I recently conducted a very quick straw poll with five people who I look up to in the #localgov scene. I asked them about use of twitter names in work email signatures. All five responded within an hour. Top people, I chose well, many thanks to them.

(Disclaimer; there are others who I’d consider of equal merit who weren’t asked, but could have been.)

Q. Do you have your twitter ID in your work email signature?

That sounds a simple enough question. The deliberately ambiguous part was that I didn’t specify which Twitter ID, but as I’d tweeted them on their individual named accounts, I’d assumed they would interpret it to have meant that account. However, as I’d referred to their work email signature, I was interested to see how they would respond.

I wasn’t looking to catch them out, more an inquisitive look into their response as part of my study into looking at digital identity. I’m looking at this to inform social media guidance at Leeds City Council, so a bit of crowdsourcing. I’m looking at the expectations and perceptions of personal/professional identity overlap and how this works or doesn’t, and how guidance can appropriately help.

The responses;

Response 1

Yes, work sig includes work Twitter, FB, Google+ and blog all as icons.

Response 2

I have the @xxxcouncil one but not my own 🙂

Response 3

Hi! No. I put @xxxcouncil in though and our Facebook link 🙂

Response 4

No I have the @xxxservice one instead. I’m paid to raise the organisation’s profile not mine. Be interested to hear what others do.

Response 5

Yes, we all have the corporate account as a template signature (and I and other colleagues) also have my personal twitter handle too.

Supplementary Q for respondee 5 Do you manage expectations of responses on work related stuff through your personal handle or might you respond via email?

A If I’m working/not busy I’ll answer it, if not I’ll say get back to them by email/set up a meeting. It’s often nice to do it by twitter…because people don’t witter on as much there as on email or send me big fat attachments that bog down my inbox!

I suppose the answer is – I don’t manage expectation – they can get me where they like is my position.

Analysis 😉

All five use the work account and one also their individual account.

Supplementary info (about their individual twitter profiles)

Three of the five mention their specific job, two mention their profession.

Four of the five have an ‘all views my own’ or similar disclaimer.

Four of the five, (not same) mention their work twitter account.

Four of the five (not same) link to personal blogs.


Totally not a representative sample but interesting responses.

I know some organisations’ social media and/or information governance/management policies will probably won’t permit use of personal/individual accounts, and I bet some don’t cover it.

But then what is a personal account anyway 😉

Be interested to hear your views.