When you’re creating your social media strategy, there are some obvious questions you’ll need to answer. Which platforms make the most sense to invest in? What should your post cadence be? How will you structure your social media team? These are all important considerations for social media management, but there’s one more to think about. How many accounts do you need?

You might think that one account per platform is ideal, but depending on your business’ needs and your social media goals, it could be in your best interest to manage multiple social media accounts for different functions. We’ll help you figure out how to evaluate your account needs and create a strategy tailored to a multi-account approach.

4 signs your business needs multiple social media accounts

How can you determine if your business needs multiple social media accounts?
It can be difficult to tell when you’ve outgrown the need for one social media account per network. Here are four ways you can evaluate whether it’s time to invest in multiple social media accounts.

Customer support dominates your feed

Customers increasingly turn to social media for customer support. They don’t want to wait for someone to email them back or navigate a maze of phone prompts to get to an agent. They want to make a quick post and have someone get back to them quickly. According to The Sprout Social Index™, 30% of consumers expect a response from brands within the same day.

When your business grows to the point that most of your posts are responding to support issues or complaints, it might be time to dedicate an account to those issues. Xbox Support’s Twitter account is an excellent example of a support account. Their posts are tailored toward informing users about issues they’re working to fix and they reply to user issues with solutions or directions to their DM support channel.

You manage multiple audiences

Take a look at your ideal customer profiles (ICP)–or maybe ICPs. How much do they have in common? If your audiences are starting to break out into distinct segments, it might be time to consider having multiple social profiles to cater to each.

For example, Texas A&M University has audiences of faculty, students and alumni. Beyond that, the university encompasses 16 academic colleges, 19 NCAA sports and hundreds of departments. What matters to a life sciences student probably won’t have a lot of overlap with what matters to a football-obsessed alumnus. With that level of difference, you have to break up your social accounts to make sure you stay relevant.

If you’re a large corporation, you might have audiences looking for information beyond marketing, sales and customer care. At Sprout, we have an investor relations Twitter to showcase relevant highlights for that audience. Enterprise companies with a high volume of job openings might have a careers account dedicated to job seekers. If important messages aren’t relevant to a large portion of your core audience, it might be time for multiple accounts.

For instance, New Jersey Transit runs 14 separate Twitter accounts for each transit line they operate. If a user was looking for information about bus service but NJ Transit’s feed was cluttered with information about hiring, train service interruptions and police activity, they’d become pretty frustrated. NJ Transit manages that complexity through multiple accounts.

You deal with regional differences

If your business has multiple locations, or serves a variety of regions, managing multiple social accounts might be in your best interest. A snowstorm in New York might close your locations there, but that doesn’t matter at all to your customers in sunny Florida. Having multiple social accounts can help you navigate regional complexities.

A great example of this strategy is Aldi’s Twitter accounts. As a multinational company, there are bound to be differences in products and audiences across borders. Aldi splits their social presence into Aldi US and Aldi UK, with vastly different content featured on each. On the UK account, they feature products solely available at those locations and alter their tone and spelling to match the regional standard. On the US account, they use American spelling and tone, while referencing uniquely American cultural events, like the NFL playoffs.

You have a lot of variety in your product suite

If you’re an enterprise-level business, chances are that you have a lot of products. While all of those products might be relevant to a business at large, they probably won’t resonate with each individual user.

As your product suite grows, it might be advantageous to create accounts for specific products or user audiences. For example, Salesforce manages accounts for different products so they can reach a wider audience with relevant content.

Salesforce manages multiple social media accounts

How to manage multiple social media accounts in 5 steps

Managing multiple social media accounts can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these five steps to get started.

Step 1: Have a strategy in place

Having a solid social media strategy is imperative for any brand, but it’s especially important when you’re managing the complexity of multiple accounts. To get started, there are a few things you need to evaluate.

First, establish what accounts you need to create. Document your requirements. Are you going to segment accounts by purpose, like support vs. marketing? Or does it make more sense to segment by attributes like audience, location or product? Once you have those answers, decide how many accounts you need and how your team should manage them. You should also think about how your teams will interact.

We combat decentralization by creating relationships and being a resource for other departments or teams in the Texas A&M system that are working in social. Recently, for example, we got a message in Sprout about our recreational sports center. Even though the message wasn’t directed to the Texas A&M rec sports social channels, we were able to pass it along to the right people because we’ve built the relationship.
Krista Berend
Director of Social Media at Texas A&M

After you’ve decided what accounts to create, make tangible goals for each. You’ll need KPIs to make sure the additional complexity is delivering results for your business. Measure your performance against those KPIs constantly and don’t be afraid to adapt or tweak when you’re underperforming.

If you’re looking for a place to start, this 30-day social media plan template is a great jumping off point.

Step 2: Document your brand guidelines

When you have one social media manager and one account per platform, it’s pretty easy to stay within brand guidelines. But when you add the complexity of managing multiple accounts, you need more formal governance. Make sure you have a brand guide with directions for your voice, tone and visuals handy for each account.

When you’re dealing with different audiences, there might be slight shifts you want to make across accounts. Keeping a voice that resonates with your audience is the priority—which means making room for a little nuance. Document those differences in your guidelines as well so there’s never any confusion about how to apply your overall brand voice in specific contexts.

Step 3: Reuse content

Having multiple social media accounts means having to create more content. That’s just math. It’s even more important to have a strong content repurposing strategy.

Crossposting across platforms is a great way to get started. What works well as a Reel could work well as a TikTok. Retweeting relevant content across multiple accounts gets more eyes on the same post, but it also has the benefit of bringing more eyes to your other accounts. You can turn video content into GIFs to share on other platforms. The world of content reuse is endless if you get creative.

Another way to repurpose your content is developing a library of reusable assets. Sprout Social’s Asset Library allows you to organize and categorize frequently used creative assets, helping everyone on your team ensure they’re using approved media.

A screenshot of the Asset Library in Sprout Social. In the screenshot, multiple images can be seen.

Step 4: Invest in a social media management tool

It’s hard enough to manage one social media account natively. It’s nearly impossible to manage multiple social media accounts without a helping hand.

Social media management tools keep your DMs, content calendar, replies, mentions and metrics under one roof. Even if you have multiple accounts, they’ll all be housed in one place so you can see everything in one screen, in real time. It also creates a single source of truth for sophisticated social teams so you can stay on the same page and keep writing the same story. Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform that helps teams tackle all the day-to-day aspects of social—from publishing and engagement to reporting and plan for tomorrow.

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Step 5: Automate your tasks

When you’re managing multiple accounts, scaling can be difficult. That’s where automation comes into play. Social media automation tools will take care of the little tasks so you can focus on strategy.

Managing multiple social media accounts means multiple sources of DMs. Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox aggregates all of your messages across accounts and platforms into one view. You can reply directly from the platform so you won’t ever miss a message. Applying tag-based Inbox Rules can also help automatically route the request to the right responder.

Coming soon, Sprout users on the Advanced plan will also have access to Custom Post Variables, which gives teams the ability to dynamically change specific parts of a social post depending on predefined custom variables. One post can quickly be tailored to each of your location or product-specific accounts, taking one more thing off of your social media to-do list.

Manage multiple social media accounts with minimal stress

Creating and managing multiple social media accounts doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right set of tools and a clear goal, having multiple accounts will improve your audience relationships and simplify your processes.

Interested in trying out a tool that’ll make managing multiple accounts a breeze? Try out Sprout Social for 30 days.