Twitter is a powerful marketing tool, capable of cultivating new business leads and giving your business some much needed online visibility. In order to garner the benefits of Twitter, you need to be able to be seen and recognized on the site. For this reason, one of the biggest decisions that you will make is that of your username. For most companies, you’ll want to simply use your name. However, what if your name is already taken? What if your name doesn’t fit into the 15-character requirement? In this case, you’ll have to get a bit more creative.
One of the most important elements of Twitter is your username, mainly because much of your success hinges on your username being one that is both recognizable and easy for your target audience to remember. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts that will get you on the right path of your name selection.
Do’s while selecting your Twitter username
Make your name relevant to your brand
Choose a specific key term that relates to the brand directly. For example, if your brand is too long, then you can use a shortened version.
Don’t use your real name, unless that IS your brand
Your name and your username are different. Your username should represent your brand and will be listed after your real name. Example: John Smith @brandname would be an ideal real name and first name, as it clearly shows who you are and who you are with.
Always remember that shorter is better!
Shorter usernames are easier to mention in comments, because there are less words to type. Twitter allows 20 characters for your real name, but only 15 for your username. However, if you can make your name shorter, it is often easier for people to remember.
Consider relevant keywords that can be included in your handle
Adding keywords is helpful if you have a short company name or if you are using your real name. Keywords in your username make it easier for people to find you when they are searching for specific topics. For those using a real name, his would look something like: John Smith @JohnSmithSEO. The style example would be good for a freelance writer or marketer that uses SEO for keyword searching. Simple brand names, or those that consist of just initials, they can benefit from adding a rich keyword as well, for similar reasons.
Don’ts of selecting your Twitter username
Avoid underscores at all costs
Underscores are outdated and can present difficulties for people that aren’t keyboard savvy. They aren’t routinely seen on Twitter, and for this reason it is best to avoid them.
Don’t include numbers, unless they are part of your brand name or relevant
Numbers are confusing. When we say numbers to a person verbally, the brain has to stop and think if it means the written or numerical form. Confusion is never a good idea and since numbers often confuse potential followers, it is best to avoid them.
A final suggestion concerning the social media presence of your business…
The above do’s and don’ts are guaranteed to get you set on your way, so that you can attract more followers and increase your online reputation. Keep in mind that it is only one of the many forms of social media out there. Don’t forget that consistency is key! It is also a good practice to try to remain uniform across each of your social media sites so that your name is recognizable on each of them independently. If you can do this and stick to the above suggestions for improving your Twitter name, you are likely to make the most out of your social media experience.