How To Change Your Twitter Username Handle And Rebrand Your Account

February 23, 2012

Twitter For Business

How To Change Your Twitter Username Handle

Twitter has been around since 2006. It was founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah GlassEvan Williams and Biz Stone in San Francisco after a prolonged board meeting at a directory website called Odeo. The first tweet ever created was when Dorsey wrote Just setting up my Twttr on March 21, 2006. With the impact of the Obvious Corporation Twitter became a proper company in April 2007, and the rest is history.

I joined up in 2008 and since then I have created several Twitter accounts for different online and offline business entities.

If you are wondering how old your Twitter account is, here’s a handy little tool that will tell you all sorts of interesting things about your account http://tweet.grader.com

Twitter account age by Twitter Grader

For instance you can see from my report that I have been using the Social Media Revolver Twitter account since June 2009. That is not actually the case as I didn’t even have Social Media Revolver back then. What we are looking at is the data from a Twitter username, or handle that used to be called SocialMediaAds. I just changed it to SocialMediaRvl a little while ago, and now I’m going to explain how you can do that too.

If you were one of the early adopters of Twitter then your account might not reflect the true nature of your business any more. Your Twitter handle might not be as suitable or as cool as you’d want it to be; and you might find yourself hoping that you could change it for something better.

Well, you’re in luck, as now you can do just that; and even without losing any of your valued followers! Just follow these two simple steps and you’re all set.

How To Change Your Twitter Handle (Username) Without Losing Any Followers

I did this operation just a few weeks ago as I was re-branding my blog and I needed to change my Twitter handle as well. Actually, I had two choices; either create a brand new Twitter account with zero followers and start from the scratch, or use one of my existing accounts and just re-brand it to fit the new purpose. Luckily I had a suitable account available so I chose the second option.

Ok, if you’re thinking of changing your Twitter username too, here’s what you need to do. Log in to your Twitter account first.

Step 1 – Change Your Twitter Account Username

Click the top right hand corner of your account and go to Settings > Account. You should see a page something like this:

How To Change Your Twitter Username Handle

Write your new preferred username in the Username -box. As you type Twitter will tell you whether this name is available or not. Bearing in mind that you can only use 15 characters on this, and there are already about 500 million Twitter users you might not get the exact name you’d like. If that happens give it a go with some variations until you find a Twitter handle that is not registered yet. If it suits your new profile grab it as it might not be available for long!

While you’re there you might want to change your contact email address as well. For instance if you are using a different domain name with this re-branded Twitter account it would be useful to update the email as well. Twitter will send you a confirmation email if you decide to do the change.

Click the Save changes -button.

Step 2 –  Change Your Twitter  Profile Name

Click the Profile -link on the left hand side menu and you will get a new panel with your account profile details on it.

How To Change Your Twitter Username Handle

Here you should change a few things. First, change your Twitter profile name. You can choose any name you like as long as it fits into 20 characters. Your new profile name should, however, reflect your new Twitter username. I’m not sure if you can see it in the image but I had to put the words ‘Social’ and ‘Media’ together as I was one character over the limit.

Next you probably should have a critical look at your old profile picture. Is it still valid after all these years? If not, then go ahead and upload a new one.

If you also have a new domain name, like I did you should make the change in Web -box as well.

Finally, have a look at your Bio details. If they are out dated as suspected, go ahead and update.

Click the Save changes -button and you’re done!

Congratulations! You have now successfully changed your Twitter username and re-branded your account.

Twitter Custom Background If you were using a custom Twitter background you might want to update that as well. Creating a custom Twitter background is a great way of branding your account and as such is a topic for a separate blog post a bit later. Subscribe to RSS feed and stay tuned for that one!

Remember that once you change your Twitter username you can’t log in to your account with the old name anymore. Also, if you have been using Twitter tools such as TweetDeck, Buffer or similar services you need to update the info there as well.

Kim Castleberry recommends in her fine article about this same topic that once you have done this change over you should re-register the old Twitter handle back. This is actually a good idea; you know, just to keep it away from your competitors and such.

If you decide to use one of your old Twitter accounts for a new purpose, like I did, please make sure that your target audience on that old account is similar to your new re-branded account.

