THE ECOMMERCE AUTHORITY

THROUGHOUT 2013 I PENNED AN ONLINE BUSINESS & SOCIAL MEDIA ADVICE COLUMN CALLED “DEAR EMILY” FOR VOLUSION’S POPULAR ECOMMERCE BLOG. I WAS ALSO A FEATURED BLOGGER EDUCATING OUR USERS ON SOCIAL, DESIGN, EVENTS, AND MARKETING STRATEGY.

SEE ALL ADVICE COLUMNS HERE AND ALL MY WRITING FOR VOLUSION HERE.

Dear Emily: Scheduling Social Posts and Personal vs. Professional Twitter Usage
11/14/13

Social media is an important aspect of your online store’s marketing plan, but it can definitely be overwhelming at times. When you’re stuck on a social problem you just can’t solve, ask me, Emily! I’m Volusion’s social media pro and I’m here to help with any questions you may have, no matter how big or how small. 

I recently opened my own store on Volusion and it’s going really well. One thing I need to work on is social media. I started a Facebook business page, but I still need to make a Twitter account. Can I just use my personal Twitter handle to promote my online store? Do I need two separate handles?

Congratulations on opening your online store! As far as your Twitter is concerned, that’s a very interesting question. I’d say it depends on two big factors:

  • How personal is your personal Twitter? If the bulk of your Twitter activity consists of sharing generally interesting links and positively responding to Tweets from friends, you could possibly consider using this handle to promote your online business as well. On the other hand, if you’re divulging intimate details about your romantic situation, espousing polarizing political opinions or ranting and raving about life in general, it’s probably not the best idea. You don’t want to alienate potential customers with uninformative or unprofessional tweets that would only be interesting to you and your friends.
     
  • What exactly are you selling? If I were crafting a lifestyle brand and designing a line of purses and accessories called “Emily Teachout Handbags,” then it wouldn’t be out of line to use @emilyteachout as both a company/brand and personal Twitter account (as long as I were following the rules above – keeping any non-business tweets interesting, relevant, and inoffensive). On the other hand, if I were running a business called “Awesome Austin Pest Control” it would make no sense to use @emilyteachout as my official business handle – try something like @AwesomeATXPest, which your customers would recognize.

Basically, if you’re selling yourself as part of your brand, then you’re good to go – but if your business has nothing to do with who you are, it’s best to maintain two distinct Twitter identities. When in doubt, keep ’em separated. It might take a little extra effort to keep up with that extra Twitter account, but it will be worth it for your brand.