Are you longing to rebrand your Twitter identity? Or you may feel that your current Twitter handle, which you hastily picked when signing up on Twitter, doesn't accurately represent you or your brand anymore. You're not alone.
We all evolve, and so do our interests and brands. As such, our digital reflections must keep pace as well.
While Twitter doesn't shout out loud about this, it's astonishingly easy to change your Twitter handle while keeping your same followers, tweets, and even engagements intact.
How, you ask? Well, that's exactly what you're about to discover.
Let's get started.
What is a Twitter Handle?
A Twitter handle refers to the user name that you use to identify yourself on Twitter. Your handle begins with an '@' sign, followed by a unique combination of letters, numbers, and underscores, and is distinct from your display name on the platform.
For instance, if your chosen handle is '@JohnSmith,' other Twitter users would use this handle to tag you in their tweets or send direct messages to you. Your Twitter handle is searchable, which makes it a key identifier on the platform.
Your Twitter handle is crucial as it reflects your personal or business identity on the platform. Choosing a handle that is relevant, meaningful, and representative of who you are or what your brand stands for is essential. Be aware it must also fit within Twitter's 15-character limit.
If you choose to modify your Twitter presence, the platform allows you to change your handle at any time while keeping your existing followers, tweets, and engagements.
Why Change Your Twitter Handle?
While the prospect of changing your Twitter handle may seem daunting to some, it can be an effective way to manage your online persona or business brand for several reasons:
If your business has undergone a rebranding or you have changed your name, modifying your Twitter handle to reflect this can help maintain brand consistency across all platforms.
As we evolve, so do our interests and careers. Changing your handle can help you stay relevant and accurately represent your current situation or focus. You may have started as a freelancer, but now you're working for an agency. Or you've changed industries and want to reflect that in your handle.
You may have created your Twitter account in your early teens, and the handle doesn't project the mature, professional image you want to portray now. Refreshing your handle can make your Twitter presence more professional.
A Twitter handle that is easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and memorable will be more accessible and shareable both online and offline, helping you or your brand reach a larger audience.
If you manage to use the same handle across all of your social media profiles, you'll benefit from improved discoverability and consistent branding.
6. Target Audience Alignment
As you better understand your target audience over time, your initial choice of handle does not resonate with them. Altering your handle to more closely align with their interests or language can help you increase your connection with your audience.
Before making a change, consider your options carefully. Your Twitter handle is an important part of your online identity. It's essential to choose a new handle that aligns with your identity or brand and is representative of you or your business.
How to Change Your Twitter Handle on Mobile and Desktop?
Changing your Twitter handle is straightforward on mobile and desktop platforms. Following are the steps for each:
How to Change Your Twitter Handle from an Android Device?
Step 1: Open the Twitter app on your Android device and tap on your profile icon or the three lines in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
Step 2: Tap on 'Settings and privacy,' followed by 'Account.'
Step 3: Tap on 'Username.' Your current username will appear here.
Step 4: Tap on 'Username' and enter your new desired handle into the provided box.
Step 5: Once your new handle is available and follows Twitter's guidelines, hit 'Save' at the top-right corner. Your changes will be automatically saved.
How to Change Your Twitter Handle from an iPhone?
Twitter's iOS interface is identical to Android's, so the process is virtually identical.
Step 1: Open your Twitter application and tap the three lines in the upper left-hand corner.
Step 2: Tap 'Settings and privacy,' then 'Account.'
Step 3: Tap 'Username'. Your current handle will appear here.
Step 4: Tap the 'Username' section and type in your new handle.
Step 5: If your new handle complies with Twitter's rules and is available, tap 'Done' in the upper right-hand corner.
How to Change Your Twitter Handle from a Desktop?
For desktop users, the steps are as follows:
Step 1: Go to Twitter.com and sign in to your profile.
Step 2: From the left-hand side menu, click on 'More,' then click on 'Settings and privacy.'
Step 3: Under your profile picture, click 'Account information'. Verify your password if prompted.
