Hey, at some point or another, it happens to us all.
Before you know it, one day you wake up and you’ve got two websites, a blog, 3 Instagram accounts, 2 Facebook pages, and a whole slew of other log-ins you can’t even begin to keep straight.
How do you know when it’s time to split accounts? How to you know when it’s time to merge accounts (maybe even again)? How do you know when it’s time to pause or delete one of your social media channels entirely (gasp)?
For example, at the time of launching kvh creative I decided to make a separate Instagram account for all overt business, design & marketing related work. I’m glad I did because I felt like I was limited with what I could share on my personal account for the sake of keeping it “professional”. I like knowing I can post about my fiancé, my family, my breakfast, a latest thought/revelation, etc. and it not need to have anything to do with my ‘business’. I wanted the freedom of having my own little digital scrapbook just for me!
I do also have a separate Facebook page, but I didn’t, however, decide to create separate Pinterest or Twitter accounts. That just seemed unnecessary. That being said, this is what’s (currently) working for me, and it might not suit what you’re working with! That’s okay, too.
My goal in this post is to help you discern and decide the best decision for Y-O-U – it’s your brand, your business, and no one knows it better than you.
Know that it will evolve and grow over time, so it’s good to leave a little wiggle room, but no so much that you feel like you’re drowning in the deep end. It’s ok to wade in the shallow waters for a little while and let things naturally scale and progress as the weeks (or months or years) go by. Patience (with action) is still a virtue.
So – Should you or shouldn’t you; that is the question…
Key #1: If you’re feeling crazy trying to keep up with managing them both, that’s a pretty good indicator.
Focus on the areas where the energy you’re investing is generating the highest return – (whether that’s monetary or not, but it’s good to consider based on your goals and needs). There is no rule that you have to split (or merge) your efforts. Another thing to consider: Are you your brand? If so, might as well keep it all under one. My friend Chelsea of The Millennial Miss is a good example of this.
Key #2: Let systems and scheduling go to work for you.
Managing my second IG account became a lot easier when I started using Planoly to dump all of my content (photos, captions, hashtags, ideas, etc.) and plan it out in advance. Rather than wondering what I was going to post, I simply have a bank to pull from!
Key #3: Remember that less is still more.
There are only but so many hours in the day (I don’t care if you’re Beyoncé or Trump) and if you’re taking on any sort of entrepreneurial venture, prepare for that time to just keep dwindling. Add on being a wife, a mom, a dog mom, your third job, whatever it may be; you just don’t have the time to do #allthethings. Some of the most successful digital marketers will tell you their primary success started on one platform. Sure, they have a presence on some of the others, but they started by being focused on generating their results from 1-2.
Key #4: Value quality over quantity.
If you can only handle 3-4 solid posts a week, whether that’s because you’re a solopreneur, you don’t quite have the content for more yet, or whatever it may be – consistent activity is better than no activity. And heaven forbid posting just to post. Bleh. We are in an information overloaded world as it is. Never forget to ask yourself ‘why’ you’re doing what you’re doing and ‘what’ value your delivering your audience. Even if your aim is just connection, do it well. Think: Are you solving their need or satisfying your own?
Key #4: Aim for the size audience that you can reasonably handle the load for.
i.e.: You don’t need 10K followers if you’re a single-handed graphic designer. How many requests can you possibly process in one week? In this instance, 10K followers is a vanity metric. Yes, it is wonderful to be highly praised and recognized in your industry and follower count is one way of coming to that conclusion, but realize that it is not definitive of whether you’re successful or not.
Too many creative industry entrepreneurs give that number too much credit. It doesn’t necessary tell you the quality of their work, their personality throughout their process, or their depth of experience. Now, if you have a product or course-based business and your systems can process thousands of purchases and inquiries, then awesome. Network & grow those accounts away! Think: Focus on the metrics that make the most sense for your business.
Key #5: Ensure your blog/website is cohesive to the offerings on your ‘branded’ social media accounts.
The two should work in tandem. You don’t have to feel like you’re constantly scraping for content on your Instagram, and your Facebook, and your blog. Think of the blog as the long-form text, the Instagram as a short snippet visual preview of it, and Facebook as the happy medium that allows you to create great looking hyperlinks from right within your viewer’s feed. Each channel is essentially its own language. You want to speak it clearly.
Key #6: Let’s be real – what were you hoping my answer would be in this post? If you were hoping I’d say, “You should definitely merge accounts”, then you should probably do that. If you were hoping I’d say, “You should definitely have separate accounts”, then you should probably do that.
Think it through and ask your closest friends, coworkers or fellow creatives and make a confident, clear decision.
Whatever you decide to do, remember CLARITY not content is king.