I also didn’t realize that with twitter having 140 character limit (of which we shouldn’t be using more than 120 anyways)… that a 15 character twitter username (@KimJCastleberry) was a LOT of characters to lose!
Every character of your twitter ID (username) digs into your 120 characters the moment you are retweeted! Suddenly the added “RT @KimJCastleberry costs almost 20 of my extremely precious characters! Oh no!
Of course, there is the internal struggle of keeping consistent naming conventions on all of your social media profiles. However, I’d already been building the “Ask Kim” element with both my “Ask Kimberly & Community” (free Facebook technical Q&A) and my Facebook Fan Page, which is at http://www.facebook.com/Ask.Kim So yay, I had something shorter to work with!
Of course, even with a shorter name to work with, I was scared of losing majority of my several-thousand follower base. So, after some research, here’s what I came up with to change your twitter name without losing followers!
Step 1: Change Your UserName
Go to Twitter (login) -> Settings (upper right). Click Settings and in the page that opens, in the USERNAME field, type in your desired new name. Twitter will give you feedback about the “taken” or “available” status of your desired name.
(In my case, I couldn’t get exactly what I wanted, but @Ask_KimC is pretty close!)
All follower’s are automagically updated to be following your new twitter name! How cool is that?
However…. You knew there was a gottcha, didn’t ya?
Step 2: Any client that you use to connect to Twitter with (in my case, I depend on and affiliate for 3: Hootsuite (client), Tweetspinner (management), Socialoomph (free keyword tracking and auto-DM)), needs to be logged into and have its login credentials changed.
In Hootsuite this means go into Settings -> Social Networks -> Edit (for the account you changed) -> Change and save. In Tweetspinner, log in, and in the upper right near your twitter name, under it, select “update (your) user/pass”. For SocialOomph which lacks a full edit feature, I simply deleted that old account and registered and authenticated the new one. Piece of cake.
(Also be sure to update any place you may have the old address in use such as social media buttons, cute profile buttons, listed on your facebook account, listed on your linkedin profile, etc.)
Step 3: Re-Register Your Old Twitter Name
The last thing you want is someone grabbing your old twitter name and pretending to be you. Two notes however: (1) This will require a seperate email address and (2) It can be a bit after changing your accounts name, before twitter will allow you to re-register the name, so don’t panic! (Which of course, I did, learning this the hard way!) Put a single tweet on it that says to join you at your new username, and put the same information in the accounts bio box.
Step 4: Breathe A Satisfied Sigh Of Satisfaction!
That’s all there is too it! With this method you wont lose any of your precious followers! Majority of the work is auto-updated on Twitter’s side, which is incredibly convenient! Always nice when companies make it so easy!
That’s all folks! Like it? Love it? Got Questions? Be sure to share it and drop me some feedback! I’d love to hear how it goes!