You’re a complex person with a diverse set of skills, hobbies, likes and dislikes and friends. You’re a salesperson who’s also a sports fanatic with a love of gardening. You’re a marketing professional with strong political views and a love of cooking. 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, whether you like it or not.
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 professionally. 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 Instagram
Yes. Just like Twitter, Instagram’s Terms of Service allow multiple profiles on this image sharing platform if you want to keep your hobbies and business interests separated. You can also easily toggle between them inside the app, and set up multi-account logins to manage multiple accounts. Instagram recently added the ability to show the other accounts you manage from your profile, allowing increased discovery. This setting can be toggled on and off as needed. For example, you would not want this setting on if you are running a brand account for an agency, but you would want it on if you’re promoting a business of your own.
Multiple Profiles on TikTok
Yes. Tiktok allows multiple accounts and even offers a way to toggle between them easily, similar to Twitter and Instagram. Note that you’ll need to use unique emails and phone numbers for the accounts, as you can only use an email once.
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 if your account becomes disabled.
I also recommend thinking through how having multiple accounts will support your overall personal brand and business goals. If the bottom line is if you’re worried that something you might post on one platform could hurt your business reputation on another, 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 and interests 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.