Friday 14 December 2012

Twitter Tip - What's in a name?

What's your purpose for being on Twitter? Do you want to expand your professional network and make connections? Are you acting as a liaison representative of your company? Do you want to promote your expertise through updates on work projects? Do you want to share aspects of your personality? It's easy to become confused between your professional and personal personna but choosing a Twitter username can help to set the scene.

Your username is very important. This name will how people will refer to you on Twitter, and potentially how people will acknowledge you if you ever meet any of your Twitter followers offline. It may sound obvious, but making your Twitter name as close to your real name makes it easier for you to be found and recognised by people who meet you and decide to follow you on Twitter.
Here's a few tips:
    Twitter name
  • Think of your Twitter handle as your personal brand. That's how important it is.
  • It may be tempting to come up with a quirky name, but it’s best not to make your Twitter handle completely random e.g. @It’sMe. This is fine if you are using Twitter purely for personal use, but not if you want to be found by other professional contacts.
  • If your name has already been taken on Twitter, it’s best to avoid using numbers e.g. @Barbara123 or underscore @Barbara_Spiller. Use a description of your profession or speciality e.g. @BarbaraSpillerPR, or combine your name and company e.g. BarbaraNBMktg.
  • Don’t forget that your Twitter handle will appear in any retweets or replies, so make it recognisable and distinctive.
  • Remember too that the length of your Twitter name will take up valuable characters in Tweets. If it’s too long, other Twitter users might be disinclined to include it in their tweets. 
  • Adding a picture to your profile will help get you recognised in a Twitter search list.