Choosing the right name for your business can be challenging enough, but choosing the right username or “handle” for your business’s social media accounts can prove even more difficult. Here are my top 5 tips for choosing the best social media username for successfully growing your following.
- Make it relevant and consistent: If you’re looking to build a fan base of loyal followers, make sure your handle is appropriate and somehow related to your company’s products or services. It’s a good idea to try to make your business’s username the same or as similar as possible across each platform so that your fans can find and follow each of your accounts.
- Make it unique and memorable. You obviously want to choose a username that stands out from the rest – especially your competition – but you don’t want to make it too complicated for fans to remember. Long, complex usernames with special characters, emojis, or numbers can frustrate consumers when searching for your brand. Make it easy for them by keeping your handle short and simple.
- Delineate your business social media profiles from your personal ones: This one is primarily for the entrepreneurs and sole proprietors, but the advice is sage for all business owners. Unless you want your entire personal social media life to be on blast to the consumer marketplace, any username you choose for your business should not be similar to the username you use for your personal accounts.
There are many reasons for this, but in particular, one’s personal opinions don’t always reflect the same image that a business wants to project to attract customers. It happens (too often, in fact) that a business is sunk by the tweets of a single person on their personal accounts. Keeping your company’s username distinctly different from your personal social media account usernames can prevent wayward followers from discovering something unflattering you posted five years ago and have since forgotten about.
- Barring all else, be quick in your decision: You’ll need to take the appropriate amount of time to choose the right business username, but take too long to make your decision, and you could miss out on the name you really want. Most of the major social media platforms have been around long enough that nearly any name or handle you can think of has already been thought of. Take the famous author Stephen King for example. If you search for @StephenKing on Twitter, you’ll see that nearly every variant of his name has already been used. Odds are, the longer you wait, the tougher it’s going to be to claim the username you want.
- If the handle you want is already spoken for, get creative: If you really wanted a username, but it’s already been claimed, you can get imaginative and try for different variations of that name. Adding an underscore or relevant keywords can help you find an available version of the username you desire. Let’s use the business name Cupcake Palace as an example. Different variations of Twitter usernames might include @CupcakePalace, @CupCakePalace, @cupcakepalace, @Cupcake_Palace, and @CCPalace. Except for the last one, these handles are all very similar, with only one or two slight differences. But it is those minor differences that just might help you land the perfect username for your business.