January 7th, 2021
Just like your name and the name of your business, your social media handles are ways in which people identify and remember you. They matter for the people who want to reach out to you, communicate with you, and share your account with others.
Handles may even be a little more important as people try to find you among more than 3.8 billion other social media users. Locating someone on the internet isn’t as easy as asking a mutual friend for your address. The internet, and social media, in particular, is much pickier than that.
As anyone in social media management like SocialOwl knows, many individuals and businesses have more than one social media account. With YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more out there to choose from, the likelihood of someone having just one social media handle is low. You likely have a different handle for each social media platform.
In the analog world, you don’t use a different name for each business you use. You use the same name on your driver’s license that you have on your credit cards and cell phone bill. There may be a few caveats, such as using your full name rather than just your first or using Bill instead of William. Nonetheless, all of these companies know you as one person.
It would be silly and confusing to be known as Tom at one place, Tim at another, and Tam at a third. Different names that are similar enough because they each start with a T and end with an M. This is exactly what it’s like to have multiple social media handles. It doesn’t make much sense.
Consistency in social media helps prevent confusion, errors, and missed opportunities, which in the end could affect your bottom line. If a potential customer is having trouble finding your account, they could easily give up and take their business somewhere else.
Choosing Social Media Handles
Choosing a social media handle is a strategic choice, especially for your business. Opt for something that allows people to connect your handle directly to your business. Using your business name or domain name is the best option in most cases.
If your business name is too long, for example, Grandpa John’s Specialty Care Lawn Service, you don’t want a handle that is as long as @grandpajohnsspecialtycarelawnservice. When shortening the handle, be careful that you’re not too vague.
Having a handle like @grandpajohn doesn’t let people know what your business is about, either, so you may want to have a social media handle such as @grandpajohnslawn. While you may have left out a few words from your business name, customers can easily connect Grandpa John’s lawn with your business.
Things to Watch Out For
When coming up with social media handles, there are a few other things to consider in addition to length and specificity. First of all, remember you are a business, and you should professionally portray yourself. Don’t use short form spelling when choosing a social media handle.
If your business is called Love for Life, don’t use @Luv4Life. While it might look cute, you don’t want to change the spelling or introduce numbers where there shouldn’t be, or you will only confuse your customers and others who are trying to find you. Also, names like this are trendy now, but they won’t always be. You want to choose a handle that is going to remain relevant.
Another thing to avoid is adding numbers at the end of your handle, which makes it seem as if someone else claimed the handle first, and it looks unprofessional. Also, avoid underscores, as they’re easy to forget.
Things to Help Come Up with Creative Ideas
If your business name and domain name are unavailable for whatever reason, and you’re stuck coming up with ideas for a social media handle, put on your creativity hat. Get a little friendly, cheeky, or brave with your social media handles.
Depending on your business and who your target audience is, consider adding HQ at the end of your handle. Perhaps @trustfinance is taken, but maybe @trustfinanceHQ is available.
Maybe you are a small business that makes your products by hand, and you want to stick out. If @slicklips is already in use, consider a username like @homemadeslicklips.
You can also add different endings to your social media handles if they associate with varying departments. In any of the examples above, you could try something like @asktrustfinance or @grandpajohnslawninfo.
Help with Branding
Being consistent with your social media handles also helps when it comes time for your print branding. If you are going to add your handles to business cards and other items, having the same handle across all your accounts looks much more professional.
Creating a design is also a lot easier from an aesthetic perspective if the handles are the same. They will all be the same length, taking up the same amount of space and making it easier to create a cohesive design. You may not think about these things initially, but you will be thankful you didn’t choose different handles when you get to this point, especially if one is extremely long.
Social media handles are more complex than people realize, at least when it comes to business. When it’s a personal account, as long as you’re not using it as a brand, then there are no rules.
Hopefully, you’ve come to understand the importance of having consistent social media handles and got some helpful ideas so that when it comes to picking social media handles, you know what things to watch out for and how to be creative when you need to be.
Digital marketing is manageable once you get the hang of it, and SocialOwl offers social and mobile marketing opportunities straight out of the box to make it even easier for you so that you can start to get clients of your own.