Repurposing Old Twitter Accounts

Repurposing An Old Twitter Account For A Nice Start On Your New Brand

Me in my sexy voice:

Did you know you could change the name and URL of a Twitter account? I’ll show you how to repurpose an old Twitter account you no longer use or need and put it to better use for your new brand. Changing your old Twitter username gives a great start as opposed to starting from scratch.

So I mentioned last week that I was working on a new brand and I had set-up several social accounts for that brand. I wish I had thought things through before I created my new Twitter account because I have a handful of accounts laying around that I no longer use. I hope this post helps others get a nice jump on their newest Twitter accounts.

Don’t Delete It, Repurpose Your Old Twitter Profile

I can’t tell you how many Twitter accounts I’ve deactivated in the past, several with thousands of followers. In fact, I remember writing a blog post showing the steps to deactivate and remove an old account. Now I think repurposing is a much better idea.

[shadowbox]Note: If you change the @ name of a verified Twitter account you will loose your verified account status. I wouldn’t throw that away.[/shadowbox]

Relevance Is Important But…

In the example below, I changed an old Twitter account to a completely different niche. The followers and tweets of that old account have nothing to do with the new niche I’m changing to. Ideally, it would have been much better to stay within the same general niche, or close to it, but that wasn’t possible in this case.

With that said, the old account still has 1161 followers and, even though they won’t be much good as far as interaction, they will help accelerate growth with less effort than starting out from scratch. These ARE real followers but I haven’t interacted with them in so long, many of them simply won’t be interested in the new topic I’ll be tweeting about. Those within the right niche WILL be more likely to follow back after I cleanup and optimize the new user profile.

How Is This Different Than Just Buying Followers?

At first glance it might be tempting to use the same logic I stated above to justify buying Twitter followers. After all, they won’t be much good but will give a decent start too, right? Perhaps, but I believe the price is too high. Sure, you might pay as little as $5 for new followers but it might cost you your reputation. Influence is important and buying fake Twitter followers is easy to spot and just as easy to verify – that hurts your brand. Enough ranting, I promise. 😉

Tweetable Quote

Twitter freaks me out. You have followers? It feels so obsessive and proprietary ~ Mos Def Tweet This

Step by Step Instruction – Changing Your Twitter UserName and URL

Changing your Twitter handle (Twitter URL) and Profile name is as simple as making a couple of changes in the settings.

First, make sure the old Twitter account you want to repurpose is still active enough to be under your control. Check your associated email and password to make sure everything’s kosher.

Original Twitter Profile

Original Twitter Profile (Before Username Change)

Then go into your Twitter account settings and change the “Username” to match your new brand. You should be able to easily change your Username up to 15 characters (It looks like 15 characters is the max for a Twitter Username right now) as long as your brand’s preferred username is available. If your preferred username isn’t available on Twitter or any other social media platform, I highly recommend you read How To Find Social Accounts When Your Brand Is Already Taken before you take any action.

Twitter Username Change

Twitter Username Change

Note: Changing your username will also change your Twitter profile URL.

Twitter Username Changed

Twitter Username Changed

We just changed our Username and that is the Profile URL. Now we can change our Twitter Name that shows on the Twitter profile page. You make the name change on the Profile Settings Page.

While you’re on your Profile Settings Page, this is a great time to change your URL and Twitter Bio.

Let Your Brand Stand Out With Images

Image and Name Change

Image and Name Change

All of the larger social media sites allow us to showcase our branding in the form of images and Twitter is no exception. Today, although it’s constantly changing, Twitter allows us to add a Profile photo (400px by 400px), a header image (1500px by 500px) and a background image. I’m not ready to officially launch this new brand yet so I just used to create some very fast images for my new Twitter profile. We have a nice playlist on YouTube of video tutorials thanks to Sheryl Loch that should get you started.

Twitter Repurpose Complete

Twitter Repurpose Complete

Bonus Twitter / Blogging Tip

Set-up Twitter Cards for better results from your Twitter link posts (tweets). Follow the tweet below to get started.[/shadowbox]

Update Your Latest Tweets and Pin A Great Tweet

My last tweet from my old Twitter account before I changed the name was,

A new cocky attitude is born every second, and I’m its Daddy!”

Now as proud as I am of that tweet, it won’t really resonate well with my new target followers in the Blog For Profit niche. Not only are the tweets no longer relevant, they’re way too old. That’s a simple fix and does not require deleting any tweets. I’ll simply create and post new tweets and as those are published; the older tweets will drop down into the archives so far they won’t be noticed.


Bonus Twitter Tip

The latest Twitter update gives us the opportunity to “Pin” one of our tweets to the top so it’s the first one people will see, at least when being viewed on the desktop. This is a cool way to showcase our best content so pin your best stuff.
Pinned Tweet screenshot

Pin To Your Profile PageTo pin a tweet, click the three dots below that tweet on the bottom right. Select “Pin  to your profile page” in the drop-down and that tweet will stay there until it is replaced with a new pinned tweet. Remember to keep this pinned tweet fresh, relevant and high quality (Your best stuff isn’t usually promotional).

