Introduction to Selecting a Twitter Username
On Twitter, your username, or handle as it is called, is your identity. My recommendation is if you can, sign up for Twitter by using your name or a variation of it as your username. This is, of course, assuming someone else has not already grabbed that particular username. This can be difficult if you have a common name. For example, if your name is Jen Smith, you may want to pick a Twitter username such as @jensmith or @jen_smith, and again, that is assuming it is not already taken.
I chose steph_1970 for mine – it is my first name and the year I was born. I selected it some years ago when I was still in my thirties. Now that I am older and in my forties, I am second guessing that idea, but oh well! 🙂
A Mention About Twitter Usernames
Twitter usernames typically appear with an at sign (@) before the name, because that is the way you refer to other users on Twitter. However, when you are actually selecting a username, the @ is not part of it. The only characters you are allowed are the following:
- uppercase and lowercase letters,
- underscore character ( _ ).
Same or Similar to Your Own Name
A good Twitter username is the same or very similar to your own name. This helps to establish branding online and build trust amongst your followers. If users have already claimed those names, try to add an adjective or descriptor such as @MarketerJen or @EntrepreneurJen. If you prefer for your followers not to know who you are, you can select a name that is a bit more generic. You can select a name, for instance, that is aligned with your domain name.
For example, I set up my Twitter account long before becoming an online marketer, but if I were to do it now, I might go with @LegitimateOpportunity because of that is the name of this website.
You also can use a handle that you have established on other websites. For instance, you may want your username to match your e-mail address. If your e-mail address is CatLover1970@whatever.com, you may decide to use @CatLover1970 as your Twitter name.
Last Name as Twitter Handle
Many people have a unique last name and therefore decide to use their last name as their Twitter handle. If you choose to use only your last name as a username, you may find yourself without a first name in the eyes of others. Again, this goes back to online branding.
Now, if you are in the military, then you are probably used to be called by your last name and this may be perfectly fine, especially if your niche is the military and you are branding yourself as a brave and honorable service member. By the way, if you are a service member, thank you for your service.
Using Your Business or Domain Name
I touched on this earlier in this press release and I will mention it again. You can use your domain or business name as your username and you can fill in that business or domain name in the Name text box on the Settings page for your account. However if you do, be sure to include your name in the 160-character “Bio” text box on the Settings page for your Twitter profile. It is all about branding and just like you will want to have an About Me page on your website, if you have one, you should fill in the Bio section of your Twitter account using your actual name.
Important to Note
Your Twitter username has power and influence on SEO which translates to how close to the top of a search results list you will appear in a search engine. If you are using your domain or business name, consider using a valuable keyword as your Twitter name. Ranking is everything.
Friendly and Accessible Nicknames – Avoid Risqué Names
If you would much prefer to use a nickname rather than your name or your company or domain name, be sure to choose a username that is friendly and accessible.
On Twitter, you want people to respond to you, not be put off by a risqué or otherwise questionable usernames. I have seen some very questionable usernames on Twitter.
If you run into your Twitter pals at networking events or other real-life social situations, you may wish to make sure that you do not mind having your username written on your name tag or shouted out in a greeting.
Frustrating Thing About Twitter When it Comes to Selecting a Handle
The frustrating thing about so many usernames being taken on Twitter is that while new accounts are having to add numbers and underscores, most of the time the name they want is just a ghost account from 2006 with 0 tweets. I wish Twitter would have some type of policy for releasing the names of unused accounts.
Use a Short Twitter Username
My last tip is to use a short Twitter handle. Tweets are only 140 characters so when people are replying to you, if you have a longer name, you leave them less room for message content. Twitter limits your username to just 15 characters for this very reason.
I hope this tutorial was helpful. If you want more training, consider joining Wealthy Affiliate. They have an option which you can join for free (no credit card required). You can upgrade only if you decide this is something you want to invest in further.
Thank you for reading this tutorial. Check out my other tutorials here. Please leave comments and questions below.
Thank you so much for those tips.
Twitter can really be used as a place for business owners to connect with potential and existing clients. These tips sure do come in handy when applied.
I remember when I was making a twitter account, every way I used my name was already taken until I found putting my year with my name a good option.
Thank you once again. I did enjoy reading.
I am glad you enjoyed it and yes, that is how I ended up having a year after my name was because of the same problem you were having. Thanks for stopping today and reading. 🙂
Thank you for your post! I also use Twitter for my blog and my username is a combination of the first letters of my first name and surname+date of birth (angelce903).
