After the company I work for re-branded last year, I had to change the username on all of our social media accounts. For some accounts, it was a simple exercise. For others… not so much.(Yes, I’m talking about you, Facebook.)
Fortunately, Twitter name changes are easy. In just a few clicks, you can change your Twitter name and still retain all of your followers. Here are step-by-step instructions for changing your Twitter username without losing followers:
- Visit Twitter.com and login to your current account.
- Click on your username in the upper right corner and choose Settings from the drop down menu.
- You should land on the Account tab. Type your new name into the Username field. Twitter will automatically verify that the new name is valid and available. Note: Nothing will change until you click Save, so if you’re undecided, you can plug in a few different names to test your options.
- Once you’ve settled on a new name, scroll down and click Save.
Now you’ve changed your username, and all of your followers are still with you. But you still need to do a little housekeeping to notify your followers of the change, and help direct new followers to the correct account.
- Tweet your current followers to tell them about the name change. Refer to your old name without using the @ symbol. “We’ve changed our Twitter handle! frgrocer will now be known as @FriendlyGrocer.”
- Now immediately logout, visit Twitter.com again and register for a new account using your OLD name (which should now be available).
- Send a single tweet from your OLD name to tell any visitors about your NEW name. “Hi everyone! @frgrocer is now @FriendlyGrocer. Please follow our new name to learn about weekly specials at your favorite neighborhood grocer.” (Remember, this message is not for your current followers. They are all still with you on your new account.)
- Monitor the @replies, new followers and DM feeds from your OLD name. Send an @reply or DM from your NEW name to correct anyone who tweets your old name. @personwhotweetedtheoldname Thanks for the shout-out! The new Twitter handle for Friendly Grocer is @FriendlyGrocer.
Tip: Monitoring and managing both names and multiple feeds at once is made much easier by using a twitter client with columns, such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. You can assign columns to each feed from both your old and new names to watch them all simultaneously. If that sounds too complicated, you can just get email alerts for the old name from Twitter.
The transition doesn’t take long at all. In a few days, just about everyone will be using your new name. In fact, depending on how robust your Twitter presence is, it’s possible that some of your followers won’t even notice the name change. Don’t take it personally. It’s hard to get to know someone in 140 character snippets.
Photo credit: Eugene Hood Photo on Flickr