The 5 types of corporate Twitter accounts

Should your organization’s Twitter account be all business all the time, or should you create an account for your mascot? This article can help you decide.

Did you know there are five types of Twitter business accounts?

Take a look at the descriptions below. Which one is right for you?

1. All business all the time

In some cases it is appropriate to use Twitter as a broadcast channel. Here’s an example:

IBM has a Twitter account that only broadcasts job openings and career news. This account doesn’t need to engage followers in conversation, and it doesn’t try. IBM has jobs and people want them, so people subscribe to the account. IBM could probably work to build a community, but why? This account is simply a broadcast channel, and that’s OK.

2. Tweeting undercover

Many of the world’s most important brands have teams of tweeters who engage with the public behind the corporate logo. A best practice: Have the tweeters add their initials at the end of each tweet, and have a place where people can learn about the tweeters. This could be a link on the Twitter profile page, or a list of names and initials on the Twitter background.

This allows for real human connection, even in a corporate environment. An example tweet might look like this: Glad to help you @username. Thank you for using our product! – MWS

This is a low-effort, low-risk option to humanize the brand while operating under one brand banner.

3. A blend of personal and corporate

In some cases, especially in customer service, corporate accounts are assigned to individuals.

For example, you might have an account called @ATTSusan or @CiscoJeff. A real person would run these accounts, but the company would own them. When that person moves on, a new person would take on the account.

4. Real people in real time

The best option is to have real people represent your company. For example, my friend Chad Parizman works for HGTV. His profile states: #SocialTV for HGTV & DIY Network. Yankee Fan. Web Analytics Geek.

The ultimate goal for many companies is to have employees serve as brand advocates. Chad clearly identifies himself as an HGTV employee, but he’s free to build connections through his own personality and content. Of course, he knows he is always “on” for HGTV.

5. Fake and fun

A recent trend is to create entertaining Twitter accounts based on fake characters. Coke created a hilarious account based on quips from the company’s long-dead founder. A restaurant in Seattle has an account for its French fries, and GEICO unleashes the company mascot:

A version of this article first appeared on Mark Schaefer’s blog, {grow}.

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