Let’s Compare Repurposed To Starting Out New

So now I have an established Twitter account that shows it’s been around since September 2010, with tweets already in the bin and over 1160 followers (albeit no longer targeted in this case).  Compare that to a brand new account (like the one I just started) with 24 followers and 14 tweets. Which account do you think will grow faster with the same amount of effort? Like I mentioned in the beginning, most people will be more likely to follow the established profile back because it looks much more real, gives a look of higher perceived value as well as possible return benefit. It might be psychological but it works.


Which profile would you be more likely to follow back?

Tweetable Action Step

If you have an old Twitter account that you still control and no longer use, keep it somewhat active and hold on to it; it just might save you some valuable time in the future.

Don’t abandon old Twitter accts, you might need them later. Tweet This

Do You Have An Old Twitter Account Or Two?

I’ve maintained up to 20 different accounts at the same time in the past and I’m betting I’m not alone. I seriously wish I kept most of those accounts now that I see the value in changing the username and rebranding the entire profile. Do you have a new brand in the works that could use one of your old accounts? Have you ever changed your Twitter username before? What are your thoughts on rebranding an old account? Do you think its fair game or is it a little deceiving? I’d love your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Social Media Post:

About Brian D. Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and an all around great guy.


  1. I always cringe when I hear people say they abandon or deleted an old Twitter account only to start all over. This is a great article. Hopefully others will read it before starting over.

  2. Thanks Elizabeth, I hope so too because that’s a lot of work starting new each time. 🙂

  3. Ganesh J. Acharya says

    Thanks for the important update. A great update… wonder if there was anything that allows joining multiple accounts!!! 🙂

  4. I don’t know at all how to build a Twitter community. It’s super timeconsuming, what with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+… So feel free to contact me should you have another Twitter account with thousand of followers, that would be suitable for a German family blog.
    Just kidding. 🙂

  5. Thank you Brian for step by step process. These steps will really help those, who have no knowledge about how to repurpose the twitter account. Moreover the people can also save a lot of time and effort, by repurposing an old Twitter account, which they no longer use and can use it for the new brand.

  6. thanks for sharing this great’s a better idea to repurpose a old twitter account.bcoz making a new twitter account is time waste and making new follower take so much great think to use old account.thanks

  7. You mean creating multiple accounts Ganesh? I think many of us have several Twitter accounts.

  8. Hi Steffi, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are people out there creating and building accounts in popular niches to sell. I haven’t looked but it would be an interesting thing to look for on Fiverr or something. Personally, I’d be very skeptical abouts accounts like that but quality is pretty transparent if you know what to look for.

  9. My pleasure Sofia, I hope it helps a few people.

  10. I wouldn’t say creating a new account was a waste of time Suresh but it makes sense to repurpose an old account if one is available.

  11. Hey Brian,

    First time visiting and commenting!

    Good Twitter tips you have here. I agree with you… It’s preferable to repurpose a Twitter account rather than delete and start new. Unless you had barely any followers, in which case I guess it wouldn’t really matter one way or the other!

    Hope you’re having a great day.

  12. Thank you for such a detailed instruction – I repurposed my twitter account once, and it really worked great. But I can not say that it is always possible, since the main topic of the twitter (in wide sense – technology & innovations) has not changed. I wonder if fans that followed for example footbal twitter would be interested in tech later. But in any case account wit history and some followers seems to eb better than completely new one

  13. That’s right Kevin, it’s better than starting at zero from first glance but if the following isn’t relevant they won’t be much better than a little social proof.

  14. Nice point Victoria and that’s exactly the situation we just went through a couple of times ourselves. Our latest rebrand was changing a credit repair profile to an animal video sharing brand. You can’t get too much different than those two niches. Basically, it’s only good for a little social proof. People are more likely to pay attention to an account with 450 followers than 12. Other than that, the following isn’t going to be ideal for the new brand, even though everyone loves animal videos.

  15. Great post really I have some twitter old accounts which I didn’t think to repurpose.Thanks for your great post share..

  16. Thanks for sharing these informative tips. I have over 6 old and unused twitter accounts. I didn’t think of any significant use or benefit out of them, but i am going to repurpose them based on your guide.

  17. Thanks for sharing these informative tips. I have over 6 old and unused twitter accounts. I didn’t think of any significant use or benefit out of them, but i am going to repurpose them based on your guide.

  18. I have two old twitter accounts. I think I’m going to repurpose my accounts.
    Thanks for sharing this useful tips.

  19. Interesting post. How did you existing followers react to the change?
    Thanks for that

  20. I also have over 3 old and unused twitter accounts. I didn’t think of any significant use or benefit out of them, but i am going to repurpose them based on your guide. nice tips. thanks!!

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