The Answer to Setting up Multiple Social Media Profiles

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.

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 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.

8 thoughts on “The Answer to Setting up Multiple Social Media Profiles

  1. Great topic Sue. Wonder where that came from??? 🙂

    I appreciate you taking the time to go through this with me last week, and then expanding on it in your blog to cover the various forms of social media.

    You know my situation – one very serious profession, and another that’s completely in another world. I wish I could keep the two separate, because both can benefit a lot from social media but the two don’t work well together in the eyes of someone who tends to see the world in black and white rather than shades of gray. But it is what it is, and I am what I am. Thanks for keeping me straight!

  2. Great post! We are encouraged to have a single account as part of being social is sharing more of yourself than strictly business posts. If you have all of your fun posts on another account, you may not be viewed by others as being authentic.

    Another question about Facebook. I use mine for personal use only and have everything set to be hidden to everyone but Friends. I view Twitter and LinkedIn as my business accounts and FB as my personal one. What is your view there?

    1. I think you are right on target with your use of the platforms. Facebook profiles are intimate (well, sort of) settings where people expect posts from friends to be personal. If your following there is strictly professional then the answer might be different. As always, it depends on the audience.

  3. My challenge is the following.
    I commute between two countries and spend about 50% of my time in each. One is Luxembourg , whre I am quite active in Facebook and write in three or even 4 languages: Luxembouzrgish, German, French and english, which is quite common among the 2000 friends I have in this very paerticular and very small country.
    At the same time I have an increasing number of friends in Italy. And most of them do NOT unerstand any of the above mentioned 4 languages.
    I communicate with them virtually only in italian….
    Using two separate profiles on Facebook would be so logical.
    Is it possible? And acceptable to Facebook in this increasingly international world ? 🙂 ?

    1. First of all wow, what a great problem to have!! Have you thought about using Facebook lists to sort your fiends by language, then targeting your posts just to them in their language? This would be a good solution to your issue without breaking Facebook TOS. Sue

    2. Pol,
      Facebook wants there to be only one you, so having more than one profile is against their TOS. If you really want to segment, I’d recommend using friend lists for separate audiences for your posts in different languages. It’s a little work to set them up, but then you can direct posts just to those lists. Hope this helps.

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