Choosing the Right Twitter Name

Jun 03, 2009

I recently gave a presentation on using social media tools to build your business and received an e-mail from one of the attendees who had decided it was time to take the plunge into Twitter.

His question:

“What would be a good twitter name for me? If I focus on my professional Web site, I could use my business name. If I focus on my passion for rock climbing, I could use @climberjunky. If decide on something generic, I could use my @myname.”

Which is the right decision?

Choosing your Twitter name depends on what you want to do with Twitter. There are many strategies and many opinions.

Three common choices are:

  1. Your name
  2. Your company
  3. A “fun” name that is creative or references a passion

There are good reasons for all three.

Earlier this year I changed my user name to @jonathangood from a more creative name because I decided that I wanted people to get my name right away — even though I liked the “fun” name. I made this decision because I wanted to focus on building my personal brand.

If you’re going to use Twitter to share about your life and your business, I think it is a great idea to use your real name (if available).

One thing to note: If you change your Twitter name after you have built a following, you will need to rebuild much of the “brand equity” built around your original name.
Another option is to build your brand around your company name. I really like the way Tony Hsieh, CEO of uses Twitter to authentically build his personal brand and the company culture at You can follow him @zappos.

If you are going to tweet mostly about your passion for rock climbing — then I think a more creative name is just as good and may help you find other climbing enthusiasts to interact with on Twitter more easily.

Lastly, make sure to think about what you are trying to accomplish by being a part of the Twitter community. When choosing your Twitter name, it’s a blend of strategy and personal choice.

2 Comments. Leave new

On the Web with Kim Vallee
June 19, 2009 1:48 pm

Another option is to run and manage 2 Twitter accounts. One for your passion as a rock climber that will be dedicated to that and another Twitter account for your business side.

The advantage of using your name is that if your business plans change with time, your @myname account evolves with you. Plus, I prefer to follow a person to a brand.

Another factor to consider is whether your name is easy to spell. Mine isn’t, so I decided against using my real name.

One thing folks should do is try saying the name out loud. My Twitter name, @naniprints, reads well, but sounds like “nani prince.” Hm. Problematic.

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