Should I have Separate Social Media Accounts for Personal and My Brand?

Short answer: No.
Long answer: No. Unless you have a reason you want to keep some things private.

In 2015, the best way to gain a following is to have great content and:
1. Be famous, friends with someone who’s famous, or go places with famous people frequently.
2. Engage in conversations with as many people as possible, be genuinely interested in them, and have relationships with them.

#1 is not going to be for most people.
#2 takes effort. You have to find your voice, and be personable. And it’s not easy for 2 accounts to do that. Would your 2 accounts have the same voice, or similar voices? If so, is there really a reason to have 2 accounts?

Instagram in particular makes it extremely challenging to have 2 accounts. There aren’t any tools to help manage posts and comments on 2 accounts (that I’ve found). As a result, you have to log-in and out of accounts constantly to manage them both.

In 2015, we expect instant information and answers. If you Google something, you get the answer instantly. In social media, we’re conditioned the same way. If you ask me a question on social media – but don’t get a response for hours because I’m signed in to another account- you may go somewhere else to buy your product or service. More importantly, you’re showing that you’re not as responsive as someone else might be.

I noticed this when I asked a question of a person on social media who I know manages multiple accounts and teaches people how to engage with on the platforms. My question was – are there any tools to help manage multiple Instagram accounts? It’s been months and I’m still waiting on a response.

A more important reason has to do with what people want to follow. People want to follow PEOPLE, not brands. If I see that a brand is actually a person who has a message or a product, goes on vacation, has fun and does interesting things, I’m more likely to follow them than seeing a brand that just posts about it’s product or message every day. That’s an important distinction because humanizing your brand is a key differentiator. Humanizing your brand isn’t hard, it just means including some personal posts so others can see who you really are, what you’re about, and your personality – along with your brand’s message.

There are times when I see the need for 2 accounts. If you have children, you want to protect their privacy, and there are valid reasons to be concerned. If you’re using local hashtags on your account, someone could do a bit of detective work and start putting things together. That’s certainly a real possibility in this environment.

For the majority of users trying to build a brand, you ARE your brand. Your voice needs to be clear, and you need to be constantly engaging with others and being timely in your responses, while showing that you’re a human with a personality. The easiest way to do that is with one account.