The Answer to Setting up Multiple Social Media Profiles

Multiple hatsYou’re a complex person with a diverse set of skills, hobbies, likes and dislikes and friends. You’re a salesperson who’s also sports fanatic with a love of gardening.  You’re a marketing professional with strong political views and a love of cooking and great food. You’re an office assistant trying to break into the music business with your band. How do you showcase all these sides of your life on social media? Should you have more than one Facebook or Twitter profile? Should you set up separate LinkedIn profiles for the different business aspects of your life?

Here’s what I recommend, and in some cases, what’s permitted by the terms of service for these platforms.

Multiple Profiles on Facebook?

No. Setting up more than one personal account is against Facebook’s terms of service and, if they catch you, they could shut down both your accounts AND any pages associated with them. Why? A personal profile is what  you get when you register for Facebook with your email address. It allows you access to pages you manage. It’s how you connect with family and friends, share your personal brand, likes and interests, family photos, and like the brand and celebrity pages you enjoy. The data around likes, interests, and the authenticity of the personal profile is Facebook’s most valuable asset.  Multiple profiles defeat the purpose and confuse the data.

Multiple Profiles on Twitter?

Yes.  You can be as many different people on Twitter as you’d like. If you want to keep your personal feed of sports jokes, political views and television shows separate from your business profile there is nothing in the Twitter terms of service that says otherwise. Think carefully though. If you’ve put your name in some way on both accounts, the odds are that people are going to find both if they search for you, thus linking the two “yous” together anyway. If you’re really serious about using Twitter as a business tool, remember that both online personas will reflect on your personal brand.

Multiple Profiles on LinkedIn?

No. It is clear in LinkedIn’s User Agreement that multiple profiles are a misuse of the service. If anyone turns you in or if LinkedIn finds your multiple accounts they can suspend the service, or at the very least force you to pick one account to use in the future. LinkedIn is meant to be a place to showcase your professional self. This isn’t the place for your love of cooking, unless you’re a chef, of your love of baseball unless you play second base. This is the place to offer up your professional self and network with other professionals. If you wear multiple hats, use the skills, experience and specialties sections to showcase all your different talents. It’s possible to have more than one current employment listed, so use that feature to highlight your current diverse roles.

Multiple Profiles on Google +

Yes. This one is tricky. Each time you sign up for Google you automatically get a YouTube channel and a Google Plus profile as part of the service. You can have multiple Google accounts, but understand that Google plus IS Google. It’s the backbone of its personalization features.  The benefits of a Google Plus account include improved search engine ranking for articles you publish, the ability to show your profile alongside your published articles using authorship markup and different circles of contacts for targeted marketing. If you’re using Google Authorship for improved search results make sure your profile is clearly you, with a real name and a good headshot. Any other accounts should not confuse your audience. Martin Shervington explains Google Plus for Marketing clearly in this podcast. If you are using multiple Google accounts, here’s advice on how to switch between Google accounts easily.

Multiple Profiles on Instagram

Yes. Just like Twitter, it’s possible to have multiple profiles on this image sharing platform if you want to keep your hobbies and interests separated. Since this is a mobile phone app, doing so can be clunky and time consuming. Think this strategy through before deciding to move ahead. There are some apps that can making managing multiple platforms easier, as this blog from Digital Trends outlines, but rest assured it will be a bit unwieldy.

Bottom Line

Multiple personalities? The answer varies depending on the platform. Before setting up and populating multiple profiles on any account I recommend checking the terms of service to make sure you aren’t violating any user agreements. I’d hate to see all your work building connections and content go down the drain. I’d also recommend thinking through how this will support your overall personal brand and business goals. If the bottom line is if you’re worried that something you might post could hurt your business reputation, perhaps you should consider not posting it rather than hoping no one will connect the dots to the other you.

How are you handling your diverse talents on social media? Let me know in the comments, tweet me @suereynolds or post it on my brand page on Facebook, where I share my thoughts on social media marketing.

 

Four Tips for a Successful Trade Show (Hint: Use Social Media)

Awesome Trade ShowIt is a social media world out there, but it’s also important to make connections IRL (In Real Life). For many, handshakes and eye contact are necessary for building trust and creating a strong client base. Trade Shows are one of the best ways to network and create relationships in person, and are still a critical part of a successful B2B or B2C marketing campaign. Trade shows give you the chance to market your products to the vendors and consumers who can truly make a difference to your bottom line. Trade shows that include a social media plan can spread that relationship building from real life to digital. If you’re planning to attend a trade show, here are four things to keep in mind.

Network

Most exhibitors focus on marketing to the attendees of a trade show, but don’t forget to network with the other vendors as well. Does the business owner in the booth next to you have shelf space in his shop that you can use at a discount? Does the person behind you have a complimentary product? Can you partner together for referrals? Arrive early, set up your booth quickly, and network with the other exhibitors before the crowds arrive.

Pay Attention to the Booth Experience

Forbes narrows down a successful performance at a trade show to one thing: the booth. You will be surrounded by booths that are full of interactive, multimedia equipment and expensive furnishings. However, you don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to compete with these flashy displays. A portable banner stand displays your logo and a business description to anyone who walks by your booth. These stands are an effective and professional alternative to more expensive designs.

Entice attendees to cross the threshold with giveaways or fun activities in your booth. Once you have them, make sure that you keep them. You need your most articulate sales team on hand, as they are just as critical as having the right decorations. Your sales team needs to simultaneously convince every single person who enters your booth that they need your product while also appearing low key and not pushy.

Find the Right Show

Virtually anyone can put on a trade show. Before handing your hard earned money over to a random show producer, investigate the options. Is the show affiliated with a professional organization? What was last year’s attendance? How will the show benefit you? If the show producer can’t answer those questions satisfactorily, you shouldn’t buy a booth.

Use Social Media Strategically

Trade shows may be as old school as an ancient marketplace, but there’s no reason to ignore modern technology while you are there. Business marketing analyst Scott Monty explains that social media should be an integral part of your trade show plan. Use your social media accounts to build awareness and excitement around the show. Plug giveaways and convince your followers that they need to visit your booth. Before the show, find out if there is an official hashtag and begin participating. Also, create your own hashtag to promote your contest or your conversations and include it as well.

If you have a strong following on these networks, you may even be able to trade some marketing in exchange for a reduced booth fee or a complimentary sponsorship. Partnering with the show producer in mutually beneficial ways can be a critical part of trade show success.

What are your tips for a successful trade show? Let me know in the comments.

Contributed by Terrance Perez

Terrance is a motivational speaker and community activist. He loves to blog about local issues.

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