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.

10 Comments

  1. What happens with 3rd party applications like Hootsuite.com? For example. I have created one column to follow certain stream, if the person changes her or his name, that stream with that name wont work. I think is a huge risk changing the name.

  2. I think if you make specific filters based on a name you are correct, but if you are following someone who has changed their name – they will still appear in your twitter stream.

  3. What happens to your own links in your webpage, hootsuite, blog etc, do you have to change them to the new name?

  4. If you link to your twitter profile (e.g. “follow me”) then you need to change that to your new name. Also the new twitter name/handle will become your new login – so you should update HootSuite and other 3rd party apps.

  5. My followers have tweeted me and mentioned me as @myusername. For
    example, “@myusername How’s it going?!?!” If I changed my username to
    @NEWUSERNAME, will those tweets and mentions be updated to “@NEWUSERNAME How’s it going?!?!”

  6. Hi Bob.  Your followers will need to address you using your new handle to get in touch with you.  Naturally, as they have come with you during the name change, they can simply reply to your existing tweets and Twitter will use the new handle automatically.  But when they message you independently, they will need to use the new twitter handle.

  7. Hi. But it is your Profile name that appears in bold above your tweet. Right? So whilst I had my business name as @businessname, I was using my own name next to my image. THAT is where I also want my business name. Having just changed that profile name to match the business in the last hour, is there any downside. Lost of followers, replies, links, history?
     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.