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How to Choose a Username for Twitter

Choosing a nice Twitter handle needs some creative thinking and the knowledge of what appeals to other users. A few useful instructions on how to choose a good username for Twitter, are listed in this Techspirited article.
Shashank Nakate
Changing the Username
Twitter is one of the few online services which allows users to change their usernames. However, when you change your username, notify your followers about the same. It would allow them to continue keeping track of your tweets.
The username that you adopt for your Twitter account also plays a part in determining the type of followers you attract. A Twitter account can be used to keep in touch with friends and followers, or to provide them with some useful updates and information about your business, profession, etc. You should choose your Twitter name carefully, in order to reach out to the target audience. The tricky task of choosing a Twitter handle (username) can become a lot easier if you follow the tips presented below.
Twitter Username Ideas
Choosing a username is the most important part of opening a Twitter account. Making your username catchy and unique is the key to hold the attention of followers/readers. Here are some interesting ideas on how to choose a good Twitter username.
Keep the Username Short
Twitter limits the length of usernames to 15 characters. Apart from alphabets, you can also incorporate numbers and the underscore ( _ ) symbol in your username. Twitter puts a 140-character limit on the length of tweets. Those who retweet your tweets would find it difficult to fit in the username (in the tweet) if it is too long.

Use Your Real Name
It is a good practice to have your real name (or some part of it) in the Twitter username. There are many people in the world with the same names. It means that your real name could already have been taken up by someone else. In such a case, as far as possible, include some part of your name (first name or last name) in the Twitter username. You can also think of adding a descriptor or an adjective as a prefix or suffix to it. Some people prefer using monikers as their usernames. However, in the long run, it is better to have a real name as your username.

Choose Something Unique
Your username should be unique, so that people remember it always. Therefore, you should avoid using generic names. Generic names are generally used when a person doesn't want to reveal his/her identity. One should avoid using numbers in the username. Although Twitter allows the use of numbers, this makes the username look dull and sometimes even spammy.

Your Username Should Say Something About You
A username should be such that it says something about your personality or profession. If you are using your Twitter account for the purpose of marketing, choose a name which speaks about your profession or the services you provide. It will help followers to identify with you in a better manner.

Usernames for Businesses
Twitter accounts for businesses need to have SEO-oriented usernames. The benefit of having an SEO-friendly username for a business account is that, it may get good rankings in search engine results. Adding a suitable keyword in the name should also be of great help for your business. If your company's Twitter account is going to be used only by you and no other employee, choose a username that has both, your name and the company's name.

Things You Should Avoid
  • Twitter provides suggestions of alternative names if your real name is already taken. The alternative names suggested by Twitter are generally the ones with a combination of numbers and your real name. These names may not be catchy enough to hold the attention of readers.
  • A Twitter handle should not be any random name or adjective. By choosing a random username, you lose the opportunity to market your product or service.
  • Your username should not appear as if it is generated by a bot.
  • Never ever incorporate curse words in your username.
  • Avoid using celebrity names as your Twitter handle.
  • You might feel tempted to use an underscore in your username, because Twitter doesn't the allow use of "dash' symbol or spaces. However, one should understand that, not only does an underscore waste a character, but also makes it difficult to type with the numeric keypad of mobile phones.
Finally, one should think about using the right combination of background, username, and avatar, to make their account more visible on Twitter. Remember that even if you are good at posting interesting and catchy tweets, the first impression in the mind of the reader is made by the username.