How to Merge Twitter Accounts – Without Losing Followers

03.19.2014 | Sarah Elson

Up until last week, one of our clients had four Twitter handles. At first, it made sense—a handle for each unique product and its unique audience. But we soon realized we could build a bigger, stronger social media presence with one handle to encompass it all. We were then faced with a dilemma: How could we make a smooth transition to one handle without losing any followers?

We came up with the following strategy:

1) Update your bios. As an initial announcement, change each account’s bio to let its audience know that the account is moving and to direct them to its new home.

2) Notify your followers. Remind each handle’s followers every day for ten business days that the account is moving by tweeting something along these lines: “We’re moving on March 4! Follow @[name] to continue getting our updates.”

3) Stop regularly scheduled tweets. During the transition period, only tweet reminders about the move from the handles that are being discontinued. All other updates should be tweeted from the new handle.

4) Direct Message followers you might lose. To ensure each account brings all its followers when it moves, reach out to each person who isn’t already following the new account to notify them about the move. An easy way to do this is to export each account’s followers and compare them. SocialBro and Simply Measured both offer this feature, along with other helpful analytics tools.

5) Lock down your accounts. After ten business days, lock down the handles that are being discontinued and update the account bios to let current and potential followers know that the account has moved.

We found this to be an effective way to merge our clients’ Twitter accounts and we’re now well on our way to building a bigger following. Do you have any other tips for easing the transition to a new Twitter handle?


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Filed under: COMMUNIQUÉ PR, Social media, Strategy

17 Comments

  1. Thank you for this information. I had an old Twitter account that isn’t associated with my current website and blog and needed to figure out how to delete it but have followers come to new site. This information was very easy to understand even for a untechie person like myself.

  2. Paul says:

    Quick question, what do you mean by “lock down”? We need to do this for my business and I dont want to delete old accounts but I do want to move all the activity to one main account. Thanks.

  3. Sarah Elson says:

    Good question, Paul. By “Lock down,” we mean that you should make sure that your old accounts remain inactive once you move activity to your main account. If you’re the only who has access to your account, this is easy to manage. If others have access to the account’s login information or regularly tweet from the account, notify them that the account is no longer being used. As an extra precaution, change the account password so you are the only one who can access it. I hope this helps, and good luck with the transition!

  4. Hanif Ali says:

    The information was really nice and helpful, and was clear for any one, I got it in seconds. Thanks by the way.

  5. I’m sort of going through that. I actually had multiple websites, and I decided to merge them all into one. The only issue is that they each had twitter accounts, youtube accounts, and Facebook pages. It’s a pain to manage them all, I wish I could simply merge them. I’m trying with Facebook at least, but I am nearly 100% certain they will turn down my request.

    Thanks for the cool tips on how to handle twitter! Take care!

  6. Sarah Elson says:

    Hi Angel – Agreed, it’s tough to manage multiple social media accounts. I’m glad my tips about Twitter were helpful, good luck merging the rest of your social accounts!

  7. Jeffrey Toale says:

    Thanks for these tips.
    I have two separate Twitter accounts, one was used for business and the other personal. I have been wanting to merge them, but had no acceptable options.
    My issue now is that the account I wish to phase out has some long time, and very important contacts for my future career as Followers.
    So I’m Still left with no real way to merge without risking the loss of some very important contacts as Followers.

    I’m going to test the response rate I get using your methods. But a lot of these contacts/Followers are from a career I had many years ago that I am reentering. So at worst, if the response rate isn’t high enough, I may have to keep the account I wanted to phase out, and phase out the new.account which has a much better user name.
    That would be a shame, but retention of the most high value followers is paramount.

    In retrospect, I wish I had never created that original account with a user name that has nothing to do with me personally. I think it’s a mistake I’ve seen many people make.

  8. I have a huge problem. I started a twitter account back in 2012 with my user name: cynmarose. I recently opened another account to use for politics but this username is CynthiaMaRose.
    All of my tweets from CynthiaMaRose have not gone on this twitter account but they DO show up on my original account.
    I tried downloading tweekdeck and then add an account and it won’t let me.
    I have two accounts and the tweets are merging onto one account.
    I need help. Please, anyone I would really appreciate it.
    My email is cynmarose@gmail.com
    Thank You for reading

  9. Sarah Elson says:

    Hi Cynthia,

    Thanks for reaching out. The purpose of my blog post was to provide some helpful tips for managing changes to a company Twitter account. I do not work for Twitter and do not feel qualified to help solve your challenge – I recommend reaching out to Twitter’s customer service team instead. You can reach their customer service team here: https://support.twitter.com/forms

    Sincerely,
    Sarah Elson

  10. Tita says:

    Hi Good morning!

    Quick question – I have not used my twitter account in years and just now going back to it. I updated my profile but notice that I have 2 profiles on this account @tsgarcia.

    How do i merge the 2 profiles which is in one account?

    Thank you. I appreciate your help in advance.

  11. Sarah Elson says:

    Hi Tita,

    Thanks for reaching out! The purpose of my blog post was to provide some helpful tips for managing changes to a company Twitter account. Since I do not work for Twitter I do not feel qualified to help solve your challenge – I recommend reaching out to Twitter’s customer service team instead. You can get in touch with them here: https://support.twitter.com/forms

  12. I have one account that is stuck in a glitch, over 70,000 followers, so I had opened another account about a year ago just in case, and would like to merge the glitched account to the new fully functioning account. What I don’t want to happen is that the glitch migrate to my functioning account.

  13. I have one account that is stuck in a glitch, over 70,000 followers, so I had opened another account about a year ago just in case, and would like to merge the glitched account to the new fully functioning account. What I don’t want to happen is that the glitch migrate to my functioning account.

  14. Sarah Elson says:

    Thanks for reaching out, Gloria. Given that there is a glitch with your account, I recommend reaching out to Twitter’s customer service to resolve the problem. You can reach their customer service team here: https://support.twitter.com/forms

  15. Fee O'Shea says:

    What a great post thanks, just what I was looking for – (and I found you on the first page of Google). I’m re-branding so I’ll be taking your advise. Other SM platforms haven’t been quite so hard, but I just didn’t know how to manage the twitter one.

  16. MsHarleyD says:

    Jeffrey Toale not sure if you fixed it but just change the one with good name to something else, temporarily. Then change the one with bad name to the good name. Rename the account you changed in yhe 1st step to the bad name just in case people have the bad name account bookmarked. Then do as the article says and post an alert and link to the good account.

  17. Thanks heaps for this guide. We’ve had a relatively big client wanting to migrate their data as they’ve just rebranded. It was disappointing to realise that Twitter didn’t offer an official solution. Regardless, we will test your steps and hopefully achieve a smooth transition. Thanks again.

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