Are you setting up a new Twitter profile? Would you like some help choosing the perfect Twitter name?

One of the key components of your Twitter profile is your name and by that, I mean the handle which has the name after the “@”. You need to pick a good Twitter name which can help promote your brand and make it easy for you to be found on Twitter. You shouldn’t just look for your favorite option and then, if that’s not available, simply choose the one that Twitter suggests.

A good Twitter name can help you promote your brand, make it easy for you to be found and will make you appear more genuine.

Keep it Less Spammy

If you’ll excuse the euphemism, you should never sacrifice length for quality, especially if your idea of a good short username is @x123_49g or something equally hideous that makes you look like a spam bot.

While it’s certainly true that quality Twitter handles are becoming as hard to obtain as top-level domain names, don’t just go with the first thing that’s available. It’s always worth putting in some time and effort as a proper-looking Twitter username appears more trustworthy, which can pay dividends, certainly for brands.

There are only two reasons why you should use a number in your Twitter name; either because you want it to match your email ID or you want to do something creative like Matt Brian, the editor of The Next Web. His Twitter name is @m4tt. Even though four is a number it fits in really well with the name as it resembles the letter A slightly and it looks a lot like mAtt.

Match Your Brand

If you’re using Twitter for business always try to match your username as closely as possible to your brand name.

If your preferred Twitter handle is taken, get as close as you possibly can. I don’t recommend the use of underscores (_) where possible but if that gets you nearer to your actual brand name, and no other reasonable option is available, use them.

Get in there early

Try and get in there early and try your best to find the best Twitter name you can. If you’re thinking about a new Twitter name for you or your company – stop thinking about it and start acting. Each day 460,000 people sign up for a new account. This means about 319 people sign up for an account every minute. So your favorite name could be gone any second now – visit Twitter and find and reserve your favorite Twitter name as soon as you can.

Keep it short

Your Twitter name should also be short. The shorter it is the easier it would be for someone to mention you in their Tweets because of the word limit. The word limit on Twitter restricts you to keep your Tweets to a length of 140 characters. If someone Tweets something from your website and if the Tweet is too long to be shared, they will start cutting it down. They will get rid of hashtags, the message and eventually your name to help it fit in. Also, remember that people might try to keep it as short as 120 characters to make it more retweetable. So try to choose a Twitter name that’s as short as possible.

You’re Squatting On Somebody Else’s Username

If you think you’ve been clever by snatching up a Twitter profile handle that you have no business whatsoever using, then do the right thing and give it up. Twitter’s T&Cs forbid the sale of usernames so it’s not as if you can make any money out of it, and anyone spending two seconds on your profile page will quickly realize you’re not the real deal.

Be unique

Being unique is another way to get your account to stand out. The more unique your Twitter name is the easier it will be to find it. Usually, the best thing to do would be to use your company if you’ve already got a unique name.

Before you change your twitter username keep these things in mind:

Changing your Twitter username is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it’s certainly not something you should do on a regular basis. Once is more than enough, so if you do change it make sure you get it right.

Profiles that are new on Twitter and weren’t perhaps aware of the way the platform worked when they registered are strongly advised to consider a username change. People who have been using Twitter for years can still make changes where appropriate, but remember that as most people will know (and @reply to) you via your long-term username you’re taking on a much bigger risk by doing so.

So, if you decide to change your username, while you won’t lose your network or anything else, much like when you change your avatar it’s always worth doing a quick shout out to your Twitter followers to let them know. It’s courteous and the right thing to do. Otherwise, and especially if the change is significant, many people might suddenly start to wonder who you are and why they are following you. Which can quickly backfire when they decide they no longer want to.

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