Should you have two different social media profiles if you do different things?
Whenever I’m teaching any sort of seminar on branding, marketing, or social media, this question always comes up.
The short answer is no.
If you want the more detailed explanation, here’s seven reasons you should stick to just one profile per platform. 😃
1. You’re the same person no matter what you’re doing.
Unless you have some completely different alter ego, you have the same disposition and values in everything you do.
You’re always recognizable as you.
Social media should be an accurate representation of you, and since you’re always you, one profile can cover all that makes you you!
Instead of categorizing yourself by what you do, focus on who you are.
Let your profile be about your overall mission and vision.
2. Double the profiles means double the work.
Think of all the time it takes you to create posts, read and reply to comments, answer DMs, build your followers, and stay connected to your audience. Do you really want to times that by 2?
Most of us try to find ways to be on our phones LESS, but having double the work is going to make that pretty difficult.
3. You can’t leverage your existing followers.
If you’re starting a new venture, you need to get as many eyeballs on it as possible. Even if you have an existing side hustle, I’m sure you’d still appreciate a bigger audience.
Why start from scratch? You worked hard to get the followers you already have. They already know, like, and trust you.
Even if you think none of your current audience would benefit from your other business, they may have friends and family who would. Word-of-mouth marketing is the best promotional tool you’ve got.
Think of all the times you’ve done something because someone you trust recommended it to you. It’s way more powerful than advertising on your own, and it’s 100% free.
On the flip side, if you do have some crossover between your audiences, having a second profile means you have to provide enough of a reason to your followers for them to follow you in two different places, and you run the risk of confusing them.
4. You’ll have different follower counts.
Think of the optics. Your “original” or “main” profile will have a lot more followers than your second one, especially at first.
Even if both accounts have high numbers of followers, the disparity between the two can look like people don’t trust you as much for your side gig.
5. People may follow you on the wrong profile.
Say you meet someone while doing Job A. They later go to follow you, but they follow your profile for Job B.
They’ll never see the content you put out for Job A. If they’re not interested in Job B, but that’s the only content they’re seeing, they won’t be interacting with it much. That means your content starts to get shown to them less and less, which then means your profile stops coming across their feed altogether.
6. There’s platform restrictions based on follower count.
Some platforms only let you perform certain actions once you hit a certain follower count (swipe up on Instagram, for example). If you keep two different audiences, it’ll take you a lot longer to hit that number.
It even spills over into booking work. Some producers care about how many followers their creative team and performers have. You don’t want to lose a job because your follower count looks low due to it being spread amongst multiple profiles.
7. You lose free access to some tools.
A lot of the apps that let you schedule content and/or track metrics such as your followers and engagement have a free tier where you can have one profile per platform. If you use any of those tools, you’re going to have to start paying to use that second profile.
Even within the social media platforms themselves, some features are pay-to-play. For example, Facebook Pages are free to use, but Facebook is notorious for not sharing much content from Pages in people’s feeds. They want you to pay to advertise your Page’s content instead.
Your personal Profile is going to get way more views and traction, so it’s better to keep all of your content there rather than trying to build up a second venture on a Page.
Reasons TO Keep Separate Profiles
All of that being said, there are a few reasons someone may want to keep separate profiles. Obviously, the main one is if the pro(s) of having that extra profile outweighs all of the cons above.
Two other ideas come to mind. The first is if there’s a legal reason where you can only promote/sell a good or service under a certain moniker.
The second is if you’re famous and want to have a private account for just friends and family. In that case, you’d be using an unrecognizable handle anyway, so you don’t risk any of the above issues.
Those are pretty rare and specific cases, though. For the other 99% of us, using just one profile per platform is going to be the best way to go.
How to Use One Profile for All the Things You Do
Let everything work together to help them all!
People tend to work with people who are like them. It makes them feel comfortable and safe.
For example, if you could find a real estate broker who is ALSO a performer, wouldn’t you hire them over a broker who has never seen a Broadway show? I’m guessing you would!
You know they’re going to understand your needs and budget, and you’ll probably have much more fun as you apartment hunt together since you have common interests you can chat about along the way.
Any one person has a lot of different interests. If they’re looking to hire you for X but also love what you do for Y, your chances of getting hired for X just drastically increased.
People who need homes are also performers. People who hire performers also need homes.
Utilize that relationship between the two instead of trying to keep them separate.
I use that example since I know quite a few theater peeps who do real estate (including a dear friend who branded himself as The Broadway Broker!), but it applies to any and all occupations.
Are you an actor and an accountant? A choreographer who makes jewelry? A composer who renovates homes?
There’s always an intersection between the two. I mean, just look at you. YOU are passionate about both, right?
One Profile, Two Websites
Depending on your business model, you still may need to have two websites. Sticking with the real estate example, a broker’s website uses a completely different type of technology and structure than a performer’s site. It physically has to be a separate website.
That’s totally fine. Here’s why—social media is about you, the person. It handles the know, like, and trust part of your relationships.
When one of your followers wants to work with you, they go to the appropriate website to learn more about what you do in that area, and hopefully hire you from there.
The decision to hire you doesn’t just come from what’s on your website, it also comes from the full-360-degree version of you that they know from your social media.
If you’re still on the fence about using one profile vs two, I think you’ll like this.
Stick with only having one profile per platform, but use each platform differently.
For example, you could post videos of your creative work on Instagram, business articles on LinkedIn, photos of your products on Pintrest, demos of your product on TikTok, musings about the biz on Twitter, and personal content on Facebook.
Then, occasionally cross-promote by sharing between the platforms like a LinkedIn post on Twitter or an Instagram story to a Facebook story. Typically, I’d recommend against sharing content since it gets fewer views due to the algorithms, but here you have a specific reason to do so.
Each time you do that, you are signaling a message to your followers like, “Hey, I have this other kind of content over here on this other platform! If you like this kind of content, come on over and follow me here!”
People will still get to see all that you do, but it does give you some separation between your audiences. It could be the perfect blend of both scenarios for you.