Step 4: Click on 'Username'. Inside, you'll see your current handle and a box for the new one.
Step 5: Type your desired handle. You can click' Save' to confirm the change if the handle is not taken and abides by Twitter's policies.
Tips for Choosing a New Twitter Handle
Choosing a new Twitter handle is important in establishing your online identity. Here are some tips that can help guide your selection:
- Keep it Short: Twitter restricts handles to 15 characters or less, but shorter is generally better. A short handle is easier to remember, quicker to type, and leaves more characters for the content of the tweet when someone is trying to mention or reply to you.
- Easy to Remember: Choose a handle that's easy to remember. Handles that use common words or phrases, your name, or the name of your business are often easiest to remember.
- Avoid Numbers and Underscores: While it's tempting to add numbers or underscores to your handle when your first choice is taken, they can often make your handle more complex and more challenging to remember.
- Mirror Other Social Media Handles: Try to ensure your Twitter handle matches those on your other social media platforms. This allows consistency across your digital brand and makes it easier for people to find you.
- Reflect Your Brand or Interests: Ensure your chosen handle adequately reflects your brand, profession, or interests. This gives people an immediate idea of what to expect from your tweets.
- Keep it Professional: Especially if you're using Twitter for professional purposes, avoid common names. Instead, opt for a handle that presents you in a professional light.
- Be Unique: Your Twitter handle should be unique to you or your business. If you're impersonating someone else or using a very similar handle to a popular user, people might confuse you for the wrong person.
- Check Availability: Finally, before you get your heart set on a handle, check it's available. Twitter doesn't permit duplicate handles, so it's essential to have a few backup options just in case. Your Twitter handle is your online identity. Spend time thinking about what you want it to represent about you and ensure it aligns with any brands or companies that you're associated with.
When Should You Have Multiple Twitter Handles for Your Business?
While one Twitter account is often enough for most brands, there can be strategic benefits to having multiple handles. Let's dive deeper into when and why this could be beneficial.
1. Managing Different Geographies
If your business caters to a global audience or operates in multiple countries, creating a unique Twitter handle for each region can help ensure you deliver relevant content to each audience.For example, businesses may have a primary handle (@business) and additional handles, like @business_UK, @_business_JP, etc., for each region. Tailoring content to suit regional preferences, languages, time zones, and cultural nuances can foster a more personal relationship with your audience in each location.
2.Different Products, Brands, or Services
Companies offering extensive products or services might consider using multiple handles. Each handle can focus on different aspects or departments of your business — one might be used exclusively for customer support (@business_support) and another dedicated to product updates (@business_updates).
This diversification can provide followers with more precise content, enabling them to follow the most relevant account.
3.Real-Time Event Coverage
When businesses host or participate in live events (conferences, product launches, webinars, etc.), they may create unique handles for these functions.
These handles can ensure comprehensive coverage without overwhelming the followers of the main account with live tweet updates. Once the event concludes, these handles can be deactivated or repurposed for future events.
4. Customer Service
Fast-paced businesses fielding numerous customer queries might benefit from having a separate Twitter handle for customer service. It allows companies to swiftly address concerns, giving the service team a dedicated platform to engage proactively with customers.
5. Crisis Communication
Sometimes, businesses face unexpected crises that require immediate response and effective communication. In such cases, having a separate handle for emergency communication can help. It ensures that crucial information doesn't get lost amongst other content and provides a platform for comprehensively addressing and monitoring all crisis-related communication.
6. The Contrasting Side
While having multiple Twitter handles can deliver specific advantages, it’s important to consider potential downsides:
- Content Creation Load: Multiple accounts mean a multiplied content creation effort. Each handle demands fresh, relevant content regularly, which can strain your content creation team.
- Audience Fragmentation: With so many handles, your audience can get scattered, reducing the impact of critical messages.
- Increased Management: Monitoring activity, engagement, and analytics for various accounts can be complex and time-consuming.
