Wondering how to choose a Twitter name or handle? Picking the right handle can help reinforce and build your brand.
How to choose a Twitter name or handle
- Determine whether you are establishing a business, personal or professional account on Twitter. Some people create multiple accounts – for their business, for personal use, for advocacy, for political messaging or other reasons.
- Decide whether you are going with a business name, an anonymized handle or your own name. For example, someone might have one personal account for speaking openly about political situations, but use a handle that obscures their identity. Others may just wish to keep their identity visible, but separate their discussions about the latest in legal policy from their personal rants about the way their sports team performed in the playoffs.
- Choose a relevant name. If it’s your business or professional account, look for a name that mentions your business, your brand or what you do.
- If your preferred Twitter name is taken and you think your copyright is being infringed, take a look at Twitter’s infringement policy . But note that even celebrities have had to resort to workarounds. Look at @aplusk or @taylorswift13. If someone is just squatting on the name and not using it, you can also look at asking Twitter to release the handle.
- Avoid numbers and meaningless letters. @AustinMarketing99a just doesn’t look very credible.
- Reinforce your brand. Consider using a handle that matches your email address or what you use on other sites. It reinforces your brand and is easier for people to remember. If people need to look you up on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other sites, it will be easier for them – and you’ll be less likely to send someone your audience by mistake.
- Strive for a short handle. No one wants to type out a long stream of letters and it makes a typo more likely. You’re limited to 15 characters, but try for fewer.
- Keep in mind that your Twitter handle may be printed on event name tags, shown on screens in presentations, mentioned in other media or elsewhere. If you go for @CuteSeattleChris, @LAHockeyHater or @RepublicanJo or something along those lines, be sure that you’re comfortable with everyone seeing and using your handle.
What to do if your Twitter name is taken
- Shorten your name. Turn Peggy into Peg. Richard into Rick. Kelly-Anne Kendrick into KAKendrick.
- Add a descriptor/adjective. Try @AuthorPeggy or @RickAccounting
- Include an initial. Try@JanetFSmith or @MeilingTChan
- Add your state, city or country. @MacAccountingVan, @MacAccountingCA, @MacAccountingUS.
- Use an abbreviation. The @WSJ, @NYTimes and @nbcsnl all do.
Got any other suggestions? Check out our article on choosing a professional email address for related tips.
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