So here’s a question for you. How do you feel about interacting with organizations on Twitter? More specifically, what are your thoughts about multiple members of an organization tweeting under one organizational twitter account? (i.e., a twOrg?)
I’m asking because this point came up this past weekend with a friend on Twitter.
My friend’s main points seem to be:
Not a good idea to have multiple people tweet under one organizational account. Because…
…People don’t like interacting with organizations, they like interacting with people. And…
…Rather than having multiple people tweet under one organizational twitter account (e.g., “@orgname”), it’s better to have multiple people set up accounts like “@orgname-mel”, “@orgname-sam”, “@orgname-sally”, etc.
Now, this issue is near and dear to me because, in fact, I tweet under a few accounts. One of which is personal / individualistic (@MelAclaro). The other two being proxies for organizational personas.
Each is focused on a specific type of relationship I wish to establish. @MelAclaro, for instance, allows me the freedom to tweet about everything and anything that interests me as an individual person. This can include articles I find compelling, posts from others that I find interesting or, quite frankly, the occasional “what / where I ate for breakfast” type of tweet.
Meanwhile, @astdOC, for example, has been set up as an organizational persona to focus more specifically in learning / training industry related content within a finite geographic scope.
And, while it’s not a human, per se, it is a unique entity that has its own organizational character and set of values. Character and values that we — members — hope others get to know better.
At the moment, it’s set up in a way that three of us on the board can tweet through that one account. The internal guidelines we established for ourselves is to tweet respectfully, in alignment with our organization’s values and mission, and in accordance with cultural norms of the “pay it forward” philosophy of the social sphere.
And, though my friend raises good points, I see two disadvantages:
1. Individual account holders (e.g., astdOC-mel, astdOC-Sally, astdOC-Sam, etc.) attenuates the overall reach of any single message, thereby diluting the organization’s ability to propagate its message, and those of others it helps through retweets, and so on.
2. It has a tendency to devolve to individualistic perspectives. (Again, pitting what @astdOC-mel — the individual — ate that morning for breakfast vs. staying “on message” with what @astdOC — the collective — “thinks” about the value of CPLP certification or the merits of workplace learning and performance, say).
And, while I do feel it’s appropriate for organizations to establish one collective presence PROVIDED THAT it can do so with transparency, consistency, and a unified voice communicating shared values, at the end of the day, its the social sphere within which we, as an organization, have to engage. So, if we’re doing something that’s inherently against social norms, I’m not opposed to making recommendations about shifting our organizational behavior.
So, on behalf of our non-profit association, I’ve put the question out there in a couple of forums, this blog, this poll and a few social networks.
We’re willing to shift with the wisdom of the crowd… so I’m askin’ ya… what do you think? Do we make it so only one tweep tweets on behalf of the organization? Or, is it okay to have multiple tweeters under one twOrg?