I was having a lovely Saturday morning this past weekend. I had a couple things to do but was more or less free to catch up on some stuff for Jenn's Trends. After a great chat with Sue B. Zimmerman, I decided it was time to finally change my Instagram and Twitter usernames. This is something I've been thinking about doing for a while, and Sue gave me the nudge I needed to get it done.
Who knew two simple username changes could take over my entire weekend!
The reality is that changing the usernames wasn't all that hard. I've written previously about how to change your usernames if you'd like more information.
BUT, I decided to do this on the day that Instagram went down. Yeah, that was fun. I think I "changed" my username 5 times before it actually changed! So that was a fun little addition to my simple task.
I also wanted to find a username that was available on both Twitter and Instagram because I like to keep these consistent, if possible. I was able to find @jenns_trends free on both sites so I jumped on that. It seemed easy enough...
But here's what you need to be very careful of, and what I learned the hard way.
Depending on how long you've had those handles, you could have a LOT of content linking to a dead page now.
Once you change your username, the old username will go to blank page or an error message saying that this username doesn't exist. This literally happens instantaneously. Or, someone else might grab your old username/handle and then your links are now going to someone else!
Please, be very cautious about finding all the content you have linked to your social media profiles.
For example, I have my own blog. This was tedious enough! I had to go through hundreds of blog posts and correct links to both my Twitter and Instagram accounts. Do you know how many times I linked to my Instagram account? A LOT!!!!
I also had to update all of the sharing widgets and social media connections on my blog to link to the new account usernames. This didn't take too long but with multiple widgets and applications, I had to make sure I hit them all.
I also guest blog and contribute to a variety of other blogs and websites. I had to update my Twitter username on all of those sites too.
And then I also have profile information on Google+ with links to all my social media accounts so that had to be updated.
And I couldn't forget about my email signatures! Do you have links to your social media accounts in your email signature? If so, this needs to be updated too.
You also need to think about your marketing content. Do you have business cards, flyers, promotional products? If you do, and these items reference your social media sites, you might have to update these too to reflect the new usernames.
I also took the time to share this rebranding on my social media pages. I wanted my audience to know that I had made these changes so that they would recognize the new usernames. I recommend doing what you can to promote this update to your fans as well.
And so, after the brilliant idea to update my brand, and a whole weekend of editing content and links, I think my changes are complete!
If you are planning to change your social media usernames on any site, please take the time to consider the things I've mentioned here. And give yourself enough time to get it all done.
I recommend you make a list of all the places you think you have links to those usernames and accounts before you get started. This will help ensure you remember everything when the time comes.
Have you ever gone through this process? What lessons did you learn from changing your usernames?