Posted in Social Media

When I first started my Twitter account 3 or 4 years ago I was excited to start tweeting and interacting. I had no real plans for my account and my early tweets consisted of rants and usual early 20’s recaps of drinking, celebrity encounters and pop culture reactionary word vomit.

Maybe three months in I started to ask myself whether I should continue to tweet an eclectic mix of industry news and views along with rants, one-liners and references to the night before or whether I needed to censor myself.

So I started looking at similar people in SEO / online marketing and discovered that people in my industry fell into one of four groups each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

A. They protected their tweets
B. They just tweeted @ messages and industry news with an occasional reference to their outside life
C. They had multiple accounts to distinguish personal and business
D. They had a balance similar to mine of industry / outside life / commentary

Protecting Your Tweets
Pros: Protection from the general public, you feel like you’re able to speak freely, lots of control over who sees your tweets
Cons: People can still take screenshots if you bad mouth a competitor or say something really inappropriate, harder to build authority and become an influencer

Industry Content Only
Pros: Easier to build authority, relationships with other marketers while staying on message, lends itself to community interactions
Cons: Hard to see any personality, followers get a constant stream of banal minutiae

Multiple accounts
Pros: Gives users an option of whether they want to follow your company or the person behind it, ability to tailor content and interactions to followers of individual accounts
Cons: Tweets may be broadcast from the wrong account, additional management time

Balanced Approach
Pros: Ability to be eclectic, manage personal and professional interactions from one account
Cons: People may not want to hear about your night out, people who follow you for a specific reason may be turned off (especially if you tend to go on tangents)

This is by no means a comprehensive list of pros and cons or a definitive study of online interaction but hopefully this will help you figure out where you want to be and how you want to market yourself online.