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.
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.