There comes a time when we reflect on our social media accounts and sometimes need to reassess things with fresh eyes. Sometimes, when we do this we notice things that need a few tweaks – whether it’s mismatching profiles pictures across social channels, or an About Us section that hasn’t been updated in a few years.
One of the other things which we might spot is that our usernames might need a fresh coat of paint. Whether you’re unhappy with the usernames you originally secured, or you want to change your usernames to be more consistent with the other usernames you’ve got, sometimes changing a username is something which needs to happen.
Before you jump into changing your usernames, there are a few things you will want to consider to make the process smooth an effective for you and your followers.
It’s best-practise to have your social media usernames as consistent as possible – if not identical – across your accounts. It can be tough to do in reality, but it’s an important goal so that customers can find you easily between social channels. Before you change your usernames, it’s worth researching what usernames are actually available. Using a tool like namechk.com is a fast way of doing this.
If you’re struggling to come up with a username without putting the dreaded ‘1’ or ‘2’ at the end of it, consider adding a country code, city name, and underscore, or even a descriptive term like ‘team’, or a playful word before your name like ‘hello’ or ‘meet’.
When you change your usernames of your social media accounts, keep in mind that you aren’t deleting an account and creating a new account, you are simply changing the name of your existing account. That way, you keep your followers.
Be cautious of creating a new account and snagging your desired username, because some social media accounts have a username lockdown: if someone has used a username and deleted the account too recently, you can’t grab that username. It’s better to be patient and just rename your account.
To change your username, most social media accounts allow you to do this. Just head to your settings and change your username.
Shout it from the rooftops
Make a list of all the places your existing usernames are promoted. It might be on the footer of your website, in your about section or newsletter – but also places you might see everyday, but have stopped noticing – like your email footer, business cards, flyers or menus.
Make a list and keep it handy so when you switch your names you’re able to update them all.
You can also post an announcement on your social media channels to let everyone know that you’ve updated your username.
For a fresh set of eyes, it can’t hurt to ask a friend or colleague review your site and marketing to check you’ve caught everywhere.
After you’ve successfully renamed your old account to your new account, its useful to create a redirection for people who might still search your old username.
While you can’t redirect people from a technical perspective like you can with a web address, what you can do is set up new account with your old username, and post an update which simply says ‘Our new username is @newusername. See us there!’.
If you’re changing your usernames on your social media accounts, you need to keep in mind:
– what username you’re changing it to, and whether it’s consistent with your existing accounts
– where you need to update the promotion of your social media accounts
– whether you want to redirect people from the the old username, to the new account.
Wanting to get started using a social media content calendar? This template has all the things you need to get started: an Excel document where you can mark off your schedule, content, images, approvals and more. Download it now.
About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.