As mentioned earlier, I changed an account called @SocialMediaAds to @SocialMediaRvl. I had been using the old Twitter handle with a website which was about social media advertising. As the two audience profiles were quite close to each other I managed to pull it off with flying colours and didn’t lose any followers. In fact, I have been gaining quite a few since the change.

Have you changed your Twitter username handle lately? Let us know how it went. Or, if you are currently planning to do so, throw us a comment if you have any questions.

[image credits: Renjith Krishnan, jscreationzs]

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About Kris Olin

Kris Olin is a web designer specialised in SEO, social media marketing, Facebook advertising and Internet promotion strategies. Kris has a masters degree in marketing, MSc (Econ.) and he has written the Facebook Advertising Guide. Follow Kris on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and .

View all posts by Kris Olin

17 Responses to “How To Change Your Twitter Username Handle And Rebrand Your Account”

  1. Carolyn Nicander Mohr Says:

    Hey Kris, I’ve been thinking a lot about doing this. My Twitter ID is carpathia16 and I’d like to change it to WonderofTech, the name of my blog. But when I first started my blog, I grabbed WonderofTech to protect my brand, not wanting to change my Twitter name right away and confuse people. So now WonderofTech is taken by me. I’d love to switch the two as WonderofTech has few followers, carpathia16 has 1500+ followers and, as you said, it’s no fun building up an account from scratch again.

    Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      It was a good move to get that WonderofTech in the beginning, Carolyn! Now it is available when you need it. The trick is that you need it to be available when you change the carpathia account.
      WonderofTech comes available in two scenarios. Either you change its name to something else, or you just delete the account. These should happen pretty much in real time, so as soon as it becomes available go and change your carpathia account handle.

      Let me know how you go with this, and I’ll follow you :)

      Reply

      • Carolyn Nicander Mohr Says:

        Thanks, Kris. I was thinking the main goals are to keep the 1500+ account and the Wonderoftech name. Deleting the Wonderoftech account and then changing the name from carpathia16 to Wonderoftech is a great idea, I hadn’t thought of that.

        I will keep you posted on how it goes.

        Reply

      • Carolyn Nicander Mohr Says:

        I did it! That’s right, I am no longer @carpathia16, I am @wonderoftech. Thanks so much for your help. By the way, I found Twitter had a page explaining what to do if you want to switch user names: https://support.twitter.com/articles/14608-i-m-having-trouble-with-my-username

        Reply

  2. Kimberly Castleberry Says:

    Well said Kris. I like the point you made about making sure the audience on an account matches the accounts new objective. Otherwise strong mismatch can create some “push back” against the change that can seem minor but have long term issues. 
    Kim

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Yes, you couldn’t really re-brand a Twitter account associated with weight loss if you’re a candy store. You’d lose your followers quicker that you could say ‘tooth fairy’.
      Thank you for your good comment, Kim! 

      Reply

  3. Juan Lulli Says:

    Very informative for bringing out that, yes, there are times when you’ve got to re-brand your twitter name — reminder that your twitter channel is indeed one of your business branding assets & channels — JuPr

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Twitter re-branding should be business as usual in a same way as your logo re-design, business cards and stationery updates.

      Thanks for your good comment, Juan!

      Reply

  4. Timo Kiander Says:

    Great info Kris!

    Although I started again from scratch, it’s helpful to know about this in the future, if I need to rebrand again :)

    Cheers,
    Timo

    Reply

  5. Guest Says:

    What about people who have mentioned you or RTed you? Will those links change to or will the remain in any feeds as your old handle?

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Retweets, or RT’s will go according to the Twitter handle in place at the time of retweeting. So, if your Twitter handle changes, those old RT’s will not point to your updated account any more. They will point to the account who ever has the old Twitter handle. Preferably yourself, if you re-registered it as @AskKim:disqus suggests.

      Reply

  6. Debbie Says:

    Great article Kris very informative and easy to follow instructions :-)

    Reply

  7. Kittencuddler68 Says:

    How come my twitter page doesn’t look like that? If I click on the upper right hand, all it has is profile, Lists, about, I have clicked on all, never gives me any where to click on account, this is why I think I stopped using twitter, for something that is suppose to be so simple, it’s confusing, please help!!! I want to change my user name, I am on my ipad2, do I need to be on a computer? If so, that stinks too!! :) thanks for who ever might help me.

    Reply

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