Q: Should all of My Social Media Usernames be the Same?
On first glance it seems a little silly to think too much about the names we use for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., but if you are serious – check that, thoughtful – about your social media use, you will take a moment and normalize as many of your usernames as possible.
Here are three reasons to do so . .
You’ll be easier to find – Once you begin using a standard username, you will be easier to find on many other social networks. When you do this you can be more easily mentioned, tagged and connected to because people won’t have to constantly wonder what username you go by on each network.
Example — Trying doing a google search for one of your usernames, @youryusername and see what comes up. Now do one using the name of a friend of mine, Erin Dunigan, @edunny. The top three for her are Twitter, Instagram and her website . . . as it should be.
You’ll be easier to connect to the you in other places – Because more and more sites are beginning to connect to one another (You share instagram and crosspost on twitter, for example), having a standard user name allows people to mention you across networks and avoid awkward tags of strangers . . . not that I have EVER done that.
Example — Lets say I really want @BruceRC as my username, but on twitter it is already taken by some dude in Canada. Bummed out I then go to my default username @Brizzle45 for my Twitter name. Then I go to Instagram and suhweet @BruceRC is available — so I grabbed it. Like so many my Twitter and Instagram names do not match. What this is means is that when someone tags a picture in Instagram, mentions @BruceRC in the text and crossposts on Twitter, poor Canadian @BruceRC will get a notification that someone just posted a picture of him taking a nap with this dog . . . and as cute as said dog might be, it does not belong to @BruceRC on Twitter because Instagram @BruceRC is @Brizzle45 on Twitter. Confusion will abound.
You’ll save time, keystrokes and trees – When you have a standard name you will be able to stop sharing multiple addresses on business cards and online signatures by simply sharing one consistent username.
Example — You can do as I do in most places now saying, “I can be found via @breyeschow on most social networks” or for an organization, “find us via @xxxxxx on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”
A word about usernames —
At this point I am advising people and orgs to find a name that makes sense and is available on as many networks as possible even if it means changing the current one. Also, be sure when choosing a name…
- Try to find a short derivation of your name or the name of your organization;
- Don’t make it too long [@presbyterianchurchonthecorner] as you’ll use vital Twitter characters, it will get misspelled and you will just frustrate people because their thumbs will tire out;
- Avoid trying to be too cute [@macdaddypastormcfly]. Because we all seem more witty or ironic to ourselves than we really are, if you try too hard, it will be obvious that you are . . . trying too hard.
- Make sure your username can last over long haul through shifts in location, jobs, and life stages [@youngsterinoakland]. We all know that life moves quickly so to maintain connections, you will want a name that can stay with your through all of the transitions that life unfolds before you.
I hope this is helpful.
Oh . . . and I can be found via @breyeschow on most social networks 😉