Expedia Inc. starts brand new Twitter accountNewsBy Dennis Schaal | January 19, 2010Share This article was originally published on Expedia Inc. -- the parent company of Expedia.com, hotels.com, Hotwire, eLong, egencia, TripAdvisor and Venere, among others -- launched a Twitter account Jan. 13.In its first week, expediainc has tweeted three tweets about Haiti relief, why hoteliers should view online travel agencies as marketing vehicles [not mere booking engines] and an upcoming Expedia Media Solutions appearance at the American Lodging Investment Summit [pdf].There's not much excitement here yet, but Expedia Inc. is first dipping its toes into the water. Individual brands in the Expedia Inc. portfolio, including Expedia.com, which has more than 23,400 followers, have had Twitter accounts for some time.So, I guess this raises an issue: Do parent companies need to be on Twitter or should individual brands carry the load?It can't hurt, right?Well, actually anything in social media can hurt if it's not done with some finesse.UPDATE: It turns out the Expedia Inc.'s Twitter account has been around for awhile, but has been in "observation" mode, according to a spokeswoman. Its first tweet indeed took place Jan. 13.“The question of whether parent companies should have a presence is a good one," the spokeswoman says. "Our brands do maintain their own feeds, but the parent company has non-consumer constituents that run horizontally across the brands. I don't think it would be as salient a question if the parent company didn't happen to share the same name as our biggest brand. "