5 Phrases to Avoid Using in Your Twitter Handle
Creating a Twitter handle today, whether it's for a professional or personal account, is becoming steadily more and more challenging to do. Much like with Facebook and its username feature that encourages users to pick one username wisely for their URL address with no options available to change it, so the same should be done for Twitter. In the Twittersphere, you have more options and opportunities to change your handle from time to time though it's not recommended that you do it on a weekly basis. Here's where you try to create a handle that should be fairly timeless, practical yet professional, identifying to some degree, and creative all at once.
And yet so often I see classic mistakes made on Twitter by professionals that go against the grain in what you should be using your handle for. If you're establishing a handle for the first time or reinventing a former handle, here are five key words and phrases to avoid using.
1) Job Titles
Your job title and description is best saved for your Twitter profile and not your handle which should, ideally, contain as much of your name as possible in it. Including a title like "editor" or "PR gal" can confuse followers once you switch jobs and head into a completely unrelated field. On a similar note, if you work at a particularly higher spot on the job ladder than others, such as a CEO or VP, and suddenly wind up a few rungs lower, you'll be scrambling faster than the usual Twitter user to adjust your handle accordingly. When in doubt, leave your career out.
2) Martial Titles
This varies slightly for men who can get away with "Mr." in their handle better, but in general try to keep "Mr." and "Mrs." out of your username. I'd also encourage not sharing a joint Twitter account either if you're married - keep your own separate ones. In the event of a separation or a divorce, it can be tough to figure out who gets what social media account.
3) Alumni Information
Again, works so much better as a side mention in your Twitter bio than including the year and initials of your alma mater in your handle.
4) Your Location
As a born and bred California girl, I always hope to reside within this state and keep on running my company here. But I know it would never be practical to make up a username that included "CA" or "Cali" in it. When you're young on Twitter especially, your career and where you work and reside at is often up in the air. You may keep working within that company in Chicago for a few years or you might transfer over to its sister branch in Austin. Or you might just journey across the pond entirely and take up residency in Africa. Oh, the places you'll go - and you won't want to change your handle with every new move you make.
5) Using Too Many Underscores and Cutesy Endearments
Practicality and simplicity are key for successful Twitter handles and if I have to physically double check the username you have to make sure I got all of the correct numbers lined up in a row, the "xoxo" or "gurl" spelled right, or put the four underscores in their proper places, then you know you've got to make a new handle.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.