Social media is bigger than ever, especially in the business world. With consumers spending more time on social media than they ever have before, having active and engaging social media accounts is more important than ever. Twitter is a social media platform that is a great way to engage with your audience casually. However, if your audience can’t recognize that it’s your business running the account, that is a problem. This could be from your profile picture, your username, or the way your profile looks. It’s crucial to ensure that your audience can recognize your business from a glance at your Twitter profile or a tweet, mention, or reply to or from your account.
If you find that your Twitter handle does not match up the name of your business, then it may be time to change it. Luckily, this is a relatively simple process. In this article, you will learn what a Twitter handle is, how to change your Twitter handle, when to change your Twitter handle, and what happens after you choose your Twitter handle. After reading this, you will be able to successfully go onto Twitter and change your Twitter username quickly and easily.
What Is a Twitter Handle?
Your Twitter handle is your username, which begins with the “@” symbol. It is unique to your account and appears in your profile URL. Your username is used to log in to your account and is visible when sending and receiving replies and direct messages. Other users on the app can also search for you by your username. It should not be confused with your display name, which is a personal identifier on Twitter and is separate from your username. Your display name is shown next to your username and can be updated anytime. Both your display name and username – or handle – can be anything you want it to be.
Your username must be more than 4 characters long and can be anywhere up to 15 characters. It can only contain letters, numbers, and underscores. No spaces are allowed in your username. Your display name can be up to 50 characters long.
Twitter handles and display names go hand-in-hand. Your handle is what other Twitter users will use to tag, reply, or find you on the app. Your display name is what shows up before your username and is displayed prominently on your profile. If you’re thinking about changing your Twitter handle, it’s essential to consider having your display name and username consistent with one another. Having one be vastly different from the other can be confusing to a consumer, causing them to not want to purchase your product or service. When it comes to changing your Twitter handle, the most important thing is to make sure that your audience understands what is happening, and will not be confused when the change ultimately happens.
How to Change Your Twitter Handle
It is fairly simple to change your Twitter handle on both the website and mobile app. To change your handle, click on the “more” button from the navigation bar. Then, click on settings and privacy, click on your account, then account information. From there, you will be prompted to type in your Twitter account password to confirm it’s you. Under account information, update the username currently listed in the “username” field. If the username you chose is taken, you’ll be prompted to choose another one. Once you have a username that is available and that you like, you click the save button. Then, you’re good to go!
When to Change Your Twitter Handle
When it comes to Twitter, or any social media, business accounts need to have a clean, streamlined look across all boards. Your Twitter username represents your brand and leaves an impression on visitors to your profile. It’s crucial that the username you choose is professional and makes sense based on your business. Ideally, it should be consistent across all of your social media accounts. This makes it easy for people to find you and tag you in posts.
Even if you’ve been using your Twitter handle for years, there are a number of reasons why it may be time to change it. To ensure that your online presence is current, consider updating your username if any of the following applies to you:
- You’ve changed the name of your business or have done substantial rebranding.
- The evolution of your industry has led to a change in your consumer base’s needs, and you want your profile to reflect that change.
- Your current username is not strategic or includes a mistake. A non-strategic username could be too long or looks unprofessional.
- Your username is inconsistent with usernames that you use on other social media accounts.
While the act of changing your username is simple and quick, it’s important to think about changing your username carefully. Some brands can lose more than they gain from changing their username, as it can be confusing to followers if they’re not informed of the change or if the new username is more difficult to remember and include in tweets.
Choosing Your New Handle
If you’ve decided that it’s in your best interest to change your username on Twitter, you will want to keep a few best practices in mind. First, think about an ideal username that would be good for not just today, but for years into the future. This will help you avoid having to go through the renaming process again.
If the name you want is taken but no longer active, you can try reaching out to the account owner directly. You can ask them if they will allow you to use it. Usually, you can find a way to contact the person through a simple Google search. Twitter has a strict rule against paying for usernames. So if the account owner wants you to pay, be aware that doing so puts you at risk of being kicked off the platform. If you’re unable to secure the username you want, an alternative is to modify it slightly to find something that’s available yet still memorable and relevant. For example, you could add a location, an underscore, or a hyphen. It is important to be mindful of the length, as your username contributes to the character count for any tweet in which it’s mentioned.
Changing Your Username
Once you’re ready to transition to your new username, there are two ways to create the change without losing your followers:
- Update your username within your existing account. The easiest way to do this is to edit it in the settings of your existing account.
- Create a new account to keep as a holding place on your existing username. This more complex option is useful if you prefer to save your current usernames for the future. But, this is frowned upon by Twitter and probably isn’t necessary.
Next, it is important to remember to update any references to your Twitter account. This can include your website, other social media pages, email signature, business cards, and marketing materials. The content and tone of your messaging should always match up across the many interactions you have with your clients and prospects. It is important to keep this exercise in mind when you’re rebranding, or your brand needs to shift direction.
What Happens After You Change Your Twitter Handle?
After you’ve changed your Twitter handle, your new tweets will come from your new username. Your old tweets will stay on your profile, and they will be rebranded with your new Twitter handle. However, any new tweet or retweet you were mentioned in will still be under your old name. It will no longer be linked to your account. Conversations will become very one-sided, as all the messages from the second party disappear, leaving only your own. This is because mentions in tweets are based on tax, not unique ideas. So, Twitter will not change a tweet just because you changed your username. Instead, the link will go to a 404 page until someone creates an account or changes their username with your old handle.
Although all mentions under your old username will disappear from your profile, they will still linger in your notifications tab. Since a regular download of your Twitter data won’t take this, you can archive this activity by opening the notifications page. From there, right-click anywhere on it and choose “save as” with the format of “webpage, complete.” This will create a duplicate of the page stored locally on your own computer.
- What is a Twitter handle?
- What is a Twitter display name?
- When would you want to change your Twitter username?
- How do you change your Twitter username?
- What happens after you change your username?