In an article on Social Media Today, Eric Goldstein argues that companies should not have a “one size fits all approach” for social media outlets, instead suggesting that the best approach is to have several accounts tailored towards each specific section of content. You can find the article here. Goldstein shows a pair of posts from both Sports Authority and Wal-mart as examples of poor social media tactics. Sports Authority initially posts a comment about the NBA finals, only to follow that up six hours later on the completely unrelated topic of golf. According to Goldstein, having two unrelated posts alienate followers and lead to them ignoring you on their news feed. As the gold standard to follow, he proposes utilizing Microsoft’s approach, which has a different page for each brand.
To Agree or Not to Agree – That is the Question
It makes sense for companies like Johnson & Johnson and Ford, who have an assortment of different products which have their own brand, to have multiple Twitter accounts. Since each individualized brand has its own following, such as @FordTrucks, @FordMustang and @FordCustomerService, it makes logical sense that a customer who loves Ford Trucks may not care to receive information about a Mustang. This strategy also works for Microsoft since it has a wide variety of brands from the X-box to Microsoft Office.
But for a small company that does not have the luxury of having multiple brands, one social media account on Facebook and Twitter makes the most sense. This is because having multiple pages for a single brand is confusing to the visitor. Consumers don’t want to have to spend ten minutes trying to guess which page is the right page for the company they are interested in.
In the case of Sports Authority, there’s a single brand and it makes little sense to create multiple pages built around each product category that they sell. If Five Guys were to get off their high horse and actually have interaction with their customers through some social marketing, it would be absurd for them to have different pages for “Five Guys Fries” and “Five Guys Burgers” or dedicating one Twitter feed solely to discussing how juicy and delicious their hamburgers are. People don’t unlike fan pages simply because they aren’t interested in one particular aspect of a brand’s updates. In fact, they tend to follow pages because they are interested in the brand as a whole, including its various products and services. Additionally, keeping those products and services under one roof on Facebook and Twitter increases the likelihood of higher conversions and sales, since you can market similar products to a fan who has already purchased from the company.
While Goldstein makes some great points regarding the merits of having multiple pages for individual brands, this strategy is less effective for smaller to mid-sized companies who have multiple products under a single brand or who don’t have the budget and staff to manage multiple brand pages. Having a single, easily accessible page to engage with consumers is the best general way to effectively brand a company, build trust and communicate with customers.