Last summer, I had the privilege to work as the social media and marketing intern at ecoAmerica, a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging Americans on the importance of protecting our environment. One of my responsibilities was to manage the Nature Rocks Twitter account, which now boasts over 55,000 followers. Quite a leap from my personal account, eh?
I had never managed another Twitter account besides my own and as luck would have it, this inexperience would ultimately betray me.
It all started with this one innocent tweet that landed in my Twitter stream one day when I got back home from work. Someone had tweeted a link to a Youtube video, which I found funny. Without a second thought, I clicked the share button and tweeted a link to the video. Unfortunately for me, I had forgotten to log off the Nature Rocks Twitter account. As you could imagine, my initial reaction was punctuated by loud expletives that would make Kanye West blush.
On the bright side, the lesson served me well. Here are some lessons I learned I hope will help you avoid a similar fate:
Separate your work from your personal life
Let’s say you own two computers, a desktop and a laptop. Your desktop is your work station, while your laptop is for non-work stuff; internet browsing, social networking, games. The same thing can be applied when managing multiple Twitter accounts.
If you own a smart phone, consider using it solely for your personal account. Work-related tweeting or other accounts should be conducted on your computer.
If you don’t own a smart phone, don’t fret. There are a vast number of Twitter applications that make it easy to tweet from multiple accounts. One of my favorites is Hootsuite, which lets you manage all of your social media accounts including Twitter. One of the features I use the most is to schedule tweets. If you inadvertently scheduled a tweet for the wrong account, at least you have the opportunity to catch your mistake before it’s sent out.
Another great web-based app I’ve used in the past is Cotweet, which is very similar to Hootsuite. If you prefer a desktop app, there’s a large selection to choose from. One that continues to stand out is Tweetdeck, which also has mobile versions of its app for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, and is available for all operating systems.
Stop using Twitter.com
These days, practically everything on the Internet is adorned with social media buttons. Tweet this! Like this! Stumble it! All of these services require you to be logged in order for you to share a particular item online. If you’re not logged into Twitter.com for example, you can’t tweet a Youtube video without first logging in to Twitter.
In other words, if you’re managing your company’s Twitter account including your own, chances are you’re gonna get them mixed up eventually. Of course, if you never tweet links from your personal account, this rule doesn’t apply. However, if you frequently use the tweet button when you browse the Web, it’s only a matter of time before you send out the wrong tweet.