How to change your Twitter handle without losing followers or mentions

how-to-change-twitter-username

I’ve been using Twitter since 2009, when I was firstly focusing on my photography business. I didn’t use it for business at the time, but more so for simple connections with friends and tweet-friends. It was fun.

Over the years, and more websites and brands to manage, I’ve managed to grow the account to be about 16,000 followers. Each of my tweets tends to get at least one or two favorites or retweets which is nice.

However, as I evolve and become more serious about my brand (and as I just recently sold my wellness blog) the name the blogosphere (and my high school/college friends) knew me as – Kammie – had to make way to my real name, which makes me sound a lot more sophisticated and serious and not as cutesty, Kamila.

I used to really dislike my name but as I became more engrossed in personal branding I began to be grateful for the infrequency with which the name appeared. Plus, the fact that I don’t know any well-known Kamila’s in my field is definitely a plus!

So, as I sold my blog, I figured it’s time to change my Twitter handle (and Instagram handle) to my real name so I can be easier to find. After all, if someone just found me recently, how would they know my twitter handle is xokammie? Not to mention the fact that people would typically spell Kammie as “Kami” as a way to shorten my real name “Kamila”. Makes sense. But I felt it was time to OWN my name and own it good!

So, now my concern was – how do I change my twitter handle and not let all the people who DO know me as kammie get confused? And what about the click-to-tweets I have set up, where people are tweeting things out with my @xokammie handle? I want them to be able to find me still.

What’s a girl to do? How can I change my twitter handle without losing any followers and still receiving the mentions and DM’s that I’d otherwise be getting from people who remembered the handle I had for 6 years?

I’ll break down what I did in the steps below. So if you’re looking to change your Twitter username without losing your followers or mentions, you’re in the right place.

Step 1.

Determine what you want your new username to be and check whether it’s available in all major platforms.

So for me, I wanted to change my xokammie handle to kamilagornia. But for consistency’s sake, I had to make sure that my Instagram account could be changed to kamilagornia as well because I had to make sure in case people are sharing something on IG and mentioning my username, it works.

Plus congruency is a heck of a lot more efficient and effective all around.

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So, to do that – just go to www.twitter.com/newusername and if nothing shows up, you’re in the clear. Then do the same with instagram by going to www.instagram.com/newusername and check again.

Works? Perfect.

Step 2.

Open up a new browser in another software. So if you typically use Safari, open up Chrome AND Safari. Open up Twitter on both.

In one of the browsers, log in to your current account. 

In the other browser, sign up for a new account and go through the steps. It doesn’t matter what username you choose. You’re gonna be changing it to the right one in a little bit. You can use “random1235” for all I care. This username WILL not stay.

Make sure you have confirmed your email for this new account (yes, you will have to use a new email address, not the one you have associated with your current account).

Step 3.

When you’re in your current account (xokammie), go to Settings. To get there, you can just click on your profile picture that shows up on the top right corner of the page.

Once you click on it, you may see a drop down. Select “Settings” to get to settings. Sometimes it might take you there directly without the drop down. That’s fine.

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Once you’re in settings and viewing the “Account” tab, which is the main view of settings that should show up, you’ll notice that on the very top you see your current username.

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What you do now is you simply change the username to your new username of choice.

When you type it in, there will be a note above it that tells you whether your new username is available or whether it’s already taken. Since you already checked in step one, it should show up as available.

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When your new username is typed in and there IS a note above that says it’s available, simply scroll down and click on the big blue “Save Changes” button.

As soon as you do this, BOOM! Your current twitter account now has your new desired username. And guess what? You still have all the followers that you had before. So simple.

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Step 4.

Okay, so you have your new username… but what if people are tweeting at your OLD username? Now they’re getting nowhere and you are missing all of these mentions, potential opportunities, and more. Oh no! And what if someone grabs your old username and pretends to be YOU? That’s not something we want to happen, right?

So this is where the new account you just created comes into play. Go to your other browser that has your new account pulled up with the funky username.

Go to settings of this account just as you did in step 3. Now, in the username you are going to change your funky username to the username you just GAVE UP! So, I just gave up my username “xokammie” and it has now become available for grabs again. You want to make sure you are the first person to grab that username.

Type in your new username in the field (aka, your old username that you just gave up) and click on “Save Changes”. Boom! Now you have control over both accounts – the new one with all of your old followers and the new one so you don’t miss any mentions people might be taking using your old handle.

Step 5.

The last step is to make sure your new account with your old username (for me, that’s the xokammie account in step 4) looks reflective to your brand. I do this by simply adding my logo to my profile picture so it looks legit, but I don’t worry about my cover photo or following people.

In fact, I would make it a point to NOT follow anyone on this account EXCEPT your new username so it’s clear to people you are NOT using this account.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 11.51.19 AM

Now you wanna make it uber clear what’s going on to people who might be stumbling upon this account accidentally. As you see, even though I just made this account a day ago, I already got 5 straggler followers.

You want to make it clear so when someone lands on your account, they know where you REALLY are hanging out at. This is what I do by the single tweet that is posted on the account. I also made sure to say this in my description.

I still include my website, cause.. why not? 😉

Step 6.

Lastly, a good idea would be to let your current followers know about the change as well so they’re not like, who the heck? A simple tweet takes care of this.


 

Step 7.

Make sure to change your share buttons, whether you use Sharaholic or another share plugin that puts in your twitter handle automatically when people share your blog posts (which by the way is the way I recommend doing it, people love giving credit – I actually don’t even tweet out articles when I see that the author won’t be tagged).

Change your share buttons to link to your new handle across your website.

 

That’s it 🙂 Simple? Very! I hope this helps 🙂

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