When it comes to social media, one of the first things you have to do when creating an account is to choose your username.
Each social media platform has different rules, so it’s important to review them all before choosing a name. One of the strictest platforms for usernames is Twitter. If you can find an available username there, you are usually good to use it on other platforms.
Twitter Username Guidelines:
- Usernames containing the words Twitter or Admin cannot be claimed. No account names can contain Twitter or Admin unless they are official Twitter accounts.
- Your username cannot be longer than 15 characters.
- A username can contain alphanumeric characters (letters A-Z, numbers 0-9) and underscore. You cannot use any symbols, dashes, or spaces.
Instagram Username Guidelines:
- A username can contain letters, periods, numbers, and underscores.
- There is no length restriction.
When choosing your username, one of the biggest suggestions is to pick the same username across all platforms. This is especially true for Twitter and Instagram. Not only is it good branding, but it only take one click inside the app to push your Instagram posts to Twitter. If you are ever tagged in an Instagram post, and you don’t have the same Twitter username, then when the post is pushed to Twitter, the link to your account will break. That’s a lost opportunity!
Make it easy for people to follow you: choose the same username on all your social media accounts.
Before you sign up with a username, you can check on sites like Namechk to verify that the username is available. They will help you verify if the username is available, and meets the criteria on almost every platform.
Username Tips and Suggestions
So how do you pick a username anyway? You want something that is uniquely you. Something memorable and easy to spell.
- Start with your brand name.
- Brainstorm abbreviations and short forms. For example, I shorten “Workaday” to “wrk” in my usernames.
- Add a location abbreviation if it makes sense for your business. Some industries, like florists, use the industry name in their business name quite often, making it hard to find available generic usernames.
- Avoid underscores whenever possible. They require more keystrokes to enter on a smartphone, and can appear lost in links.
- Avoid repetition of letters or numbers in a row. If you have to count how many to input, chances are people will make mistakes.
- Avoid fad or trend terms. You’re dating your name, and odds are you won’t still like it a few years down the road.
Choosing a username can seem stressful, but it’s really one of the easiest parts. The hard part comes after you set up the account: posting and interacting. So don’t stress too much about the username, it’s just one step in the social media journey.
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