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How to change your Twitter name and keep your followers

In a world where personal branding is increasingly more important, the user name you select for your Twitter account is more essential than ever.  What happens if you decide that your Twitter name no longer reflects your brand identity?

Changing your Twitter name is a simple task but you need to be careful and ensure that links in all your previous messages (tweets) do not become “orphaned” by this change.

Here’s a quick guide on how to change your Twitter name, keep all your followers, and prevent any disconnect in your existing tweets.

1. Log in to your Twitter account and select Settings

2. In the “Username” box, enter the new Twitter name you want (it will tell you if a particular name is unavailable).  You will need to confirm your password in order to make this change.

It’s as simple as that to change your Twitter name – you have now retained all your followers.  Easy right?

The problem is with any links out there to your old Twitter profile page (e.g. www.twitter.com/myoldbrand/) or links to your old account (e.g. @myoldbrand) listed in previous tweets that may appear in content searches for Twitter.

This problem is also simple to fix – all you need to do is now create a new twitter account using your old twitter name (e.g. myoldbrand).

1. Log out (“Sign out”) of Twitter

2. Now create a new account by clicking on the “Sign up now” button

3. Fill in the form and enter your previous Twitter name as your username (it has now been released following the steps above)

4. You will need to use a different email address – you can use an email alias for your existing email or you may need to create a GMail account for this purpose.

5. Once you have saved your account, update your profile settings with the URL of your website.. and make one tweet that ensures that people viewing your profile will know that you have “moved”.  Something like:

This is my old twitter name.  Please follow @MyNewBrand instead.

That’s it – your done.  You have changed your Twitter name, kept your followers and created a place holder so that none of your old messages and other promotion efforts have gone to waste.

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