Did you know that you can change your Twitter username any time that you like? And that it won’t have any negative impact on your Twitter profile?
That’s right – simply head over to your profile settings on Twitter.com and type in the new username of your choice. Twitter will do a quick check and if it’s available, you’re all set. The best part? You won’t lose any of your tweets, followers or anything else – the only thing that will be different is your handle.
In this article, I’m going to give you four reasons why you should change your Twitter username right now.
How To Change Your Username
Simply log on to Twitter.com and visit the Account part of your Twitter Settings.
Type your preferred username in the Username box. Twitter will do a quick check and if it’s available, click on the Save button and you’re done.
But why would you want to do this?
1. Your Username Is Too Long
While your Twitter username can be a maximum of 15 characters, ideally it should be as short as possible. Why? Retweets. The shorter your username, the more characters you have to write with and the easier it is for people to have sufficient space to retweet your messages.
2. Your Username Looks Spammy
If you’ll excuse the euphemism, you should never sacrifice length for quality, especially if your idea of a good short username is @x123_49g or something equally hideous that makes you look like a spambot.
While it’s certainly true that quality Twitter handles are becoming as hard to obtain as top level domain names, don’t just go with the first thing that’s available. It’s always worth putting in some time and effort as a proper-looking Twitter username appears more trustworthy, which can pay dividends, certainly for brands.
3. Your Username Doesn’t Match Your Brand
If you’re using Twitter for business always try to match your username as closely as possible to your brand name. For example, if your brand is called Super Duper Pizza, the username you want is @superduperpizza. Not @pizzadude, not @bob_smith and certainly not @x123_49g.
If your preferred Twitter handle is taken, get as close as you possibly can. I don’t recommend the use of underscores (_) where possible but if that gets you nearer to your actual brand name, and no other reasonable option is available, use them.
4. You’re Squatting On Somebody Else’s Username
If you think you’ve been clever by snatching up a Twitter profile handle that you have no business whatsoever using, then do the right thing and give it up. Twitter’s T&Cs forbid the sale of usernames so it’s not as if you can make any money out of it, and anyone spending two seconds on your profile page will quickly realise you’re not the real deal.
Before You Do This…
Changing your Twitter username is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it’s certainly not something you should do on a regular basis. Once is more than enough, so if you do change it make sure you get it right.
Profiles that are new on Twitter and weren’t perhaps aware of the way the platform worked when they registered are strongly advised to consider a username change. People who have been using Twitter for years can still make changes where appropriate, but remember that as most people will know (and @reply to) you via your long-term username you’re taking on a much bigger risk by doing so.
So, if you decide to change your username, while you won’t lose your network or anything else, much like when you change your avatar it’s always worth doing a quick shout out to your Twitter followers to let them know. It’s courteous and the right thing to do. Otherwise, and especially if the change is significant, many people might suddenly start to wonder who you are and why they are following you. Which can quickly backfire when they decide they no longer want to.
(Green @ symbol image via Shutterstock.)
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