Friday, May 23, 2014

9 Steps to Picking The Perfect Twitter Handle

I’ve been on Twitter for a while now. It was kind of a scary place at first. It feels like an entirely new world with terms like "hashtag," "tagging,"and "retweets" popping up all over the place. Oh, and let's not forget about the 140 character limit. For a writer that typed out a 380 page novel, that's been quite the challenge.

But trust me, that little blue bird gets a lot less sinister the more you just go with the flow and keep your eyes open. I've noticed a lot of tricks to maneuvering twitter, but one in particular caught my eyes because, well, it's super easy. Being a writer who'd much rather spend time typing a story than trying to get noticed in a stream of hundreds of other tweeps, I'm a huge fan of easy.

This trick is as simple as using a professional twitter handle. It's not a good idea to just slap on the first name that comes to mind. It's also not a good idea to pick a handle that only makes sense to you and a handful of your friends. See, if you plan to market on twitter, you want people to take you seriously. And a good place to start is by choosing a good twitter handle. 
Here are the basic rules -
  1. Your handle can only be 15 characters.
  2. You are allowed to use numbers and underscores ‘_’ thank goodness!
  3. You don’t have to add @ to your handle. Twitter will do that for you.
And here are some of the most helpful tips I found –
  1. Try as hard as possible to use your real name. Yes, this is super hard unless you have a unique name, but it’s necessary if you want to draw attention to yourself...unless you're marketing a brand, in which case you need to use your brand name (See #8). Think about it. If your name on Pinterest, Facebook, and blog is John Doe, but your Twitter name is @BrwnyMnstr people won’t be able to find you easily. 
  2. Try to keep it short. This makes it easier for people to reply to your tweets or manually retweet you with a comment of their own. 
  3. Try not to use a ton of numbers. Nothing is more annoying than attaching random numbers to the end of your name. It looks unprofessional, like you were rushing it and just slapped on the first username that was available without really thinking about it. I know it’s hard to find a name that is available without using numbers, so that’s what the rest of the tips are for:
  4. Underscores are your best friend. Try putting one in between your first and last name. In my case, this was already done by someone before me, so I tried putting an underscore before my name (@_HannahHeath) and it worked. I also could have done one at the end of my name. Or even in both the front and back.
  5. Try not capitalizing your name. As a writer, not capitalizing something that should be capitalized drives me crazy, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
  6. Try putting ‘the’ before your name (eg - @TheJohnDoe). Yeah, this might sound a bit cocky to you, especially if you don’t have a huge following anywhere else, but people won’t mind.
  7. If you’ve tried different combinations of all of the above and nothing is available, then it looks like you’ll have to use initials or shorten your name (eg - @JDoe or @JonDoe). This is not ideal, but you can still use your real name on your profile so it’s not the end of the world. You can also try attaching your occupation to your name (eg - @JohnDoe_Writer).  
  8. The only time you shouldn’t use your real name is if you have gained a huge following elsewhere using a nickname or brand name. If this is the case, then keep your nickname/company name on Twitter. You always want to be using the same name across all networks to avoid confusing followers or potential followers.
  9. Twitter lets you change your username whenever you want. Just make sure you tell all of your followers before changing, so as to avoid confusion. It's best not to change your handle, especially if you have a ton of followers, but it's nice to know that you can if it's absolutely necessary. 
And there you have it. A quick and easy way to clean up your profile by making your twitter handle look professional.

Do you have any other tips for choosing a twitter handle? I'd love to hear them! Just comment below. Feel free to leave your twitter handle down there, too. I'm always happy to connect!

Related articles:
Be A Writer, Not An Author

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every week!


  1. I use most of the consonants in my first and last names. and the 'sometimes' vowel 'y'. I don't know why I left out the 3rd 'l'. just a fluke I suppose. or are those capiital 'I's? I like to keep 'em guessing. Have you considered having Amazon publish your book? here's a couple of links that might be helpful:

    1. Wow, thank you so much David. I have considered publishing via Amazon, but I haven't looked into it a whole ton. The links you gave me a super helpful. I really appreciate it!

  2. Very nice i also read your blog and your tips :)

  3. It was a decent post for sure. I completely appreciated understanding it in my noon.
    Buy Bulk Twitter accounts


Google Analytics Alternative