One Name or Two? Let’s Find Out

I was asked recently about the task of managing multiple Twitter accounts and if it’s better to use your own name or an “imaginary name.”

It’s not the first time I’ve had the question asked, so I thought what better way to answer it than by sharing it with everyone here on Twitip.

Absolutes Don’t Exist

I’ll first be honest in saying that there isn’t a black and white answer, and this isn’t something that can be solved without testing. Too many people treat Twitter with black and white answers… with absolutes.

But there aren’t any absolutes.

Instead of looking for a perfect answer, why not claim every name that interests you and play around with them?

The task of playing around with multiple usernames on TweetDeck might be enough to convince you that you can’t manage more than one.

Or…

In playing with one for each niche, you find that it’s perfect for what you’re trying to do.

My Questions

But you still need help getting there, so let’s start with a few basic questions…

Do you plan on selling the associated domain at any time?

If so, then I recommend creating a new account for your domain/niche. Many companies will want the associated Twitter account when it comes time to sell, and at worst, it creates an additional asset that you can use to beef up the valuation of your web property.

Are we comparing apples or oranges?

If you’re trying to decide if you should have a different Twitter name for two different websites in the same niche, then I saw why not create an umbrella that owns them both and then start Tweeting from there?

If you’re trying to decide whether you should use one name for your personal blog and another for your basketweaving website, then I’ll ask you this… do you talk about basket weaving on your blog?

If not, then go with 2… at least try them. If you do, then you’re good with your own name.

Are you cross-linking your websites?

Look, if you plan on linking them all together anyway, then I don’t see any sense in creating one for each website. You’ve got enough on your plate as it is, and I’m guessing that the content will cross over between the two…so save yourself some effort and keep it under a single umbrella.

If you aren’t associating the websites with each other, then you either need to use your name as a global brand, or create one for each niche.

That being said… how effective is it to create a Twitter name for fencing swords? I’m not sure…why not play around and find out?

Common Sense Prevails

I’d like to sit here and pretend that I hold the keys to Twitter salvation, but the truth is that there aren’t any keys.

The best way to figure out what works, not only for you, but for your business, is to get out and try it. Only you know what works for you…and unless you spend time seeing if Virginia Bed and Breakfasts can attract a Twitter following, then how will you know?

Regardless of what these “social media experts” tell you, there isn’t a right answer. We’re still early on in the game, and things are changing rapidly. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow… so keep that in mind. Be flexible, be fluid, and be patient.

Do that, and you’ll be just fine.

Comments

  • March 17, 2010
    StavroZ
    @zagilas

    If you’re a professional blogger then I think it’s better to have your blog or blogs under your real name twitter account, even if they aren’t in the same niche.

    If you run an online business then it might be be better to use the domain name as a twitter account.

  • March 17, 2010

    I’m using two twitter accounts, for one I’m using my surname (it’s the official account) and for second, I’m using domain name, because it’s a part of my blog in some way.

  • March 17, 2010

    I just use one id. I changed my id to match my shop and blog name. I don’t have time to keep up with 2 twitter accounts, I can barely keep up with one. I use the same one for business and personal.

  • March 17, 2010

    I’m tweeting from 4 different accounts now. Primarily I’m tweeting about procrastination and time management. But I have other interests that I want to express as well. Separating accounts makes me feel like I’m not spamming people with news that they’re uninterested in.

  • March 17, 2010

    Good points in the comments, and I agree for the most part. I started with my own name, and then moved into a few niche accounts.

    However, I’m not sure I agree that people don’t want to hear about more than one topic from the same person. I think that’s part of what makes people unique and different from everyone else in their stream.

  • March 21, 2010

    I would definitely agree with Nathan Hangen.I like to follow a person on Twitter who reveals any aspect of his life/any insight on any subject .Of course,I like to follow those who share my passions as well.
    Personally,I use a pseudonym ID(so that I can be entirely frank if I choose to ) and tweet about investing,chess,some aspects of my personal life,….

  • March 22, 2010

    Use HootSuite and it’s easy to manage multiple Twitter accounts, you can cross tweet easily. It works for me.

  • March 23, 2010

    I’m tweeting from several accounts now. For different reasons. 1) I tweet in 3 languages (English, Italian and French); 2) I deal with different topics and I don’t feel like spamming people with news they’re not interested with.

  • April 18, 2010

    Here is my opinion:
    Create multiple accounts. One personal account with your own name and other use niche websites for each account username.

    The reason is, a personal account used to chit-chat and talk about everything with a friend or colleague, and another account for your business, using the domain for your user name because by using the domain name was clearly seen what’s inside of your twitetr and by using domain name for username it’s used for keywording too.

    And oh, i agree that people don’t want to hear about more than one topic from the same person.

  • May 28, 2010

    I maintain two separate accounts. My first @JainaSolo13, is for personal use. My hobbies include following movies, sports, computers, religion and politics, the last two of which can be pretty controversial. I have a second account for my business, which I keep strictly professional, where I tweet about Social Networking and Marketing. The only crossover between the two is local networking and social events news. Some people choose to follow only one account, but many choose to follow both. I have found it easy to maintain them both using mainly Hootsuite and Twittelator.

  • August 20, 2010

    My twitter account is derived from my blog’s domain name for branding purposes. I’m targeting a specific audience with specific interest and I’d like to establish my online presence for this niche under a single brand only.

  • September 11, 2010

    My niche allows me to use an alias or my real name.

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