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If you use one Twitter account for both personal and professional reasons listen up. There is no reason, with the technology we have at our fingertips, to have just one account. In fact, it can be downright inappropriate.

Let me give you an example: I follow a woman who works in economic development. She is an acquaintance of mine and I follow her because of who she is professionally because it pertains to my job as the editor of a regional magazine. While she tweets about the goings-on in her city in a professional manner, she also tweets about her personal life. And nothing bothers me more.

While I am happy to learn about new businesses moving to the area and community initiatives, I am not interested in hearing about her children, the party she is going to this weekend, or how much she hates it when her friends call her on her cell phone in the middle of the day while she’s at work. These personal tweets are taking away from her professional ones and, honestly, causing me to tune out and “unfollow”.

If she would just have two separate accounts—one to use as a PR tool for the city she works for and one to rant and rave about her personal life—this love/hate relationship I have with her online persona would disappear.

You might think that having more than one Twitter account is annoying—having to always sign in and out of Twitter each time you want to switch. It’s time consuming and annoying. Yeah, I did that for a while too, but then I found something better, something marvelous. That thing is called Seesmic.

Seesmic is one of those applications that helps you manage multiple accounts at once and saves you time doing it.

I manage three different Twitter accounts for the three different magazines my business creates. Becoming overwhelmed with the process of managing them all I sought a way to become more productive. There’s a great article on Mashable published about a year ago citing 25 Twitter apps to manage multiple accounts.  I tried out a couple and ended up using Seesmic.

Why Seesmic? Well, it has the cutest little raccoon icon—but that’s not the most important reason. I found it to be the easiest to download and figure out how to use. There’s nothing worse than an application that boasts that it’s going to save you time that takes a manual to figure out how to use. The easier the better for someone as busy as I am.

Here are some others that you might like better:

TweetDeck

TweetDeck works for Windows and Mac users. It connects you across many social media sits like Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare, and LinkedIn to name a few.

Nambu

This is for you Mac users out there who want the same look and feel as OSX. It’s also good if you are interested in Twitter trends, filters, and groups. It looks to me to have a lot of bells and whistles that some people find fascinating.

Tweetie

Another Mac app that has a nice look that wont hurt your eyes. It has a single column view and keyboard shortcuts. And if you’re one of those people who have conversations via Twitter there is a feature called direct message threading. It looks like an instant messaging window with the photo and talk bubbles.

Conclusion

Choosing an application to manage your Twitter accounts really comes down to your preference—what you find appealing. Also, if you have a smartphone (like the iPhone) or an iPad, you’ll want to find an app that works across all the platforms you intend to use it on.

But I beg you—no matter what you use, be sure to use it. The combination of professional and personal posts not only turn your followers off, it’s hurting the brand you are trying to create. There’s nothing wrong with separate – but equal – when it comes to your tweets.

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By Melanie Brooks|Other Articles

Melanie Brooks has written for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites from Maine to New Jersey. She currently works as an editor for Bangor Metro and Maine Ahead magazines.

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