(pic from my trip to China, Xishuanbanna from the sky)
Let’s say you’re an organization such as a small retailer with around 10 physical stores. Should you create 10 separate websites for each one of your stores? How about 10 separate facebook fan pages or twitter accounts? What if your a large brand or organization with thousands of stores? There are of course several things to consider such as the size of the organization, the goal of the social media campaign, the geographic locations, etc. However, in general I would say that if a brand/company wants to build a community it should not go about creating a lot of multiple accounts on the same platform. Why? Simply put, social media brand dilution.
Now, before I go any further I do need to point out that there are organizations such as Comcast and Dell that have multiple social media accounts on single platforms (such as twitter), however these accounts serve different purposes. Dell has an account specifically dedicated to news, one for their outlet store, a separate account for Dell Ireland, etc. (Dell has a few DOZEN accounts on twitter, some haven’t been used in over a month!). Similarly Comcast has multiple customer service reps on twitter. An interesting thing to note though, is that the core accounts are the one’s with the most subscribers. The more accounts any of these large organizations have the more diluted the number of followers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just something to notice. For example, the ComcastCares twitter account by far has the most amount of twitter followers. If you look at the Dell community twitter accounts then Digital Nomads account has the largest number of subscribers.
For any organization it’s important to have a central social media hub and a central community presence on any platform. If your organization is large enough then you can begin creating geographic or service segmented social media strategies, but you still need to have your hub, your main community site where people can just connect with your organization because they care. Prior to creating multiple accounts on any platform an organization needs to do a bit of homework to see if it’s something that they should be doing in the first place. Here are a few things to consider:
- What’s the goal behind creating multiple single platform social media accounts?
- Is there sufficient demand for other social media accounts?
- Are you able to effectively segment your community across one or multiple social media platforms?
- Logistically can you effectively create, manage, and interact across all of your accounts?
- Is the content unique enough to justify segmentation?
I would advise organizations and individuals to not spread themselves too thin, when you do so you lose value, you lose content, and you can lose your community.