Do non-personal Twitter streams work?

Is it not going against the core purpose of Twitter to use the service as a group account (for example, an account for one’s company)? Does it really achieve the return that the company is looking for in terms of interacting with their market? Do Twitter users catch on to this and not interact with the account? How do you know who you’re talking with, if it’s a corporate account? With some celebrities who tweet, they’ve hired a “Twitter PA”, as it were, to tweet for them.

Using a Twitter account isn’t the same as having your biography written for you. Twitter users want to interact with other Twitter users, as is the core functionality of the service. I’d rather interact with a user who has a personal account, who I happen to know is the CEO of or is working at a certain company. That way, if you have a query for that company, you know who you’re talking with and are also aware that the person works for the company. Brands, bands, companies, etc sign up on Twitter looking for that “personal connection” to their market. For that “direct access”. How does signing up a Twitter account for your brand do this? Or, for that matter, does it do this at all?

In some cases, a band (for example), a Twitter account can be used to directly connect with a fanbase. The “personal connection” can be achieved by treating Twitter like any personal user would. Go to tweet-ups, participate in conversations, contribute. Twitter isn’t your soap box, it’s a clean and tidy lounge that serves cocktails and soft drinks (don’t drink and tweet 😉 ).

Yes, a non-personal Twitter stream can work. For example, a blog can post their blog posts on Twitter, acting more like an RSS feed. This saves the user having to open a feed reader, subscribe to emails or to even have to visit the website without knowing what they’re going to see. In this case, the interaction is somewhat different. Being that the account is representing a brand, the users may find it difficult to interact on a personal level with the account, which would limit the account to basic query and response conversations, or conversations pertaining to the topics discussed in the blog.

So that’s my view on non-personal Twitter accounts. I’ve explored both sides of the coin. What are your views?


  1. I agree with you Matt, I think corporate accounts generally don’t work. Like take @guykawasaki – hes largely an Alltop bot, but under the guise of a personal account, and sprinkling in other links and personal tweets, as well as interacting, he has a huge effective following.

    I only think hard line corporate accounts can work if they offer something of real value to the follower. I’m no marketer or social media expert, but I have some ideas on how they could be effective. I cant list them here though, otherwise my comment is going to be longer than your post 🙂

    I like the little changes you’ve made to this site – looking neat dude.

    1. Thanks Brendon. Glad you like the updates. 🙂 More coming soon.

      Yeah, I agree re: corporate accounts. In my opinion, adding real value is where Twitter’s core value lies. If a corporate is tweeting about their specials and about how awesome they are, are they really using Twitter for it’s perceived intended purpose (user to user interaction)?

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