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New Twitter Name? Risks and Reasons to Change

Twitter Name Necklace

Is your Twitter name representing you or your business?

I wrote a post about carefully choosing your Twitter name and why using a middle initial is a bad idea. But sometimes you chose a Twitter name and after a while you realize that it is no longer in line with your personal branding. This happened with me very recently.

A few months ago I did the first main redesign of my website. The biggest part of that was changing the URL from smcubedconsulting.com to laurenmacewen.com. This was a symptom of an overall shift my business was having. The branding of my business had changed from my business name to my name.  I had not intended to do personal branding, but that is what evolved. The change is an ongoing process, but a positive evolution. You always have to listen to what your business and your clients want. It is not uncommon for our projections to require re-evaluation after real world application.

Changing your Twitter name is a risky proposition. A lot of people come to know you by that handle. It is part of your online identity. But a change can be necessary if your business demands it. It is not uncommon to lose followers when you change your name, because when you tweet people won’t necessarily recognize your new handle.

Reasons to Change:

  • Too Casual – the handle you are using does not convey a professional demeanor
  • Too Niche – Your business has expanded beyond the niche you started with and you need something that encompass that and does not limit you.
  • Inappropriate – This can overlap with too casual. It is not uncommon for people to use their personal Twitter for their business. Sometimes this means that your handle is not just too casual but it actually inappropriate to be representing you professionally.
  • Not Branded – Often times when we create our Twitter names our branding is not forefront in our mind, or our branding changes over time.

Once you decide to change your name make sure you pick your name carefully.

Tips for a Good Name:

  • Keep it Professional – make sure your name is a good representation of how you want to present yourself online
  • Keep it Simple – If your name is too complicated it will be hard for people to remember. You want to make sure you name is easily remembered.
  • Keep it Short – You are limited to 140 characters on Twitter. You want to make sure that you name is not so long that it becomes prohibitive to retweeting and mentions.
  • Keep it Goal Oriented – If you are trying to corner the market on a niche, then having a niche name is inline with your overall goals. But if you want to expand beyond that then maybe being less specific would be beneficial. Make sure you name works to support your business goals.

Tips to Manage a Change:

  • Let People Know – Make sure you tell people about your new Twitter name. Tell them in your email, on Facebook (yes, really), and of course on Twitter. On Twitter make sure to tell them more than once.
  • Don’t Change your Avatar – Changing your Twitter name is a huge online identity change. To make it easier, do not change your avatar as well. A lot of people will still recognize you because of your avatar and that can help them adjust to the new handle.
  • Understand the risk – You will very likely lose followers. Do not take it personally. It is because they don’t realize it is you. Some will come back and some won’t. But if your name is more inline with the needs of your business, the change will ultimately be positive and you will gain back those followers in spades.

Whose ideal are you? Everyone is someone’s inspiration.

A woman stading on Sandia Peake

When we focus on our business and professional development, it is easy to get caught up in where we are going. We focus on our next goal and where we want to be.  This is actually a good thing.  To invoke some sports analogies: see the goal line, be the ball, make the shot.  Keep your goals in view and make sure that you are working toward them every day.

However, we may get so involved looking ahead that we forget to appreciate where we are now.

Speaking to someone the other day, I was hit by a realization about appreciation and perspective.  I was quite taken aback by this metaphorical slap.  I was in a dialogue with a young woman who is highly ambitious and has been culturally successful in her artistic ventures, though not yet monetarily successful. She expressed her admiration for my professional success. She said she wanted to be like me and wanted to attain the success that I have reached.

I was so honored by what she said.  I realized that we spend so much time looking at where we are going, or trying to go, that we often forget to acknowledge where we are.  But even that is not necessarily enough to give us the feeling of accomplishment that we sometimes need. We can even consider where we have come from and see our growth and progression, and still not have a feeling of accomplishment because we are always gauging our success on our goalS.

Sometimes it is important to realize that you may be someone else’s ideal. In their eyes you are the person they aspire to be. Just as you may have someone in your circle who is your role model, your work and accomplishments may represent that for someone else.

I was given a great gift by being made aware of this.

Who are you inspiring?