By nature, social media managers are multitaskers. They’re constantly juggling the need to engage with customers, publish new content, analyze success, monitor conversions, report to stakeholders and–if time allows–sleep. Not only do most social media managers have to complete these activities, but many of them do all of that work for multiple social profiles and networks.
What drives this need for multiple social media profiles and networks? Surely companies aren’t creating superfluous accounts to generate more work for their communications teams.
This article is going to dive into which circumstances companies would need multiple social media accounts, give some examples of specific business types that benefit from a larger presence and most importantly, look into how you can effectively manage multiple social media accounts.
Why Do You Need Multiple Social Accounts?
Creating multiple social media accounts gives you much more control over the type of content that corresponds to various products, locations or departments of your company. We’ll get into examples of specific organizations that frequently use multiple social media profiles, but here are a few reasons why a company may go that route.
- Multiple products – if you have several different popular products that get asked their own questions or that need to create their own content.
- Multiple locations – if you have multiple locations that all offer different promotions or have different hours that need to be shared.
- Different goals – different portions of your business may have their own unique goals when it comes to social, and may require a different strategy.
- Different social voices – each product or portion of your business may have a different “social voice.” For instance, one brand voice may err on the serious side, while another could have the chance to be more humorous and lighthearted.
- Different teams – each team within an organization–like customer service, human resources, or research & development–may want their own social presence to better control the flow of conversations and content.
Those are just a handful of the many reasons why companies may want to create multiple profiles on each social network. To paint a better picture of this, it’s helpful to look at specific examples of who needs multiple accounts.
Who Needs to Manage Multiple Social Accounts?
The idea of creating multiple social media pages may seem trivial–you’re essentially just creating more work for yourself–so who would do it? There are a lot of reasons why a company may want to split their online personalities into multiple social media pages.
The most common reason a small- or medium-sized business creates multiple social media pages is to separate unique portions of their business. A company may give their blog a separate handle so they can distribute their content more frequently to those that want to read it. SMBs may also give their customer support team a separate handle so their main page isn’t bogged down with customer service issues.
Corporations could use multiple pages for the same reasons as SMBs, but there are a few more use-cases unique to this group. Some corporations, for instance, could use the social media profiles of a C-level employee to share company-wide news and updates.
Thanks for your patience, everyone. We’re back up!
— Dropbox Support (@DropboxSupport) August 26, 2015
Corporations could also create new profiles for some of their different departments–like human resources, R&D or finance–who can handle the messages better suited for their team.
A lot of major corporations with several locations will create unique social profiles for the various branches of their business. McDonalds, for instance, has several location-based Twitter pages, including accounts for different countries, states and cities.
This gives the franchises the freedom to post about exclusive deals, operating hours or contests that the entire organization may not participate in. That frees up the corporate pages to continue creating content that advocates for the success of the individual franchises.
The whole idea of agencies is that they can manage the work for multiple companies all at once–freeing those companies to work on the other functions of their business. So, it should come as no surprise that most agencies need to manage multiple social media profiles simultaneously. Some of the larger agencies can even be responsible for handling hundreds of different social pages at once.
This is one of the most popular use-cases for needing multiple social media profiles. Universities have so many different sub-organizations with different needs and voices that could require unique social media pages.
It’s Friday. Hill Dining has Philly Cheese Steak for lunch. It’s a good day.
— Michigan Dining (@MichiganDining) October 16, 2015
Here are a few more instances of different social media accounts universities could own:
- Student clubs and organizations
- Student services, such as housing and dining
- Student newspapers
- College programs
- Libraries and buildings
- Residence halls
- Alumni groups
- Emergency notifications
- Even accounts for the mascot!
Another example would be Harvard, which has more than 100 different social media profiles built out for the various organizations at their university.
How to Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts
At a high level, the key to managing multiple social media accounts simultaneously is to utilize a single stream social media management platform. The functionality to handle multiple pages all at once just isn’t available on most networks, especially when you’re talking about combining multiple social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. At Sprout Social, we’ve created our own social media software for handling these exact needs.
We feel like we have a good idea about what makes social media managers tick. Our platform was built to make managing multiple social profiles easier, especially when there are several accounts tied to a single business.
If you’re interested in diving into the platform to test it for yourself, check out our completely free trial–no need to download any software or enter credit card information.
Engaging on Multiple Social Media Accounts
The most important thing you can do on social media is engage with your current and prospective customers in order to build lasting, profitable relationships. However, that can be difficult when you’re managing several social network accounts across different platforms. Without any sort of tool, you’d find yourself constantly logging in and out of your various pages to find and field important messages.
That’s a lot of time spent entering email addresses and passwords, which can be annoying when doing it just once. Additionally, you run the risk of accidentally promoting one social profile while logged into the other–or even worse–post personal social messages on corporate feeds.
You need a way to centralize the messages sent to all of your social profiles and that something could be Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox.
You can easily work your way through every message sent to all of your profiles by yourself, or with a team, and mark them as complete as you go. This will help ensure you never miss an important social interaction.
Publishing to Multiple Social Media Accounts
Most of the different pages you manage require unique content, because what’s relevant for one audience may not be relevant for another. Without a social media tool, it could take all of your time finding, creating and sharing content across multiple different accounts.
However, with Sprout Social you can queue, schedule and publish all of your content to multiple social media networks simultaneously from within the platform. This will save you countless hours you could have used to engage with customers to grow relationships.
Analyzing Multiple Social Media Accounts
With social media marketing, it’s important to look at what has worked in the past so you can utilize that success moving forward. Analyzing the data you have at hand is key in creating more successful campaigns moving forward. Unfortunately, collecting and analyzing data for multiple pages is cumbersome.
Sprout’s social media analytics suite makes it easy to view your data on a profile level so that you can see what specifically works for your individual social pages. Not only that, but you can combine that data with our group and roll-up reports to see what is working across all of your profiles and campaigns.
Collaborating on Multiple Social Media Accounts
The key to managing multiple social media profiles is teamwork. Even if you can’t convince your company that you need more social media managers, try recruiting some internal teams to help out when queries come in relating to their department.
Sprout’s collaboration was made for multiuser teams to work within all at once. Manage the Smart Inbox as a team, create internal notes, task specific messages to the proper departments, run reports to see how everyone is performing, and take out all of the stress of double-responding with collision detection features.
There are plenty of reasons why a company may need manage multiple social media accounts, and without the right management platform, things can get hairy. So try and figure out which parts of your organization would thrive with their own social media presence and get them established online. Once these members have their own space to work, they can work freely in your social media management platform!
Have anything else to add? Feel free to comment below!
Michael Patterson: Michael enjoys writing about all things social media, and his insights can be found on Adweek's SocialTimes, Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner. When he isn't pouring over blog posts he can usually be found exploring Chicago's unique neighborhoods and breweries.