You set up your Twitter account without really understanding how Twitter works. Now that you are using Twitter to connect professionally with other educators you may be wishing you had chosen your Twitter handle differently. Perhaps you have changed your name and need your Twitter handle to reflect your new last name. If people are complaining about trying to remember the numbers you included in your Twitter handle or typing the underscore on their phones, you can change your Twitter handle.
The first option under settings is your username. This is your Twitter handle. Notice the box allows you to edit or completely change your Twitter handle. So long as the Twitter handle is available simply click “Save Changes” down at the bottom of the page and you have a new Twitter handle.
You do NOT lose your followers when you change your Twitter handle name. You may want to send out a few tweets over the next week to let your followers know that you’ve changed your Twitter handle.
If you want to make sure no one takes the name you are abandoning, consider creating a new Twitter account immediately after changing your Twitter handle. When you change your Twitter handle, your old handle is now available for others to use. If you are relatively new to Twitter this is not an issue, however if people have known you for a long time as some other Twitter handle simply create a new account with your old name. In the bio section say this is your old handle and to please tweet you at your new one.
Twitter Handle Considerations
This is a list of tips, not hard and fast rules. There are a lot of good reasons to break these tips.
- Shorter is Better: When someone replies to you the Twitter handle is part of the 140 character limit. You can have a maximum of 15 characters (which is actually 16 characters with the @ symbol). Suggestion to stay under 10 characters.
- No Numbers: It is surprising how connected you feel with your Twitter PLN. People will call you by your Twitter handle like it is your nickname. It may not bother you to be introduced as @bob2384 but it is something you may want to consider. Numbers are also difficult for people to remember, especially if the numbers are only meaningful to you. This reduces the ability for people to engage with you if they can not remember your Twitter handle.
- No Underscores: When typing Twitter handles on a mobile device the underscore is on a different keyboard screen. Try to avoid using underscores.
- Think Spelling: Think about how easy it is to remember how to spell your Twitter handle. If you think people may make spelling mistakes, you may want to rethink what you are choosing.
- Brand Yourself: You are trying to connect with educators on Twitter. If possible try to make your Twitter handle your name or something that indicates that you are an educator.
- Memorable: If you are not using your name for your Twitter handle you may choose something clever, which is great, but consider if it might be hard for people to remember. Especially if you are being creative with the spelling.
- Avoid Character Confusion: Is that a lower case L or an upper case I? An O or a Zero?
- Avoid Job Location: You may not be in room 63 forever and you may change school sites. Life an be unexpected, suggestion to not include things that could change in your Twitter handle.