For one week, I followed a specific four pages on Twitter; two PR professionals and two companies. For my social media class, we were to follow these tweets and analyze how each person and company uses Twitter to their benefit and promotion and how they utilize hash tags in their tweets.
From Monday, April 25, 2011 to Friday, April 29, 2011, I specifically followed PR professionals, Brett Pohlman and Todd Defren and companies, Rite Aid and Walmart. I found that Brett Pohlman generally used his Twitter account for more personal, check-in sort of statuses, including "I'm at Vulcan Park and Museum (1701 Valley View Dr, at Valley Ave, Birmingham) http://4sq.com/lAZQ7c" and "I'm at The Wine Loft (2200 1st Ave. North, Birmingham)http://4sq.com/kLuoxO." He did, however, post interesting information and articles that related to advertising or various companies. Pohlman tweeted several times day, though Defren posted three times on Monday and has been MIA on Twitter the rest of the week. He did share an interesting article on PR-Squared.com and actually, he posted about that same article twice. (He must have really enjoyed it.) The other tweet was linking to someone's newsletter, which in the one that I read offered some advice about LinkedIn.
Rite Aid did multiple tweets mentioning the much talked about Royal Wedding. Though their tweets weren't about the stores, they used their Twitter account to engage with the customers, I suppose, and to mention/respond to other Twitter users who tweet about Rite Aid. They tweeted multiple times a day and the most interesting tweet from Rite Aid was, "What Rite Aid Brand products do you find to be as good as the name brands? What products would you like to see produced as Rite Aid Brand?"
Walmart's tweets, as often as Rite Aid's, were definitely more company focused. Almost every tweet was about their achievements and news about the company. A couple examples of those tweets were "Walmart China has cut water use in stores by 54% since 2005!http://walmarturl.com/eDcLxF ^KL" and "Walmart buys #localproduce in Ohio from family farm in business since 1896! http://walmarturl.com/gHzvcr ^KL."
So I guess what I can say about professional individual accounts compared to company accounts is that though the professional accounts are professional, they can still be personal and used to promote, update and share things about the person, as well as things that they find interesting or worth sharing. Company accounts are more for promotion of a brand and for news and connection with their customers.
Now, in regards to hash tags, Walmart was the only user that I followed to use them regularly. Pohlman used hash tags in one of his tweets about the tornados that devastated the South and about donating money to Alabama and the Red Cross. Walmart used pretty normal hash tags, I think, which included #Sustainability, #Walmart, #localproduce and #milblogcon (representing the Annual MilBlog Conference, the premiere event for the military blogging community.) I think that these hash tags can be useful because anyone seeing them/searching for them will be brought to see Walmart's name and then they'll be more likely to associate Walmart with those key words that were hash tagged.