We believe the first step in optimizing Twitter for business starts at the very beginning: setting up your account. Joining Twitter is fun and exciting, but take the time to fully complete your account before you start using it. By ensuring everything is well set up, you will ultimately get the best results.

What’s in a Name?

Your Twitter handle is incredibly important. It’s true; you can change it later if you need to. But why not start best-foot-forward and be truly thoughtful when selecting the Twitter handle that will represent you or your business?

Good Twitter Handles:

1) Your full name or a variation of your full name (JamesDean or JDean)
Making your Twitter handle as close to your name as possible will make it easier for people to recognize you at a conference or event. It also treats your name like a brand. every time you tweet, you promote brand awareness for your name.

2) A combination of your name and your company (CompanyJane)
If you will be the only person representing your company on Twitter —and you do not plan to make a company Twitter account—this is a great way to represent you and your company at the same time.

3) A combination of your name and your industry (MarketingJane)
Use this type of handle if you would like people to remember the industry in which you work. This way people will always associate you with your specialty, and it's a good baseline to develop thought leadership.

Bad Twitter Handles:

1) Something completely random (TigerMan)
This is a lost branding opportunity for you and your company and could spark confusion. It's also unprofessional and looks like you're hiding your identity.

2) A name followed by random numbers (Joanne123)
Unless there is a reason for the specific numbers, this type of handle looks juvenile by conjuring the old AOL chat room days. Many people do it because the name they want to use is already taken. However, it gives the appearance that you aren’t putting enough thought into your username to think of something unique.

3) A handle that uses an underscore (PR_Max)
Using an underscore won’t hurt you, but be aware that it generally is never done. Use at risk of seeming unaware of the “social norms.”

Check out our ebook, "How to Use Twitter for Business" , to learn more important tips for optimizing your company's social media presence!

Originally published Jan 12, 2009 8:54:00 AM, updated October 20 2016


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