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?