It’s Twitter Tip Tuesday — every Tuesday we’ll focus on one Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media marketing strategy. This week we suggest that there may be a lot of hidden value in creating a second Twitter account.

First off, a qualification. This article is not for Twitter newbies. If you’re brand new to Twitter, we recommend that you cover the basics before employing an advanced strategy like creating a second Twitter account. There’s a lot to learn about Twitter and how to engage with your primary audience before it’s even worth considering moving on to another account.

But for those of you who have put in the time, and employed all of the top tips we’ve recommended here on Twitter Tip Tuesday (and then some), then creating a second account might be just the thing to help you get a new perspective on how you’re using Twitter. Here are some specific examples of how you can leverage a second Twitter account to tweak your Twitter tactics, and improve your marketing efforts on your primary account.

Explore a New Market Niche

You can use a second account to research an entirely different market niche. Follow people and topics that aren’t necessarily connected to your primary brand, but from which you might be able to learn some new marketing tactics. For example, you could dip your toe in the world of multi-level-marketing (MLM) to see how people in this space interact with one another.

Although these accounts can tend to employ a more hard-sell type of approach to Twitter, there may be facets of this style of marketing that you can apply to your primary account. You can use your second account to get to know the vernacular for this type of marketing — without associating or exposing your brand directly to this audience. Use what you learn to inform your main account, taking inspiration from the positive things you encounter, while avoiding the negatives.

Do Some Stealthy Competitive Intelligence

Although there’s nothing to stop you from using your existing Twitter account as a platform to gather intelligence from your competitors, sometimes you can achieve this goal more stealthily from a secondary account. We’re not suggesting that you fraudulently or unethically misrepresent yourself, merely that you carry on public and ethical intelligence gathering from an account that’s not obviously tied to your brand.

This may allow you some freedom and latitude to connect with your competitors’ followers directly to see what type of things they’re tweeting about. Perhaps you can interact with your competitors on Twitter in ways that would simply not be possible or practical under your more commonly known Twitter handle.

Conversely, you could also use this secondary account to vet things like your own company’s customer service activities on Twitter. These “secret shopper” tactics have been a part of the offline, retail world for decades. Why not employ the same basic techniques to see what details you can glean from interacting anonymously with your own brand and your competitors?

Use it for Testing

Try using a second Twitter account as your brand’s own Twitter “skunkworks,” or radical innovation zone. Use this account to try out things that may or may not work on your main account. For example, you could try paying for some Promoted Tweets, or other forms of Twitter advertising to see what effect that has on your account, your brand, and your followers.

You can also use a second account to try out a variety of Twitter header images so that you can decide on the best one without disrupting or confusing the followers of your traditional account. While you’re at it, try out a few new backgrounds and experiment with the placement of things like background text and logos.

Take the opportunity of a second Twitter account to push the envelope of what you would normally do on Twitter. Take note of the things that seem to work, as well as those that fall flat and adjust your primary Twitter account accordingly.

How to Manage Multiple Accounts

Of course, managing just one Twitter account is challenging enough for a lot of people, let alone trying to manage two accounts! In order to streamline this process and really get the most out of this experiment, you’ll need a robust and versatile social media management tool, like Sprout Social, to keep track of both accounts. In fact, even the Standard Sprout Social account allows you to manage up to 10 distinct social media profiles from one convenient, and intuitive dashboard.

Depending on how the experiment goes, you can keep the secondary account operating behind the scenes. Alternatively, if the account gained any traction at all, you can convert it into an open, public, vibrant secondary channel for your main brand.

Do you maintain more than one Twitter account? How do you use your secondary Twitter handle? Let us know in the comments.

This article discusses Sprout Social, our social media management tool for businesses. To learn about our editorial ethics and our commitment to objective coverage of the social media space, visit our About page.

[Image credits: CountryLemonade, Pop Culture Geek, U.S. Army Environmental Command, backpackphotography]