How To Choose A Good Username (Handle) For Twitter

Mark Scott
Mark helps his clients first understand what Social Media can bring to their business, be that brand awareness, customer engagement, customer service or income generation and then developing, defining and implementing a plan for their business. Mark is the owner of DOC Marketing - a social media and SEO company.

Article stats

  • Organic traffic 121
Data from Content Explorer tool.

    You already know how important Twitter can be for your business. With more than 51 percent of the 288 million active users following brands and companies on Twitter and 85 percent agreeing they feel connected to a brand after following it on Twitter, the microblogging site can be an important weapon in your marketing arsenal. It can work for you, provided, you know how to make the most of your Twitter account.

    A good place to start is the handle of your Twitter profile. Handle, or username, is easily your identity on Twitter and must be optimized for maximum benefits. It is important that you don’t underestimate the importance of thoughtfully choosing a username. What is in a name? It’s the quality of Tweets that will make or break Twitter-reputation, right?

    Well yes, ultimately, its your Tweets and the amount of engagement they garner for your brand that matter on Twitter. However, before all the tweeting and engaging begins, your target audience will base their decision of whether or not to follow you, based on your username. A good username adds credibility to your account, making you look more genuine. An optimized username makes it easier to find you. It also helps you promote your brand.

    15 characters and so many benefits! Who knew? Your username is the first thing people will notice about you on Twitter. Why not set your best foot forward and give them a relevant name that attracts the right kind of audience from the very beginning?

    What is a good Twitter username?

    Twitter gives you a space of 15 characters for the handle. These characters include numbers, characters, underscores and hyphens, but no spaces. A good Twitter username is one that includes the name of your company/brand. If the name is under 15 characters and still available for use on Twitter, secure it under your profile as soon as possible. Longer company/brand names can be abbreviated to 15 characters or less and used as the Twitter handle.

    To optimize the handle, use Title case for your company/brand name — “ElesBookstore” as opposed to “elesbookstore”. Avoid using underscores and hyphens. Use a relevant keyword along with the name of your company, if they fit under 15 characters, for added SEO benefits.

    What if the name you intend to use is not available?

    Since Twitter assigns names on first come first serve basis, it is fairly possible that the name you intend to use has already been claimed. In that case, the first thing you want to do is check who is using the name.

    If it appears to be a case of impersonation, which is typically the case with SMBs, you can register a formal complaint with Twitter. Options to explore include trademark violation and impersonation. It is not uncommon for businesses to win their desired handle back by reporting its use by another person/group. Another option for when you must have the name that is taken is contacting the current owner of the name and requesting them to trade names with you.

    A third route you can choose is the path of creativity. Choose a username that clubs your company name and location together. If “PepeJeans” is taken, you can choose “PepeJeansLdn”. For longer names, the initials of home state can be used. Similarly, if “ElesBookstore” is taken, you can choose something like “ElesBooks” or “EBookstore’.

    Another great option is to use the name of a person, if the name of company is taken. It makes your posts appear more personal to your followers and helps establish familiarity with the brand too.

    Five quick tips for optimizing Twitter username 

    1. Avoid using numbers

    Twitter may suggest handles with numbers and they may appear a good option if you want to keep your brand name in the handle, but it is best not to use such options. They look odd, make your account look unprofessional and appear rather “spamy”. They also make you hard to find.

    2. Keep it simple and short

    Creativity is good but so long as it doesn’t become too much. Short and simple names are easier to cite in replies, easier to find and well, easier on the eye. They appear professional and make your Tweets more re-tweetable. “Read Write Web” uses “RWW” and “Social Media Examiner” uses “smexaminer”.

    3. Choose something that is easy to remember

    Easy-to-remember names improve your prospects of being included in tweets and retweets, increasing your Twitter presence. They also make you easier to find. Followers won’t need to use search engines or your website to find your Twitter account if you use an easy -to-remember name. The “Wall Street Journal” uses “WSJ” making it easy for followers to include the name in their posts.

    4. Be consistent when using multiple accounts 

    Large businesses benefit from being represented by multiple people/departments. Use a single naming convention across all profiles like “IBMJohn”.

    5. Consider using keywords as handles

    Twitter username influences your SEO value and plays a part in determining your search engine page results. You can include a keyword in the username, along with the name of the company or be creative and use a keyword as the username alone.

    Featured image credit: olly2 / BigStock 

    Mark Scott
    Mark helps his clients first understand what Social Media can bring to their business, be that brand awareness, customer engagement, customer service or income generation and then developing, defining and implementing a plan for their business. Mark is the owner of DOC Marketing - a social media and SEO company.

    Article stats

    • Organic traffic 121
    Data from Content Explorer tool.

    Shows how many different websites are linking to this piece of content. As a general rule, the more websites link to you, the higher you rank in Google.

    Shows estimated monthly search traffic to this article according to Ahrefs data. The actual search traffic (as reported in Google Analytics) is usually 3-5 times bigger.

    Get notified of new articles

    46,189 marketers are already subscribed to Ahrefs blog. Leave your email to get our weekly newsletter.