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How to Choose Your Twitter Handle - for accountants and rockstars

How to Choose Your Twitter Handle - for accountants and rockstars

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Published by iGo2 Group
I’ve been seeing more twitter handles flash across the TV screen lately – The Voice AU, Masterchef, even the morning weather presenter. I like seeing that trend as it points to the new fabric of social networks, although I’m surprised how many are so poorly chosen. So coming down from the lofty heights of global business transformation via the social enterprise I thought I’d talk about choosing a twitter name the “common sense” way.
I’ve been seeing more twitter handles flash across the TV screen lately – The Voice AU, Masterchef, even the morning weather presenter. I like seeing that trend as it points to the new fabric of social networks, although I’m surprised how many are so poorly chosen. So coming down from the lofty heights of global business transformation via the social enterprise I thought I’d talk about choosing a twitter name the “common sense” way.

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Published by: iGo2 Group on Jul 06, 2012
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07/20/2012

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How to choose your twitter name - foraccountants and rockstars
I
’ve been seeing more twitter handles
 fash across
the TV screen
lately – The Voice AU, Masterchef,
even the morning weather presenter. I
like
seeing
that trend as it points to the new fabric of socialnetworks, although I’m surprised how many areso
poorly chosen
. So coming down from the loftyheights of global business transformation via thesocial enterprise I thought I’d talk about choosinga twitter name the “common sense” way.
Twitter limits your twitter handle to  just 15 charac-
ters. Choose them wisely, and simply, as I’ll explain.
Firstly, why the title of this post? Isn’t there a diffe-
rence between an accountant and a rockstar when
it comes to choosing a twitter name or any othername for your social networks?I say
no
. That’s the point of this post. The reasonis that both rockstars and accountants are people,and both are social, and while both have businessambitions those ambitions will change over timeand should not dictate a twitter name at any one
point in that journey through social media. Now one
difference is that a rock star might have a name like
Lady GagaorSeal– and they’ll be those for their Twitter lifetime. But if you’re not a rock star thenbe yourself and use your real name or as close asyou can get. Like your email address your Twitterhandle ispart of your “brand”(see the Nick Sym-monds example below).
What’s the downside of getting your
wrong? Firstly you won’t get themost value of what you are doingtoday on twitter and other social
networks, and secondly you’ll make
it even more dicult to get value
in the future. Why not go easy on yourself, conserve
your energy, and get it right rst time?
Whether you’re tweeting as
@jamesatTaxFirm
or
Viktoria Bolonina
 @viktoriaRUS”singer/song wri-
ter/performer/digital artist” those twitter handlesare
poorly chosen
.
Sticking with The Voice Australia(which has a nice
use of Lists) we have:
Underscores!
I lived through underscores in ouremails addresses in the 1980s and 1990s.
 How old
 
is the “digital” person advising these people, I
don’t
 
even know where to nd underscore on iPhone
keyboard – and I don’t want to know, it’s a
horrible
 
vestige of the past and just doesn’t jellwith socialnetworks and the iPhone!
 Leading underscores!
I mean just take a look at
that list above and you can see, when they are extrac-
ted on to black and white, how silly and damagingthey are – they detract from the objective of beingon Twitter and other social media, are not easy to
nd or guess, nor easy to enter and use, nor easy
to remember. I hope that stands out when you seethem all lined up like that.
Changing channels, if we check Channel 10s’ Break-fast Showwe see that twitter handles for their crew
have also started fashing across the screen recently.
One that caught my attention is weather presenter
Magdalena Rozeas she’s chosen @Magdalena_Roze 
 – which just makes me shudder every time I see it
because I can’t spell and I hate underscores in social
media handles.
20/07/2012 03:35
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 Page 1
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How to choose your twitter name - for accountants and rockstars
Here are a few more examples of poor Twitterhandles, and the point of listing these is that youwill get the message that none of these make anyreasonable sense when we abstract them and lookat them in the cold light of day. Perhaps it was therush from joining Twitter which caused some of these aberrations?
Why aren’t they sensible?
1. You no longer work at the ABC or Tax Firm
or Hungton Post but you’re still a weather
-man, accountant or journalist.2. You no longer live in AU or AUS or RUS andyou are still a “singer/song writer/perfor-mer/digital artist”.3.Nobody can spell your name or names, wi-thout a Google search.4.Wow I have to explain so many times thatmy name includes a underscore – a what?5.WOW I have to explain so many times thatmy name STARTS with a underscore.6.WOW I have to explain So MANY times whattimes what my ridiculous twitter name isbecause no-one can remember.7.WOW I had to explain to my MOTHER myoffensive twitter name, I felt so stupid.
Simple Basics
8. You have chosen to be on Twitter, to be outthere in social media, so make it easy for
people to nd you – otherwise why bother?
9. You’re a person so use your personal namein whateven sensible combination is avai-lable.10.Pick up the idea, which is the opppo-site of where many are today but which issoming – that your posts, comments andexpressions in the social media are alwaysconsidered your personal opinion and nota company statement. People want to dealwith people.11.Building on from point #3, if you areresponsible for your own career and careerpath don’t tie yourself to a current employeror interest or geography through your twit-ter handle.12.Don’t include anything that would limitthe use of your Twitter handle in the next 50years, or forever.13.Make it easy for people to guess yourhandle in the social networks – in my casethey are going to search for walteradam-son wadamson and adamson and I always
choose the latter rst because it’s shorter.
14.Remember the shorter the better, allother things above considered, as you areeating in to the 140 characters when peopleReTweet and refer to your name. Be gene-rous, respect your “retweeters”, and leavethem as many characters as possible fortheir own message.
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 Page 2
 
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How to choose your twitter name - for accountants and rockstars
Would you be seen dead wearing yourTwitter handle?
If your Twitter name looks plain ugly then youwouldn’t want to be seen dead wearing it, right?That’s
another 
selection criteria!Olympic runner Nick Symmonds has not onlysmashed that question but he has done it
twice
.
Firstly his own Twitter handle is just
plain sensible
 
@nicksymmonds. And he’s obviously got
a brain for
branding and marketing
– choosing that Twitter
name was the rst sign and the second was that he
auctioned a place on his arm
to wear
a
sponsored
 
Twitter handle at the Olympics (except where barred
from doing so).
 You can see that Symmonds went with the bid from
@HansonDodge. Given that Nick appears to have a
smart marketing head on his strong shoulders then
it’s unlikely that he was going to pick a sponsor like
no matter
how much
money
theyoffered.
He wouldn’t want an ugly silly corny Twitter name
on his arm, so
 please don’t limi
your future op-
portunities by not being sensible and simple about
your choice of Twitter name, and your other socialmedia handles.
Perhaps you need to get some serious advice about
what Twitter is really about, and its business poten-
tial for you? Lady Gaga understands. Seal unders-
tands. Nick Symmonds understands.
 Just a though
.
So Viktoria, you’ve so many options just go change 
itto something simple, that people will easily guess. You do have a problem in that your combined name
exceeds 15 characters, but just ask your most sen-
sible friend what to choose and no underscores OK?
Magdalena, at the time of this post your simple co-
 joined name was an available twitter name which
is at least a better choice even if still tricky to spell.Now “the young Ben Bennett” you do have a more
of a challenge since you have a zillion Ben Bennettson Twitter. Choose something personal and see how
it ts, your middle initial obviously, your full rst
name perhaps something that will last 20 years and
relates to your identity and as close as possible to a
20/07/2012 03:35
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