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choosing the perfect username

How to Choose the Perfect Username for Twitter, Instagram, and Other Social Networks

Getting your business setup on Twitter, Instagram or another social network? You probably want to choose the perfect username for your account!

Your username will be up to you to create, but below I’ve outlined many factors that you should take into consideration when coming up with that perfect handle.

It can be difficult nowadays to even find a username that is available on Twitter so you maybe not be able to consider all of these factors. But they will give you something to think about as you craft your name.

This article is written with businesses in mind but can be applied to creating a personal account as well.

Length – Shorter is better

Short and sweet is the way to go, especially on Twitter as you only have 140 characters to get your message across. People that are tweeting at you or about you will appreciate having a few extra characters to say what they need to say.

Consistency – Keep it the same across networks

If possible, keep your username consistent across all social networks that you have a profile on. Decide what other social networks you want to have a profile on and check if your name is available in those places too.

This makes it much easier for people to remember your username and find you on other networks.

Additionally, if people share a post from one network to another, this will make sure that your username is still the correct one. For example, if someone posts about you in an Instagram post and uses your Instagram username, and that post gets shared to Twitter, having the same username on both makes sure that the username is still linking to your account.

Readability – How easy is it to read?

Will people be able to easily read your username and know what it says on the first try?

Generally you don’t want two of the same letter against each other. If that happens, use an underscore to separate the words.

You also need to make sure that it can’t be read another way. For example, “Pen Island” when put into a username would be @penisland. You definitely don’t want people to read that the wrong way. To fix this, use an underscore like @pen_island (or perhaps just rename your business if it’s that bad!).

Use your business name (or real name)

If your business name is “Kelsey’s Cupcakes”, don’t choose a username like @sweettreats. Using a variation of your name will be much easier for people to remember.

Alternatively, if you are a one-person business and you want to make the account a bit more personal, you can use your own name (like I do).

Easy to remember

Pick something relatively easy for people to remember. For example, @pub2j143 is not a good username because no one is ever going to remember that.

Spell it Out – Is it easy to say?

This one is especially important for the podcasters out there. You don’t want a username that is difficult to explain when it’s not written down.

Just as an example, how would you spell out the username @2fortonite?

You’d have to say “2, like the number 2 and then the word “for” spelled F O R and then “tonight” spelled T O N I T E”

If you ever have to give your username to someone over the phone, on a podcast or another way where they can’t see it written down, make it easier on yourself by having a username that is easy to say.

How does it sound in a sentence?

Remember that on Twitter, your username will be how people refer to you.

See how your username sounds in a sentence. Replace your business name with your username and see if you don’t mind people referring to you like that.

I remember a funny example from actor Neil Patrick Harris when he first got on Twitter. He made his username @actuallyNPH to show that he was the real Neil. He soon commented that it felt like everyone on Twitter was correcting him, because all of their tweets read like they started “Actually, Neil Patrick Harris…”

 

What to do if your username choice is already taken

A good Twitter username that is available is hard to find nowadays. If you’ve tried several versions of your name, with different variations of words and underscores and you can’t find a version that works, what should you do?

Many businesses add a relevant word before or after their name. For example, many product and app-based businesses put the word “get” before their name, implying that you should get their product or app.

Other examples that I’ve seen businesses use include putting the word “hello” before their name, or putting the words “tweets” after the name.

For example, Hindustan Times uses the handle “@htTweets”. The username @hindustantimes was already taken when they created their account and this username is also shorter.

If the username you want isn’t available, you will have to get creative.

Make sure that whatever username you decide matches your brand, and try to ensure it fits as many of the above considerations as possible.

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