There is plenty of information on this post and I am happy you are sharing itb. Having an impossible name on Twitter is just unprofessional, in my opinion.
It sounds like we think much alike. I am glad you found this tutorial useful and packed with loads of information. I did not wish to overwhelm anyone. I only wanted to provide some helpful tips. I have seen many unprofessional usernames on Twitter and other social media platforms and yes, you are right about how it looks to everyone who see you on the Internet.
Have a great day!
Wow, you’ve been reading my mind, what you’ve said aloud us we should all definitely take note of here. It is definitely spot on! I highly suggest everyone takes the time to read your post twice, you’ve covered a lot of valuable info here on Twitter. I am still learning about social media marketing.
Would you also suggest using the same username across all of our social media platforms?
Thank you for checking out my tutorial on how to select a good username for Twitter. In answer to your question, I would suggest using the same username across all of your social media marketing, because it creates branding for your online business. Social media marketing can be overwhelming at first when you start to dive in and go beyond Facebook, but if you take it a little at a time, it will slowly become second nature.
I know absolutely nothing about Twitter and have always been too scared to even open an account. But your article has really helped simplify things, I might just give it a try now. Thanks for the great article!
I am glad you found this article helpful. I hope you take the time to check out my other tutorials on this site, because I think you will learn much. Please also feel free to ask questions if any should come up.
I must say this came at the perfect time as I wish to create a new twitter account for my personal website. I really didn’t give too much thought into this and your post is definitely going to help a lot of us. Thank you so much for sharing this!
Thank you for checking out my tutorial on Twitter. I am glad it came at a perfect time for you. Please feel free to return and tell me about your experience and if you have any questions along the way.
Hi Stephanie! Great tips right here for anyone looking to have a decent-looking and sounding twitter handle.
What a coincidence here though: My name is Stephen and I was born in 1970! So I could similarly choose – steph_1970 right?
Instead I chose StephenOdhong – but looking back into this choice, I think I can now see where your tips are coming from!
We do have similar sounding names plus the spelling too AND the same birth year. Perhaps we are fraternal twins that were separated at birth. 🙂 Great meeting you and thanks for stopping and checking out my tutorial on selecting a good Twitter handle.
Very informative post.
Twitter has obviously been around for a while now however I personally have just got entered the twitter world as some would say and found that picking a username can be somewhat of a challenge. After going through your post you have shed some light on how to go about choosing a great username and I have found other content on your site to be quite insightful as well. Keep up the great work!
Thank you for visiting my website. I am glad to hear that not only this post about Twitter was insightful, but you found other articles and information from this site to also be useful. It has been my aim since I started creating this website that it would be a hub of useful information for anyone who wants to look for opportunities and ways to work from home.
Have a wonderful day and I will see you back here soon.
I wish I had seen your post prior to signing up for Twitter. You gave many good examples of what to do and what not to do. I am still new to all of this, so using business or website name did not occur to me. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Keep up the good work. I will definitely be following your post.
You are very welcome. I also signed up for Twitter a long time ago and therefore, I did not use my business or website name either, because I did not know back then where my life would take me. Thank you for commenting and have a wonderful day!
I enjoyed reading this article on choosing a twitter name. I have always struggled with this I have the most common first and last names on the face of the earth it made it hard to pick. I ended up using a combination of both names and ended up with magieken. Everything else I tried was taken. I tend to be a little on the anti-social side and a loner so I have lagged behind in the social networks and am now laying catch up. Will you be writing more about using social sites? I’m sure there are others like me who would benefit from this kind of article.
I am like you too in that I have a common first and last name. It is hard to come up with something that identifies you when you have a common first and last name but is not already taken.
In answer to your question, I will be creating more training on social media networks. I do have one other right now called How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan that you might find interesting and helpful. Have a great day!
Hello Steph! I use Twitter all the time! My Twitter name is @Working_Husband so if you get a follow by me, I’m not some troll haha. But good insight. I’ve never really thought that if you have a long Twitter name, and people reply, they will have less room for their message.
Thank you for the comment. I appreciate it. And yes, I will be going over to Twitter now and sending you a follow request. Have a great day!
I wish I had thought about that originally, the using a shorter twitter name because of the word count limit. It hadn’t even crossed my mind. Having that limited amount of text already makes it challenging enough sometimes to fit what you want in that tweet to grab people’s attention. This tutorial was definitely helpful and I do hope others take those points of a shorter twitter name and associating with your business or domain name (that one I did). 🙂 Thanks for sharing.