You can’t. I’m sorry if I got your hopes up. Mine were too. A consulting client made it over the 25 required number of Likes to get a username and asked me to make it happen. I got his message while coming home from a meeting around 10:00 p.m. Excited, I chose to complete the simple request before going to bed. But, I should have known better. I was also tired and should have put it off until the next day. What the heck, it would only take a minute (Unless you screw it up).
If you want to change your Facebook personal username you can, once. If you want to change the name of your Facebook (business) Page, you can. But if you want to make a change to your Page’s username once created, you can’t. Period. End of story. Let’s say you were tired, eyes not quite in sharp focus and you made a simple, honest mistake in spelling. Clicked confirm, then in your horror saw you typed ‘s’ instead of ‘z’ as the new username is revealed. Congratulations, you’re screwed!
In disbelief I started searching Facebook help, then Google for someway to change it. But search after search led to no hope of being able to rectify my mistake.
What’s a Facebook Username?
If you’ve never requested a Facebook username you may be wondering what this is all about. There are a couple types of usernames. One relates to your personal profile (main) account and the other to your business or fan Page.
Let’s refer to these as personal and business usernames. Some refer to them as vanity names – something personal and more memorable or easy to use than those long strings of numbers and characters you get by default.
For example, my personal Facebook username is, “greg.elwell.” So, the URL becomes: http://www.facebook.com/greg.elwell.
I also have a business page on Facebook associated with this brand/Website, Zephyr Marketing. My page username is: http://www.facebook.com/ZephyrMarketing.
So, the username is what comes after the slash (/).
For more FAQ’s on Facebook usernames for Pages click here.
How to Request a Facebook Page Username
It’s really quite simple, just login to your Facebook account and go here: http://www.facebook.com/username. In this example, you’ll notice I’ve already selected my username for my personal profile. The Page username selection section is just below it. Use the pull-down arrow to select the Page you want. All the Pages you are an Admin for will be shown. From there you can follow the prompts. Be sure to have a minimum of 25 Likes before requesting a username.
Note the caution, “You will not be able to edit or transfer this username once you set it.” And, they’re not kidding. Even if you make a spelling mistake? Even that. You can’t change it. My advice is check it once, twice and then have someone else look at it to be sure it’s spelled right and is what you want. Maybe some day Facebook will change their policy on this and not be so rigid. But for now it is what it is: unchangeable!
Deleting a Facebook Page and Starting Over
Unfortunately, if you did make a mistake or really do need to change a Facebook Page username the only option is to delete the Page and create a new one. This is a pain. And for me it was quite embarrassing. But, it was an honest mistake and not the end of the world (or so I kept telling myself). Here are the steps I took:
- Made notes and printed out all of the details of all tabs on the current Page.
- Wrote down the names of all (30 people at this point) who had “Liked” the page. (I thought I might need to try and email or call all these people, explain my error and ask them to please Like the new Page.
- Deleted the Page with the wrong username.
- Created the new Page and re-typed all information obtained from step #1. (I used my client’s Facebook username and password to do this). Then I logged off, logged on as myself and Liked the page. I reversed the login procedure again in order to make myself and administrator of the Page. Sounds confusing, but it’s really not. You just need to think it through.
- Put up a post on the Page’s Wall explaining this was a replacement page and to please Like it.
- Sent invitations/recommendations to all my client’s friends to suggest they like the new Page.
Getting it Done
It’s been four days since the mistake. This morning we were up to 23 likes for the new Page. a couple hours later and I get a Facebook message from the client, “Greg. Got 26. Let’s get it up.” Gulp. With my wife pumping up my confidence, “Greg, you can do this, you’ve done it a million times,” ( ya sure in my dreams, or nightmares I thought.)
Still, I have to do this. I have to get back up on the horse that threw me.
And so I did it. Right this time. Whew!