What to do if your name is unavailable.
If you are looking to stake your claim on the social media landscape here are a few tips to help you pick the right handle.
In this case, the “handle” refers to the nickname that a person uses to find you on social media. Usually, they begin with a “@” symbol and are followed up by a string of characters. Here is a quick guide to how many characters you can use:
Twitter = 15 characters
Pinterest = 20 characters
Instagram = 30 characters
YouTube = 20 characters
When trying to pick your handles, it may feel like you’re stuck in a frustrating loop of “unavailable” notices. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Your social media handles don’t have to be your company name. They just need to relate to what you do and how you define your brand.
Ready to start your naming process? For business, I like to start with Twitter because it has the least amount of characters to use. Then open other social media outlets in separate browser windows, all opened to the page where you register a name. This way when you find a combination that works on Twitter you can quickly see if it is available elsewhere. Try to use the same handle on all that you register. A universal name will help your brand definition. Another way you can do this is to try a handle name generator like spinxo, jimpix, or Username Generator.
1. Try to be consistent:
Check to see if your name is available. Because I am in the business of branding, my company name was chosen in part because it was available everywhere I wanted to show up. I craved consistency; it was planned that way from the get-go:
There is no doubt who you are connecting with anywhere you find me.
2. Try abbreviations:
By making the company name shorter you are more likely to find a solution that fits the character count requirements. For example, Buzz Worthy Company could be
3. Use hyphens or underscores:
Separate the letters or numbers in logical ways such as
4. Substitute letters for other characters:
There are alternatives like these: 3=e, $=5, S=5, b=6 to name a few the “b” could look something like this
5. Add a location:
Georeference is also an excellent way to take a name which seems fairly common and reinforce the local business part of your brand.
6. Use keywords:
If nothing else above has gotten you through, think of the services or products you provide:
Does your company have a mascot or symbol it identifies with?
Still having trouble choosing the right name? Let’s talk B4 you create. B4 We Create manages social media accounts for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to enhance their social media presence.
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