Recent reports indicate that there are over 230 million active Twitter users on the web. That’s a huge base of people with a vast level of market potential, and it’s no surprise that businesses have begun using the social networking service in an effort to grow their brand and capitalize on new internet possibilities. In fact, if you are looking for a full primer on how to best implement Twitter for your business purposes, Udemy has a full “Twitter Training” course designed to deliver precisely those lessons. However, if you’ve never had much experience with Twitter – or with any social media at all, for that matter – you might prefer to take things one step at a time.
So where do you start with setting up a Twitter account for your business? By brainstorming Twitter name ideas, of course. As with virtually any other Internet service, Twitter encourages you to get started by establishing a username and password for your account. However, unlike Facebook, where you can type in your full business name with no limitations, Twitter presents some interesting challenges that will force you to consider your username from a variety of different angles. (Learn about using Facebook for your business as well through Udemy’s “basics” course.)
Keep It Short
First of all, Twitter usernames are limited to 15 characters in length – not including the now iconic “@” symbol that precedes any type of interaction or correspondence on the website. If your business name is something short –like JP Industries, for instance – try to claim it as your username ASAP so that there is as much consistency between your brand name and your Twitter name as possible. Also keep in mind that Twitter usernames don’t use spaces, a fact which actually causes one of the many surprising pitfalls of Twitter username composition. Instead of simply choosing a username with no spaces – “JPIndustries” is perfect – many business owners will want to clarify that the business name is two words instead of one, adding an underscore into the username to make that fact abundantly clear to customers. However, this action is not advisable unless it is the only viable option.
Including underscores,or other random bits of punctuation in your Twitter name ideas is a mistake for several reasons. First of all, these extra flourishes add unnecessary characters to a username that already has to have a very conservative length. If your business name can work as a Twitter username, don’t push it into “overlong” territory by adding extra characters that you don’t need. If your customers have been able to find your website – which is also probably your brand name typed out as one word – they will certainly be able to do the same on Twitter, where brevity and concision are the name of the game.
In fact, while you are permitted to use 15 characters in your username, you might do better to aim for 10 or 12, if possible. Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters, and literally every extra letter counts. You want your followers to be able to re-tweet your messages or to send messages to you easily without having to worry about going over the 140 character length. If your username is 14 or 15 characters, it’s already taking up 10 percent of the space in the tweet. Needless to say, shorter Twitter handles are always better for this reason.
Finally, underscores, hyphens, colons, and other punctuation will make your brand more difficult to search on Twitter. As a rule of thumb, you want to be as easy to find as possible, and that means keeping your Twitter name as simple as you can.
Dreaming up a New Name
For some companies, coming up with a Twitter username is as simple as typing their brand name out as one word. For most businesses, however, things are going to require a bit more thought. Perhaps your preferred username has already been taken – which may well happen, given the hundreds of millions of Twitter accounts currently active the Internet. Or perhaps your company name is simply too long to lend itself well to a 15 character name.
In such situations and others, you may well find yourself needing to completely make up a new Twitter name. This is something to which you should give a fair amount of thought, because once you pick a username and start building up a base of followers, you are going to want to stick with it. Your username isn’t set in stone, of course, but if you change it after the fact, your followers may go to tweet at your old moniker only to find that it has disappeared. You want your followers to be able to find you and interact with you at all times, so picking the right username the first time and sticking with it is important.
Luckily, the sky is pretty much the limit for what you can choose. Some companies simply choose to abbreviate their brand name; some turn a company motto or tagline into a catchy and memorable Twitter name; other businesses even make a list of their prime products and services and try to think up ways to incorporate one or several of those services into a brief and snappy Twitter username.
The Qualities of a Good Twitter Username
Regardless of which names, products, services, taglines, or other ingredients serve as the inspiration for your business’s new Twitter username, the chosen moniker should fit a few major benchmarks. First of all, it should relate in an obvious way to your business or to what your business does. Secondly, it should be short, sweet, and memorable. Thirdly, it should be as singularly unique as possible. And lastly, it should be – like anything else on the Internet – easy for people to search. (Master search engine optimization quickly with this course from Udemy.)
A username that matches up with your brand name is obviously the best variety of Twitter name idea because it relates directly to your business, is easy for your customers to remember, is unique to your brand, and will probably come up when anyone searches for your business on Google. A tagline or business motto is good for a lot of the same reasons.
If you do end up having to use a product or service name in your Twitter handle, that’s fine, but make sure it’s unique. Don’t make your username something like @Marketing101, because you will almost automatically get lost in the shuffle with dozens or hundreds of other Twitter accounts bearing similar names. Instead, use the name of a unique product or service that only your company is known for. Customers will have an easier time of finding and connecting with you on Twitter, and ultimately, that’s the goal of the whole enterprise.
With the right Twitter name ideas, you will be able to establish a presence for your business on Twitter, build a larger web following, and interact with your customers in new and exciting ways. Twitter can be one of the best tools on the web to see what your customers are thinking or what they are looking for. Tapping into that vast network of information can pave the way toward prosperous business growth, and it all starts with choosing a succinct, meaningful, and memorable username. Interested in learning about other ways social media can benefit your company? Take Udemy’s course on “Social Media for Business Growth” and become a guru of all things Facebook and Twitter.