As soon as I announced my new identity, I did get a lot of support from my friends, readers whom I’ve met and haven’t met yet and of course from Jeff. Some of my friends also thought of doing the same thing and admittedly was pushed to finally do it after my “brave move”. Changing my username from iamthedoll to @IAMRHEABUE may have seemed like a nice/cool move, but the sad reality is, you must be ready to risk a LOT too. Changing usernames may confuse your new followers and in return, you would gradually lose a bunch of them.
From almost reaching 70K followers on Instagram, I’m slowly losing from 100s to 1000s.
1. Since Instagram’s algorithm is horrible these days, there would be 20-40% chances that your followers are informed about the new username. If your followers haven’t turned their notifications on for you, thus your posts might not land on their feed 80% of the time.
2. Those who are not informed might still look for your old username and would end up seeing a dead link or a new page (probably cause someone owned it as soon as you abandoned the username).
3. Instagram does not automatically change the old username tagged on several caption mentions from your friends or brands you’ve worked with. Undeniably, this is where you get your followers most of the time.
How to backfire Instagram’s algorithm?
1. Hold on to your support-system a.k.a. your friends!
Let them know about your new IG handle. Why? Friends support friends. 😉
2. Post more to get discovered more once again!
If you’ve lessened your posting sched from 3 to 1, I suggest you go back from posting 3 photos a day again. The more you post good content, the higher the chances you get from getting into the discover page.
3. BE 101% READY.
Before changing your usernames, make sure all your other social media accounts are open on different tabs just to make sure you secure your username asap. Aside from that, make sure all your marketing materials are ready (blog posts, IG photo announcements & captions. Boost your post if you want.).
4. DO WHAT YOU DO.
After the changes? Engagement might drop and your followers growth as well. My tip? KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO. You may feel frustrated at times but I swear if you continue doing what you do, everything will pick up from where it’s supposed to and things will eventually fall back in the right places.
5. CONTINUE THE NOISE.
Don’t stop with “same day announcements” and continue with post announcement and sustaining content. This is not the time to be lazy. If you want it so badly, double up your work and produce more interesting contents.
So if you’re still planning to push through with braving the storm, you might want to consider my 5 tips above. 😉
If you’re not really concerned about losing/gaining followers, then that’s good.
Personally, I changed my username across all social media because I did it for me. I’m happy with the changes whether I’ll lose 1000s more. I simply don’t care. It’s better to have followers who genuinely love and appreciate your works and passion.