How Many Social Media Accounts Does Your Company Need?

social-media-accounts-global-local
By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

There’s often a debate over social media accounts; larger companies frequently feel they need a local presence for every office.

But is that a smart strategy?

When it comes to a global versus local debate, who should win?

Let’s discuss.

The Case For Global Social Media Accounts

When it comes to social media accounts, one global presence on each platform makes a lot of sense.

Essentially, it makes management of the social account easier when there is one page to operate versus several.

Arguments for a global strategy are:

  • Consistent brand guidelines & adherence to policies
  • Global analytics versus segmented analytics
  • Several social media accounts can seem disjointed or impede cohesion
  • With organic reach in the toilet, local pages may create an uphill battle or create competition within the same brand
  • Local markets may not have enough exclusive content to differentiate from the main brand
  • Social media accounts are often judged by the number of followers they have; global would more than likely outweigh a local page

While the case for a global strategy may seem like a slam dunk, there’s still a case for a granular or local strategy.

The Case For Local Social Media Accounts

Oftentimes, large companies decide that a more granular strategy is warranted.

This “several strategy” for social media accounts is used when:

  • Local pages truly have a unique offering
  • Franchise situations require separate entities (we dealt with a situation like this for Smoothie King)
  • Languages are different (example: English-speaking pages versus Spanish-speaking pages)

If there is a need for customized content at the local level, it makes sense to operate a separate/localized page.

The ultimate understanding here is knowing that you have the resources at the local level to manage this account and provide enough content.

If You Go Global

There are a myriad of ways you can keep one global account, even if you have regional offices or several locations.

On Facebook, for instance, you can:

  • Target posts by location
  • Add watermarks to photos for certain regions
  • Use photo albums to keep regions/locations separated but under one account

Similarly, you can take the above ideas and use them on other platforms like Twitter or Instagram.

Airline giant JetBlue is one example of a large company choosing to use one social media account to get the job done.

Even on Twitter, they use one handle for branded content and to handle customer care.

jet-blue-social-media-accounts

Overall, you’ll want to work with your regional offices or locations to ensure that they have a voice and an opportunity for unique content, even if it’s managed under one page.

If You Go Local

Walt Disney is a great example of one brand with many social media accounts.

Take a look at Disney’s social channels. You’ll uncover social media accounts for characters, movies, games, and even their resorts.

Disney also uses specific pages for recruiting, which you’ll see is a common strategy for many larger brands.

Another use case is customer service. Many companies separate this channel from it’s branded channel to help escalate complaints.

Take a look at Nike. They have several different Twitter accounts; some are location-based and some are sport based.

They even have a dedicated channel for support.

nike-support-social-media-accounts

Therefore, if the need is there, and you have the resources to manage that need, multiple social media accounts makes sense.

How To Decide What’s Best For You

If you’re still on the fence about what strategy is best for your brand, consider the below questions.

  1. Does your brand have several audiences, each needing unique content?
  2. Do the potential local accounts have completely different branding? (Think Disney)
  3. Is there a true differentiation between the social media accounts and their messaging?
  4. Do you have the resources to manage the additional profiles?
  5. Can you successfully/easily post messages to one account that target different audiences?
  6. Are there other easy ways to show a difference in the region (i.e. watermarks on photos)?

Finally, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this age-old dilemma.

Ultimately, you have some homework if you are really wanting to make the right decision.

My suggestion would be to run a test with something like “dark” media posts to see if your goals are met.

If they aren’t, consider leaving your efforts under one account until you have a use case or proof to do otherwise.

What has your experience been with the global/local debate? How do you manage your social media accounts when there’s room for more? 

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & CEO at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and a purveyor of psychographics. Her mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter.

 

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