Beyond the Basics is a new video series where I am interviewing leading marketing and communication professionals to discuss advanced social media and interactive marketing strategies and tactics.  Over the past few months I’ve attended many social media and interactive marketing presentations and I find myself and my peers saying, “getting tired of hearing the same basic presentation.”

For my first interview I chose Greg Ng (@gregoryng) Chief Experience Officer at Brooks Bell Interactive.  I asked Greg about how he manages multiple Twitter accounts and personalities, both personal and corporate.  Some of the interesting findings include:

  • Taking time to ensure you have the right account
  • Timing between sending out tweets and retweets
  • Identifying individual personalities on corporate accounts

Thanks to Greg for agreeing to be my first guest.  Look for more interviews over the next several months as I explore SEO/SEM, conversion strategies, other social networks including Facebook and LinkedIn as well as writing tips, content strategies and design.


Hi, this is Brian McDonald of Square Jaw Media and I’m sitting here with Greg Ng, Chief Experience Officer at Brooks Bell Interactive. One of the leading marketing interactive agencies in not only in the Raleigh area, but I think nationwide. Well thank you.

So I asked Greg to sit down with me today. We’re going to talk about Twitter. This is a first in a series of interviews I’m doing, going beyond the basics. Talking a bit more advanced strategy and advanced tactics of how you manage our business as well as your own personal brand online and today we’re going to talk about Twitter.
Greg, you and I both have our own Twitter accounts, as well as our personal brands, or hobby kind of accounts. The first question I have is how do you manage these multiple Twitter personalities? For one, without making it too confusing for the end user. And two, also its really kind of getting your message out the way you want it. I think from a technical standpoint you need a program like TweetDeck or something like that to keep things separate. From a branding and marketing standpoint, it’s difficult. You have to really define in your own head where your boundaries and what your goals from each thing. I have a separate Twitter account for my website, my web show, and engage to my followers in a different way, than those from my personal Twitter account, sometimes there’s overlap.

But I think the most important thing to remember is your specific goals with each account. And the other important thing is don’t tweet without thinking! Yes, yes! Because it’s very important to just pause, wait three seconds, re-read and say yes I selected the right account, and yes I speaking the right way. I can wholeheartedly agree with you on the right account.

Another challenge is how to still come across as being genuine and not narcissistic when retweeting yourself, so if you are retweeting Freezerburns what’s your protocol? Do you like to, again going back to your goals and strategy, is it that Greg’s Twitter account retweets Freezerburns and Freezerburns tweet comes out first?
Yes. And that took awhile to get to that. But that’s my protocol. If it’s something Freezerburns related that I think people who know me personally…let me put it to you this way… people that know me personally know that Freezerburns is part of my personality, it’s part of my output. So it’s not entirely irrelevant for them to know when there’s certain things I want to talk about as Freezerburns. What I do as my own personal protocol is I tweet out through Freezerburns, and I retweet my Freezerburns account through my personal account. For two reasons. One so that those who follow me on my personal account. Understand that yes I have a Freezerburns account; it’s somewhat of a marketing thing. But two is that retweeting it acknowledges to my followers especially those followers following on both accounts. Look I understand you’re following me on both accounts, I’m tweeting this, maybe you would like too as well. At some point where it’s a very specific, up to the minute type announcement like I’m going live in 2 minutes, sometimes I do tweet out both at the same time but very rarely.

Otherwise do you give it a little bit of space between the personal brand your personal account? Maybe like fifteen minutes? Yes give it a little bit extra eyeballs? Absolutely, When I’m publishing a new review, I push out on my Freezerburns Twitter account and I wait sometimes an hour or 2 hours to push out on my personal account.

One last question, we know that in social media, people want to communicate with individuals and not brands. Yet you sometimes are speaking on the branded account. So I’ve seen people put their initials in the tweets, but again you have to have some background on the brand to know what initials are for and who they are. Is it better to just to say maybe we just have the a policy of we’re going to push out major announcements through the corporate branded and everything else needs to go out through individuals, and the corporate brand retweets it. It varies. If you have a small agency like ours there should be a personality associated to it but you don’t necessarily need a specific person behind it.

But that’s the type of content we push out. If you are a big brand, I firmly believe in those initials. And not just putting initials but in the Twitter bio put who those persons are. And what are their individual Twitter accounts as well. So that you know “GN” is for Gregory Ng. And Gregory Ng tweets personally here as well. I’m a big fan of assigning the initials. That level of personality and not hiding behind a logo is very important. I want to thank you for your time today and hopefully this will be some good info for the viewers. Thank you.

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.