Whether you should set up multiple Twitter handles for your business depends on your organization's particular needs and resources. It's essential to consider your company's capacity to manage various accounts carefully and whether this approach aligns with your overall social media strategy. The decision should prioritize your audience's experience and your ability to engage with them effectively.
Handle vs. Name on Twitter: What's the Difference?
On platforms like Twitter, terms like "handle" and "name" are often used interchangeably, but they represent distinct aspects of your Twitter profile.
Your Twitter handle, also known as a username, follows the "@" symbol. It is unique to you; no two users can have the same handle. Handles are limited to 15 characters, and they can include only alphanumeric characters (letters A-Z, numbers 0-9) along with underscores (_), but no special characters or spaces.
For example, in the Twitter ID "@business_name," "business_name" is the Twitter handle.
On the other hand, your Twitter name does not need to be unique, and it is how you present yourself on Twitter. It can be your full name, a pseudonym, or your business' actual name. Your Twitter name is displayed in bold on your profile page, and it can have up to 50 characters, including special characters and spaces.
For instance, if you visit a profile, you may see "My Business" in bold letters at the top — that's the Twitter name.
Why Both Matter?
Both your Twitter handle and name are important for different reasons:
1. Identification: Your handle is your unique identifier, while your name is what people see at first glance when you tweet or they visit your profile.
2. Searchability: People can search for you using your handle or name. Consistency with your other social media platforms can make you easier to find.
3. Branding: Both your handle and your name are key components of your online branding. They communicate who you are to your audience.
4. Connectability: Handles are used to tag or mention you in tweets, which facilitates interaction.
When setting up your Twitter profile or rebranding, consider your handle and your name. They should be memorable, easily searchable, represent your brand identity, and comply with Twitter's guidelines.
What to Do If Your Desired Twitter Handle Is Taken?
Discovering your ideal Twitter handle is already taken can be frustrating. However, there are some strategies you can follow to work around this problem:
1. Alter the Handle
You can make minor modifications to the handle while still keeping it recognizably yours. Here are some ideas:
- Use abbreviations or acronyms, especially if they're commonly associated with your name or brand.
- Add an underscore (_) between words or at the end.
- Include numbers (but keep it simple).
- Add a country, city, or state abbreviation if relevant and recognizable.
- Include words related to your industry, like 'tech' or 'food,' alongside your brand name.
Keep in mind that these changes should still make sense for your brand and should be easy to remember for your followers.
2. Reach Out to the Current Handle Owner
In some cases, the current owner of your desired handle might not be actively using it or might be open to giving it up or selling it to you. It's worth reaching out to ask if they'd consider it.
You can do so by directly messaging them on Twitter (if their DMs are open) or tweeting at them. Be polite and respectful in your approach.
Note: Be aware that Twitter's rules prohibit buying or selling handles, so it's not an officially sanctioned solution.
3. Monitor for Inactivity
Twitter occasionally sweeps for inactive accounts and may free up handles that haven't been used for a long time. Keep an eye on the handle you want, as it may become available.
4. Reach Out to Twitter
If the handle in question violates Twitter's username policy (for example, it is impersonating someone else), or if your trademarked business name is being used by someone else, consider reporting this to Twitter. If verified, they might help you acquire your desired handle.
Finding a perfect Twitter handle might be a demanding task, yet it's achievable. Remember that your handle isn't the only representation of your brand. Your profile picture, header, bio, and, most importantly, your tweets also contribute to your Twitter identity.
Choosing a unique and representative handle and a recognizable name will set the stage for your Twitter identity, making it easier for your audience to find and engage with you.
Having multiple handles can benefit businesses operating across different regions, dealing with varied products or services, or those involved in extensive customer service. It's vital, however, to balance the potential advantages with the increased content creation demand, audience fragmentation risk, and management needs.
Your Twitter presence is more than just your handle or name; thoughtful engagement, regular posting, and interaction with your followers are key to creating a lasting impression and building a successful social media presence.