If you’ve launched a Twitter account for a company or project, you’ve faced the same problem we’ve got here at Social Signal: how do I translate all the follows and followers on my individual account into a set of follows and followers on our Social Signal account?

There’s no way to move my followers to @socialsignal, except by renaming my @awsamuel account, and then what would I use to twitter personally? What I can do is get Social Signal to follow the same people I’m following personally; that will give me an easy way to get into a conversation with my new @socialsignal hat on, and encourage them to follow our @socialsignal account too.

But it’s not that easy to copy all your follows to a new account, either. Here’s the obvious — and painful — way:

  1. Login to Twitter using your new corporate account
  2. Visit the list of followers on your personal account (e.g. http://twitter.com/awsamuel/followers)
  3. Click on the follow button underneath each username, preferably while watching TV and holding a strong drink in your other hand
  4. Visit the list of friends (people you’re following) on your personal account (e.g. http://twitter.com/awsamuel/friends)
  5. Refresh your drink
  6. Click on the follow button underneath each username for your friends
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 for each user account you want to integrate with your new corporate account
  8. Regard each of the people you’re following on your new account with a vague, simmering resentment that they put you to so much trouble

Now, the easy way:

  1. Login to Tweetake using your personal account and password, and select “friends”. Click “get ’em” and your friends will be exported to CSV. Do the same thing for “followers”.
  2. Take each dowloaded CSV file and open in Excel. Copy & paste the Username column into a plaintext file.
  3. Using Twitterator, enter the username and password for your corporate account, and copy & paste the list of usernames in your plaintext file. Click “submit”, and then be a tiny bit patient.

Twitterator popped some glitchy messages, but Social Signal is now following 700 more people. Hi, y’all — if you’ve been enjoying the Tweets Rob & I have posted as @awsamuel and @robcottingham, we hope you’ll follow @socialsignal to get our most useful and amusing social media insights.