My Marketing Thing

Choosing your Twitter name

Are you pleasantly intrigued by all this Twitter squawking?  Or are begrudgingly forcing yourself into it because you want more online presence?  Either way, it’s best to get your foundation right so you can soar on this blue-hued site.  

What is the first step to setting up your Twitter profile?  Choosing your Twitter name.  And this is important.  I’ve done the research.  So here are ten tips to help you in the virtual aviary:

1. Letters, numbers, etc.
Your username on Twitter can consist of letters (upper or lowercase), numbers, and underscores.  But avoid underscores and uppercase (find out why in point #2).   And avoid numbers (see point #4 for that one).

2.  Keep it short
You name needs to be easy to remember AND easy to type.  People are now tweeting by phone, so names that are easy to phone-type is now essential.  That also means avoiding underscores (apparently it’s tricky for phone users).  Also avoid uppercase, as lowercase makes for easier typing on the follower’s part.
Note: The case you apply when typing your username is what other people will see. 

3.  Another reason to keep it short
When communicating on Twitter, you only have 140 characters for your message. When you tweet, your username isn’t part of that count.  However, when someone replies to you, your @username becomes part of the message. The same rule applies for re-tweeting, with ‘RT@username’ being part of the re-tweet message.

4.  Look good – avoid underscores and numbers
Choosing underscores and numbers makes it clear that you didn’t get the first name you wanted.  Apparently this puts a dent in your Tweeting prowess.

5.  Don’t mix business with pleasure
Your friends aren’t necessarily your target market for business, so mixing pleasure with business means your messages are likely to appear inappropriate or confusing.

6.  Don’t mix niches
If you have multiple niches, have multiple Twitter names.  It helps to build credibility.  Plus mixing marketing messages with health messages, for example, will just confuse your followers.

7.  Using your personal name
When I was thinking of using my name Megan Hills was already taken.  But I could have tried any of the following: meganjhills (using my name’s middle initial, from Jane), meganjane, meganh, meganjanehills, msmeganhills, mshills, msmhills, or meg.  If you are better known – professionally – from a nickname, consider using that instead.

8.  Your business name or blog name
Consider using your business name or blog name for Twitter.  But make sure your Twitter username is a clear representation of your original name, so your clients and customers can find you easily.

9. Combination of your personal name and business name (or your industry)
Having a name-industry combo is handy if you want to remind others of the industry you are in and reinforce your area of specialty.  A double-whammy approach.

10.  Changing your Twitter name
You can change your Twitter name down the track.  But if your network is big, it could cause some confusion.  Try to get it right from the start.


I have two profiles:

@meganmything (for marketing, writing and cartooning information)
@myburnoutthing (if you’re specifically interested in burnout and related health issues – relates directly to my blog site:

Looking forward to tweeting with you soon.

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About Megan

Posted on Dec 20th, 2009 Social media  ,

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