Jumping on to social media has become as common as brushing our teeth; millions of people do it every day (multiple times a day), keeping us connected to the people, businesses, and brands we love more than ever. This online visibility can keep us in front of thousands of new customers a day as a business. Whether you’re selling physical products, a virtual service, or even establishing yourself as an influencer online, the correct username will set you apart in a sea of thousands of people. To help you get the social media username you want, follow these key steps.
Research your audience
Before picking a username, it’s crucial to determine who will be looking for your content. Are you trying to launch a kid’s clothing brand? Are you trying to sell real estate? Are you hoping to connect teenagers with cellphone products? Knowing who you’re approaching can make all the difference. A teenager will use different social media channels (Instagram and TikTok) than a couple buying their first home (Facebook and Instagram). Usernames need to reflect your company and also your audience.
Your usernames don’t have to be your business name; they can be any variation you’d like. If your audience is a professional crowd, keep the username professional and focused on the industry. A real estate agent may want ‘JensRealEstate’ over a trendy, slang, or abbreviated version. You don’t have to stick with your industry either; consider adding the product you sell into the username. For example, ‘JensFamilyHomes’ will also attract targeted viewers without being a generic name.
Avoid Addons and Punctuation
With billions of social media accounts registered, finding a unique name isn’t always easy. Try to avoid any username with numbers added on to the end of the account (for example, JensRealEstate43). These names are generic and come across as unoriginal. Likewise, they highlight the additional accounts with the same name. Also, avoid periods or underscores in your accounts. Many users forget to include punctuation when searching online, which leaves viewers disconnected from your account.
Establish 10-15 Usernames
What sounds good in our head doesn’t always look great when written. Avoid usernames with duplicate letters, such as ‘Doriccookies.’ Users are more likely to mistype when trying to find your accounts, and it may not look right overall. You want a name that stands out and is memorable. Keep the username easy-to-read and simple to spell. Shorter usernames are preferable to longer ones, with eight to thirteen characters being the ideal length.
Find Out If They’re Available
Having the same username across all social media channels will make your company easier to find overall. You want to have the same name across all platforms whenever possible, making brainstorming before registering accounts the ideal solution. This way, you’ll have a backup plan if your first choice doesn’t work out. To get started, enter your potential usernames into a social media handle checker. These platforms are often free to use and will scan social media accounts for availability simultaneously. You’ll be able to confirm which social media platforms are available, which are taken, and whether the username you’ve chosen is appropriate.
Ask For Opinions Before Registering
Once you’ve checked the availability online, narrow your list down to your top three choices. These choices should be available across all platforms without infringing on other major competitors or brands. Ask a few close contacts to choose their favorite username from your top three choices. Additionally, ask a few friends to spell the username you’ve chosen without seeing the name. If several people misspell the name, scrap it from your list. You want the name you’ve decided on to be easy to spell; if friends can’t spell the word correctly, the general public won’t be able to either.
Determine Which Social Media Channels Work Best
You may not understand how to use every social media platform, but having an account registered early on is vital for your brand’s success. Always create placeholder accounts for your company, even if you’re not using the platform. Make sure you register with all major social media sites; you’ll want to claim the usernames before your popularity increases to prevent others from imitating your brand down the road. It’s also important to fill out any profiles on the site, including a brief bio and your domain information.
Keep Your Accounts Active
As larger numbers of people flock to social media, platforms occasionally scan through for inactive or dormant accounts. A dormant account is different than a placeholder account; they usually have no information shared or posted, have no contacts, and offer no account engagement. Once you create your accounts, fill out the profiles to the best of your ability. Include your website, contact information, and logo on the profile. Make it a habit of logging in to your account every month, even if it’s to browse a few pages online.