I was recently followed by someone new on Twitter. Nothing odd or unusual there, you might think. “I get new followers all the time”, you might be saying. But I mention this specifically, not to show off, but because of their Twitter name.
The name was a combination of letters and numbers, something along the lines of @p5r218tx, not dissimilar to what you’re encouraged to use as a new password. (I really hope it isn’t their password too!). The problem is, it’s not in the slightest bit memorable, apart from perhaps remembering that it is an account with a not very memorable name.
Now, as an avid Twitter user, whenever I meet someone new, whenever I want to praise good service and whenever I want to complain about a particularly incompetent experience, the first thing I do is seek them out on Twitter.
I should add at this point, that if you’re not on Twitter, you really should be, because lots of people do what I do.
My first bit of searching is by the name of the person or the company, so @BillBloggs or @ASDA or whatever. So if you want to be found, why create a name like @a1b2x7y? And if you don’t want to be found, why even bother with social media?
I’m going to guess that if @ASDA had set up an account with the name @w00d3ncl0gs , it probably wouldn’t have connected with as many people as it has. So don’t make life more difficult for people, people generally don’t have the patience!
Choosing your username.
- Choose a username that is the same, or similar, to your own name. If that has already gone, add something descriptive that suits your business e.g @BillSmithVoice.
- Avoid usernames that are complicated; made-up words or random letters and numbers for example.
- If you would rather use a nickname than your own name, company name or product name, choose a username that’s friendly and accessible – avoid anything that’s rude, risqué or questionable, especially if you’re hoping for reasonable interaction!
- Avoid vague names like @JayDee5050. I want to be found on Twitter, what would make you think that this account was anything to do with me? I don’t believe that you would even begin to search for me with a username like that.
- If you choose a company name as your username, make sure that you personalise it in the bio. Let the rest of us know who we’ll be talking to, and interacting with, when we connect with you. So you could, for example, have @BillSmithVoice with the name Bill Smith, or add “tweets by Bill Smith” in the bio.
- Sometimes I tweet with people like @w00d3ncl0gs with the name Wooden Clogs, and I don’t even have a clue what gender I’m talking to. So that’s something to think about too.
- If you can, choose a short, snappy username. There is already a maximum of 15 characters in place, but the shorter your username, the more characters people have left to use when responding/replying to you.
- If you’re now thinking, ‘But I already have my account!’, don’t worry, there are many changes that you make to your account without starting from scratch, including changing your username!
If you feel that you need more help and support with your Twitter account, or you’d like someone to help with the management of it, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, you can find me @juliedonaldson, and I look forward to tweeting with you.