If you haven’t noticed I’ve been going through a sort of re-branding. As an author of multiple blogs I decided my personal brand is more important than trying to market each domain separately. I am only one person after all. :)
First on my ‘to do’ was to change my twitter account to reflect this new focus. I wanted to go from @RonisWeigh to @RoniNoone but had a lot of questions before I took the leap.
I’m happy to say I made the switch! Hopefully my experience will help if you are considering a change yourself…
Will I lose my followers?
First thing you are probably thinking about is "Will I lose my followers?" The answer is an astounding NO! Twitter is smart (at least I think so) when you change you username all your followers and even the lists you are on will remain the same.
Basically everything you see listed in the upper right hand corner of your twitter account will be exactly the same, except your username of course.
How do I do it?
Changing you twitter display name is simple. You just log into your account, go to settings, enter a new name and click save. However, you may want to hold on to your current twitter name, at least for a little while, to prevent confusion and leave messages for anyone who stumbles across your old name on the your blog. How do you do this? It’s simple….
- Create a new twitter account. Use a generic twitter username like your current one with simple a "2" after it. What you use doesn’t matter you are going to change it in a few moments anyway.
- Once you have the second account set up, login to our current account (the one you want to change) and chance the username to your desired new twitter name.
- Twitter username are immediately available once dropped, so now quickly (don’t stop to tell everyone you switched just yet) log back into your new generic twitter account (the one with the "2" after the name) and change that twitter account name to your old twitter username.
- Leave one tweet on the new, which is now the "old" twitter account, to cover your tracks.
What about links to my Twitter account from my blog?
Of course you will now need to edit any links in your blog’s sidebar that link to you twitter account with your new twitter address (twitter.com/yournewname) but one thing you might be forgetting is links to your twitter account from your blog posts.
There’s nothing worse then having to go through blog post by blog post to make edits. Especially when you’ve been blogging for years. Here’s a trick for those of you using self hosted WordPress (Note: NOT wordpress.com) and aren’t afraid of getting you hands a little dirty with code.
WARNING: You can do serious damage to your wordpress installation. Make sure you backup or feel comfortable doing this. I am not responsible if you blow up your site!
- Log into your hosting company and navigate to your dashboard. (Every hosting company is different but generally you will have a dashboard where you can manipulate your account)
- Look for the phpAdmin icon or a link that says manage databases.
- Launch phpAdmin
- Click the SQL tab
- Enter the following code edited with your specific information of course (the bolded areas)
UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content,"http://twitter.com/yourOldTwitterName", "http://twitter.com/yourNewTwitterName")
This will look through every post you ever wrote (including pages) and find/replace links to you old twitter name to your new twitter name. It is case sensitive so you may want to run it a few times using different variants i.e. RonisWeigh, ronisweigh, ronisWeigh, Ronisweigh, that is if you are caps crazy like me. ;)
Will I lose my "grade" or "klout"?
Those of you who track this kind of stuff may be interested in knowing how a name change effects the way your twitter account is evaluated. Since Twitter Grader is a twitter app changing your twitter username does NOT effect your grade. However Klout (if you don’t know what klout is click here) is a third party app so unfortunately your statistics do no come with you.
Should I be nervous?
NO! I was.. and then I finally asked myself why the heck I was nervous? I’m an active twitter user who does what she does. People who want to follow, follow. People who don’t, don’t. My name doesn’t really matter as long as it is what I want. It’s really as simple as that.