Guest Post by Sanjiva Persad
I wrote a blog post last year about my decision to keep two Twitter accounts.
I waxed (Un!)lyrical about my thought process in maintaining two accounts, and how the sacrifices in terms of time and effort were worth it.
Then I changed my mind.
You might recall that I had an anonymous “casual” Twitter account and a professional one.
I had a good run with the maintenance of both, but the bottom line is that I just didn’t have the time to maintain an anonymous persona, or to decide which account I wanted to share certain pieces of information from.
I also couldn’t get past a certain question: “If I was questioning sharing something from an account with my name on it, do I really want or need to be sharing it?“
So I made my decision, and decided to get rid of my anonymous account and focus all my energy on the professional (or more professional of the two) account. I gave a lot of thought to how I wanted to make the change, and what the most effective way of doing it logistically would be.
Should I make an announcement, repeat it for a fixed period of time, then delete the account? Should I DM each of my followers to let them know? Was I flattering myself by thinking they would care?
In the end, this was my process:
1. I went through my follower list and made sure everyone I followed on my anonymous account was also being followed on my professional account. Then I did the same for those accounts in my following column.
This wasn’t very exciting, but it didn’t take as long as I thought it would. And actually, it was an effective form of spring cleaning.
2. I went through my followers again, and identified those that I engaged with on a regular basis. I sent those followers a DM with my plans to move, and funnily enough, most of them were following both my accounts without knowing they were both run by the same person. This was not an exact science, and I’m sure I inadvertently left some people out.
3. I crafted a final goodbye tweet. This was tricky. I had to decide if I wanted to include my professional account handle in the final tweet with an instruction to follow me there, but I decided against it.
Also, I wanted to keep the tone upbeat and thank my followers for their interaction and conversations over the years. I was happy with what I came up with, but it wasn’t easy in 140 characters.
4. I received a few @ replies and DMs expressing surprise (“#wtf?” featured prominently) and even some very kind protests. I DMed these people with my professional Twitter information and encouraged them to keep in touch.
And that was that. I didn’t delete my anonymous account, and I browse through it every so often (even though Twitter limits the number of tweets I have access to).
In general, though, I have no regrets about my decision.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with merging two Twitter accounts via the comments section below, especially if you went about the process in a different way.
Image: shawncampbell via Flickr, CC 2.0
Sanjiva Persad is a London-based social media marketer and copywriter who specialises in helping small businesses build their brand online. His home on the web is sanjivapersad.com. He also blogs, tweets, and tries to update his Facebook page once a day.
Hi Sanji great post. I have 4 accounts. One was anonymous/personal (my original one), and I have my professional one, then one for music and one for politics. Way too much to manage (especially since I run a clients account too). So I wound up letting my personal and music accounts die. And now I use my professional one as my personal one too but obviously i have to censor myself (more proof of why klout is faulty). and while i dont use my politics account except to post tweets it is still used sometimes.
Probably as good as way as any to let people know what is going on. I did finally sign up to Qwitter just to see who is cutting me lose. Sometimes surprising and I don’t give it much thought; I don’t know much but one thing I do know, social is very fickle indeed.
Hi, Sanjiva; I remember reading your first post, and being interested in your follow-up findings because I also have a second account. One that’s been sadly neglected. I check into it from time to time, and have even revamped my followers. But it seems that now I’m following many of the same types of people on my first account that I had resolved to follow on my second account but never did. So it’s making the second one feel superfluous. Tough decision, but one I’m going to be forced to make sooner or later, too. Thanks for sharing your technique for cutting off one of your accounts, too.
@ShakirahDawud Thanks for the comment, Shakirah. I think everyone’s situation is different, but I can definitely relate to the superfluous “other” account. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
Hi @Shonali When I first signed up with Twitter three years ago, I had no idea what I was doing…none at all. I knew that I wanted to use it for my dental practice but I didn’t know where to begin and I had no “mentors” at that time. So I made a fast and not well thought out decision to use a personal Twitter handle. I floundered with it for a day or two and realized after scoping Twitter out, that this was not what I wanted. i wanted to represent my “brand” if you will. So I opened another account and did it completely differently. That is the account I use for my practice….I haven’t even looked at my first account in over2 years. That said, I also have three other Twitter accounts, all for professional use. It IS hard to manage multiple Twitter accounts with the same amount of enthusiasm and intent. Two of them are well followed and have a fair amount of engagement. The other two are struggling but, I have hope;-) We’ll see….
Thanks for an interesting perspective, shonali
@SocialMediaDDS All props to @sanjivapersad since it’s his post/experience… and so interesting to hear about yours!
Do you think you’ll delete the profiles you don’t use at some point?